Menachem Begin and the question of the settlements: 1967–1977

Amir Goldstein, Elchanan Shilo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper has sought to examine Menachem Begin’s considerations on the issue of the settlements in the territories occupied by Israel in the decade prior to his becoming prime minister. In those years, the gap between what Begin defined as the role of his party—the gatekeeper against an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank—vis-à-vis its actual scanty settling activity was striking. The core of the article tackles the repeated attempts made by a group of youths involved with right-wing circles to establish a Jewish settlement in or adjacent to Nablus, from 1969 to 1970. The little aid that Begin extended to these almost unknown youths sheds light on some significant facets of his perspective on the settlements. At that stage of his political career, Begin held a legalistic position and distanced himself from any unlawful clashes with the government. Begin’s adamant standpoint was consistent until the first attempt made by the religious Zionist youths to establish a settlement near Nablus in the spring-summer of 1974. Begin changed his mind only upon realizing that the clash between the settlers and the government in the summer of 1974 did not generate a noticeable public uproar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-158
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 British Society for Middle Eastern Studies.


This research was supported by the ISRAEL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (grant No. 380271/).

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation380271/


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