Likud kicked off its election campaign with a mighty rally in the Binyanei Ha’uma convention hall here Sunday.
But Israel’s ruling party seemed to be looking to its past for inspiration. The centerpiece was a videotaped speech by the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who led the party to power in 1977 after 30 years in the political wilderness.
Begin died March 9, after eight years away from politics.
Although many people believe his greatest achievements were the Camp David accords and the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, for which he shared a Nobel Prize, Begin’s successor, Yitzhak Shamir, roused the Likud faithful Sunday with a vow that the idea of territorial compromise would fade like a mirage.
There would be no bargaining over the territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, he said.
Nevertheless, political analysts said Likud plans to depict Begin in the campaign as its guide in whose footprints the present leadership follows.
The entire Likud leadership attended the rally, except Foreign Minister David Levy who is in Lagos, where Nigeria and Israel are re-establishing the diplomatic ties broken in 1973.
Earlier, caravans of buses bringing thousands of enthusiastic Likud supporters to the convention center passed a human chain of Labor supporters lining Jerusalem’s main road. They waved posters calling for a change of government.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.