- The Yom Kippur War (1973) resulted in an Israeli military victory but unleashed tensions in the economic, political, and psychological arenas in Israel. Protest groups focusing on various aspects of the resulting situation were formed. Israelis were concerned with war losses, the failure of military intelligence, initial battlefield reverses, questions about war-associated political decisions, and deteriorating economic and social conditions at home accompanied by diplomatic reverses abroad. This malaise affected the body politic during much of the tenure of Yitzhak Rabin as prime minister (1974-77) but seemed to reach a crucial level in conjunction with the 1977 Knesset election (see also KNESSET [PARLIAMENT]), when many of the forces set in motion by the Yom Kippur War and its aftermath seemed to coalesce, causing a major fissure in the political landscape in Israel. The electorate gave the largest number of votes to the Likud, led by Menachem Begin, and the Israel Labor Party lost a substantial number of seats compared to the 1973 election. The results ended Labor's dominance of Israeli political life that had begun in the Yishuv period, and Begin subsequently formed a Likud-led coalition government. This sudden shift in political direction, together with the aftershocks it caused, have been likened to an "earthquake," the descriptive term often attached to this period in Israeli political development.
Historical Dictionary of Israel. Bernard Reich David H. Goldberg. Edited by Jon Woronoff..
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