Menachem Begin occupies an odd place in the pantheon of the iconic men and women who founded and shaped the State of Israel. Grounded in staunch Revisionist Zionism, Begin led the Irgun paramilitary group against both British and Arab forces during the last years of the British Mandate and then restyled himself as a populist politician in charge of the Herut party, which was the root of the Likud, the party that swept Israel's socialist Labor Zionist old guard out of power in 1977. Thus, Begin was seen as a troublesome rabble-rouser by Israel's secular Ashkenazi elite, but for Middle-Eastern Jews and the religious Zionist community, Begin took on legendary status.
Jerusalem honors his legacy with the Menachem Begin Center, which houses a kosher dairy restaurant, White Nights, named somewhat ominously after Begin's written account of his imprisonment in a Siberian labor camp. The restaurant affords a classic view of the Old City's walls, and offers soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, fish and gourmet cheeses, with both indoor and outdoor patio seating.
Sunday to Thursday, 10:00 to 23:30
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