MK proposes memorial day for Menachem Begin
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MK proposes memorial day for Menachem Begin

Long-time conservative leader, who signed peace treaty with Egypt, 'strengthened democratic foundations of state,' says Yariv Levin

Prime minister Menachem Begin gestures to president Jimmy Carter as they leave a Cabinet meeting to head for the Knesset, March 12, 1979, where Carter delivered a speech. At center is Carter's security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. (photo credit: AP)
Prime minister Menachem Begin gestures to president Jimmy Carter as they leave a Cabinet meeting to head for the Knesset, March 12, 1979, where Carter delivered a speech. At center is Carter's security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. (photo credit: AP)

Coalition Chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud) is to propose a bill that would establish a national memorial day in honor of late prime minister Menachem Begin, the Hebrew-language daily Israel Hayom reported Friday.

According to the bill, set to be presented to the Knesset in the coming days, the government will formally commemorate the former conservative leader in schools across the country and in a special ceremony at his grave on the Mount of Olives on the Hebrew anniversary of his passing.

According to Israel Hayom, Levin claimed it is appropriate to enact a special law for the commemoration of Begin’s legacy, in light of his service to the Israeli state and the Jewish people.

“He took part in the struggle for the independence of the state, contributed to and strengthened the democratic foundations of the state, set a principle that there will be no civil war [among Jews in the tense lead-up to independence], abolished social barriers and strengthened national unity,” said Levin.

“I believe his name is embedded in the country’s history, and he will be remembered as one of the greatest leaders of the Jewish people in the 20th century,” he added.

Begin was a Revisionist Zionist who fought the British presence in pre-state Israel and signed a peace deal with Egypt during his premiership from 1977-1983.

He died in 1992, but would have turned 100 on August 16 of last year.

Begin, a founder of the Likud party, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 for signing the peace accords with Egypt.

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