The Creation of the Likud and the Struggle for the Identity of the Alternative Party

in Israel Studies Review
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abstract

This article demonstrates how the process that eventually led to the founding of the Likud party in the fall of 1973, alongside the goal of creating an effective alternative to the Labor movement, was actually a failed attempt to diminish the influence of Begin and Herut within the Likud. Herut’s new and old partners wished to effect—through the creation of the Likud—a change in the identity and character of the alternative party. Contrary to expectations, Herut revealed itself to be an open and dynamic movement for an ever-growing sector of the public. The Herut movement became the key axis of the Likud, in light of demographic, cultural, social, and economic processes, which fashioned within Likud an alloy that symbolized the rise of a new Israeli identity.

The article examines the internal processes within Herut that enabled it to retain its dominance even after the formation of the Likud.

Contributor Notes

amir goldstein is a historian and a Senior Lecturer at Tel Hai College. His books and articles focus on the activities of Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Menachem Begin and the breakthrough of the Zionist right in moving from the margins of Israeli politics to the center. His recent publications include “Partial Establishment—Menachem Begin, Gahal and the Black Panthers” (Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 2018) and “The End of Evolutionary Zionism—Jabotinsky and the Ukrainian Pogroms” (Modern Judaism, 2018). E-mail: amirgold@telhai.ac.il

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