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Shimon Peres

(b. 1923) Polish-born Israeli statesman, Prime Minister 1984–6 and 1995–6; President since 2007

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Binyamin Netanyahu

Overview page. Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

(1949– )

Israeli diplomat and politician, prime minister of Israel (1996–99).

Born in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu was largely brought up and educated in the USA, acquiring a...

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Ehud Barak

Overview page. Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

(b. 12 Feb. 1942).

Prime Minister of Israel, 1999–2001 Born in Mishmar Hasharon of Polish immigrants, he joined the military in 1959 and advanced quickly through the ranks of the...

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Labour Party, Israel

Overview page. Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

Israel's major progressive party on the left, created in 1968 from the merger of the Mapai Party with two smaller socialist parties. It combined Zionism with socialism, through the...

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Likud (‘Union’), Israel

Overview page. Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

An alliance of a number of right-wing parties which was established in 1973, and grew into a cohesive movement by 1977. Led then by Begin, its victory in that year produced a major...

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Mapai

Overview page. Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

Founded in 1930 as the merger of two socialist parties, the Ahdut Haavoda and Hapoel Hatzair. It aimed at the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. This would be an agricultural and...

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West Bank

Overview page. Subjects: Islam.

An area of Palestine west of the River Jordan, allocated by a UN Partition Plan of 1947 as a separate Arab state alongside an independent state of Israel. It was occupied by Jordan in 1948,...

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Yasser Arafat

Overview page. Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

(b. 24 Aug. 1929, d. 10 Nov. 2004).

Palestinian leader 1969–2004

Early career

Born in Jerusalem (according to other sources born on 21 March 1929 in Cairo), he...

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Yitzhak Rabin

Overview page. Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

(b. 1 Mar. 1922, d. 4 Nov. 1995).

Israeli general; Prime Minister 1974–7, 1992–5

Early career

Born in Jerusalem, the son of Russian immigrants, he joined the...

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Yitzhak Shamir

Overview page. Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

(b. 15 Oct. 1915).

Prime Minister of Israel 1983–4, 1986–92 Born Yitzhak Yzernitzky in Rozhinay (Poland), he became a radical Zionist while studying at Warsaw University. He...

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