Likud Govt’s Vision for Israel

Newspaper: Jewish Herald
posted on:
18 In jan 1977
States - Egypt, USA. Greater Land of Israel - Golan Heights, Sinai Peninsula. Government , Foreign Policy - Israel-U.S. Relationship, UN. Political Parties - Likud. Peace , Ideologies - Socialism
Begin shares a glimpse at what Israel would look like under the leadership of the Likud party. He discusses the party's goal for peace and the avoidance of war, balancing Israel's relationship with the U.S., and the repair of the relationship between France and Israel. He stresses the importance of keeping the territories of Judea and Samaria and protecting Israel from the creation of a Palestinian State. He outlines a government of capitalist socialism and lists several laws he would put into action.
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"Likud Govt's Vision for Israel"

Israel's Ties With New United States Regime Will Be Based On An Awareness Of Mutuality.

WHAT WILL a Likud Government mean to Israel? A dramatic revival of Zionist pioneering and national morale – as Mr. Menachem Begin, the Likud's nominee for the Premiership, made clear in his keynote address to the opening session of the 13th Herut Convention. Here are the main points of that address:


Likud will ask for the confidence of the voters, so that it may become the largest parliamentary party, which will form the new Cabinet. Until the last government crisis we used to say that the Alignment should be sent into the opposition. Since Israel now lives with the nightmare of a minority government that does not have the confidence of the Knesset, the Alignment is, to all practical intents, in opposition to the majority of the Knesset, of which the Likud is the main part. We must, therefore, now say that the Alignment should be left in the opposition with a reduced representation, and that after the elections in May it should be made possible to establish a government based on the Likud.

If Likud will be called on to form the Cabinet, its first concern will be to prevent war. The Likud has never been guilty of a credibility gap, as other nations have also already had an opportunity to realise, and I hereby affirm that we shall deter aggression, prevent war, maintain the security of the nation, and bring peace nearer. We shall make it our concern to increase the power of our armed forces and to progress consistently towards self-production of the main means of defence and deterrence. Israel has outstanding scientists and excellent manpower with whom this aim can be achieved.


The Likud government will take a peace initiative. We shall do so not through the U.N. General Assembly, where the majority is hostile to us. We shall ask a friendly Government, which has regular diplomatic relations with Israel and with our neighbours, to transmit our proposal for starting negotiations for peace treaties.

"Without prior conditions" means that just as we shall not demand of the Arabs that they accept our proposals in advance if we are to come to the conference table, so they shall not demand from us that we accept their proposals in advance so that they may come to the conference table.

The conference will be held either alternatingly in our respective capitals, or at a neutral venue such as Geneva.

"Free from any devised formula for settlement" is a clause from the Middle East plank of the platform of the Democratic Party, which, with the exception of the transfer of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, President-elect Carter has endorsed. It is a correct political definition, and we adopt it unreservedly.


A special focus of interest will be the relationship between Israel and the United States, which should be founded on an awareness of mutuality on both sides. Until now, the prevailing impression in America is that there is one-sidedness in the aid that is given to Israel.

From my own experience I can say that to this day not many people in America know what we did for the United States during the seven years of the Vietnam war, when we held the east bank of the closed Suez Canal. The truth is, that by forcing the Soviet ammunition ships to sail around the Cape, we delayed arms supplies to America's enemies and saved thousands of American soldiers from being killed or wounded.

Leftist sensitivity has hitherto prevented certain circles from explaining these and other facts to American public opinion. We shall explain them, and the relationship will be based on an awareness of mutuality, which is the only realistic basis of foreign nations. We shall encourage initiatives by Israeli citizens, friends of America, and American citizens, friends of Israel, for the establishment in both countries of public committees for an "American-Israeli Community of Interests."

Such a partnership of interests exists with regard to the Arab demand for the establishment of a so-called Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria. Such a state would be a danger to Israel's existence – as well as a serious danger to the whole free world for it would inevitably become a central Soviet base in the Middle East. Explaining this common point of interest will also have our full attention.

We shall express our readiness for normalisation of relations between Israel and the Soviet Union. If the Soviet Union, which 9 years ago broke off its diplomatic relations with Israel, should propose to resume those relations, we shall inform them that we agree, but shall demand explicitly that the Soviet government desist from all persecution of Jews and Zionists, free all "Prisoners of Zion" and enable all who want to go to Israel to do so.

We shall seek an improvement of relations and the renewal of friendship between Israel and France. I am confident that our many friends in France will work for the achievement of this, again on a mutual basis.

We shall make every possible contribution to understanding among nations and to maintain peace.


National policy will be based, by right, by justice and by law, on the following elements:

Judea and Samaria are an inseparable part of Israel's sovereignty. It must be clear that whoever is prepared to surrender Judea and Samaria to foreign rule, inevitably prepares the ground for a Palestinian State.

The border between Egypt and Israel will be established within Sinai. We no longer hold all of Sinai, and there is no party in Israel, except the Communists, that is prepared to abandon all of Sinai.

The border between Syria and Israel will be drawn on the Golan Heights.

Relations between the Jewish majority and the Arab minority in Eretz Israel will be founded on fairness, mutual respect, equal rights for all citizens and residents, and economic and social progress.

Members of the Arab nation will be given a free choice between adopting Israeli citizenship and retaining their previous citizenship. If they opt for naturalisation, they will have full rights, including the right of voting for the Knesset, like Jewish citizens; if they do not apply for our citizenship, they will have full rights, except that of voting for the Knesset, like Jewish residents. Arab nationals in Eretz Israel will enjoy cultural autonomy. The refugee problem will be solved humanely and understandingly by providing the refugees with housing and employment.


  • The Likud government will call upon the young generation in Israel and the Diaspora to settle in towns and rural settlements in all parts of Eretz Israel. There will be no longer need for such projects at the Kadum settlement. A new era in the settlement of Eretz Israel will begin. Thousands will come and settle. There will be a resurgence of the pioneering spirit, which has its origins in Zionist vision, faith and dedication. No Arab citizen or resident will be displaced from his village or town. In all parts of Eretz Israel there is room for Jews and Arabs alike.
  • We shall convene an economic conference of Jewish and non-Jewish investors. Since the philosophy of the new government of Israel will not be one of capitalistic Socialism but of developing the economy in principle by private enterprise, we shall call on them to invest capital, establish enterprises, build houses for rent and develop the country. We shall create a favourable climate for investments, provide security for investments and remove all bureaucratic obstacles from the path of the investor. Thus we shall encourage a flow of large resources for the building of the country.
  • Once the national economy develops in this manner, we shall be able to make an effort, and we shall make the effort, to eliminate poverty in Israel. Sixty thousand families live in sub-standard conditions.
  • We shall not tolerate unemployment, which has reached a total of 50,000 already. Unemployment is no cure for the ills of the economy.
  • We shall make every possible effort to reduce emigration from Israel, which under the Alignment administration has reached frightening dimensions. Insult cannot solve this problem. As the national morale improves, in the country that is being rebuilt according to our plan, the flow of emigrants will dwindle and many of them will even return home.
  • We shall make every effort to break the spiral of inflation. The government will offer an agreement to the Histadrut, initially for one or two years, to the affect that while the agreement is in force, prices shall not rise, taxes shall not be increased and no demands for wage-increases shall be presented.


* A law on national judicial arbitration in essential services. The leader of the Alignment in the government and the Histadrut have gone into hysterics because the Knesset has referred a Bill on this subject to committee on first reading. Their attempts to interfere with the democratic decision of the Legislative have no chance of succeeding. This is a just and effective arrangement for the benefit of the workers and the entire community. The Socialist Alignment uses delaying tactic and issues draconic stay-at-work orders. We propose that there shall be an address for the objective consideration of demands, for without that we shall continue to witness what is not a "free trade union struggle," but unrestrained self-destructiveness. The large majority of the public, including members of the Labour Party, support our Bill.

* A general National Health Insurance law. Leading experts have prepared a Bill on this important subject. There will be no compulsion, amounts will be saved, and every family without exception will be insured.

* A Pensions Law.

* A law equalizing employment conditions of daily and monthly workers.

* A Minimum Wage Law.

* A Housing Entitlement Law, particularly for discharged servicemen and newly-married couples.

* A Law of Assistance for Large Families. Assisting such families should by rights be one of our first concerns.

  • Structure of Government. We shall propose a reform of the structure of the government, involving the merging of government departments and reduction of their number. We shall establish a special Ministry for Information abroad. A Ministry for Information at home is one of the despicable trademarks of totalitarianism; there is no room for it in a democratic country. But there is need for a Ministry to coordinate and initiate information for the world at large.
  • We shall increase parliamentary control of the Executive and to that end avail ourselves of Section 22 of the Basic Law, which provides for the establishment of parliamentary commissions of inquiry. The successive Alignment governments have turned this Section into a dead letter. We shall not only allow, but encourage the establishment of parliamentary commissions of enquiry on serious issues.
  • In matters of religion there is freedom of opinion and of voting in Likud. There is no compulsion. But we all have a deep respect for the Jewish heritage and in our platform we have laid down the principle of implanting the eternal values of the Jewish heritage in the life of the nation and in education.
  • The future of the nation depends on its education. We shall propose a longer schoolday and take steps to ensure that children from poor families will be able to obtain an education at all levels.