A Lesson in Democracy

Begin writes a response to a letter doubting Begin’s peace efforts. The original letter suggests Begin to go to the polls and argues that if he does not have majority support, he should no longer remain Prime Minister. Begin’s response letter first acknowledges that Israel is not just a country for its residents, but also a country belonging to Diaspora Jews. He also says that a national election is an internal issue. Then Begin talks about how his campaign in the 1977 national election focused on “the political-security problems and the socioeconomic problems.” Israelis voted for Begin fully aware of his political-security visions. Begin talks about how he takes his duty as Prime Minister seriously and it’s his responsibility to strengthen Israel’s security. Begin believes that strengthening Israel’s security means having peace with its neighbors. He claims that the original letter’s idea of security would lead to permanent bloodshed and thus, threaten Israel’s existence.

Begin in Camp David Warning to Carter

Begin is interviewed by Al Anba, a pro-Government Arabic paper, regarding the upcoming Camp David talks. In this interview he first states that it should be up to the conflicting parties to settle their differences, and therefore the U.S. should not be considered a “full partner.” Begin argues for the necessity of Israel and its neighbors to sign peace treaties. Furthermore, the peace plan should be a result of free negotiations and not a peace plan proposed by the U.S. Begin then mentions that it will be beneficial for Israel, Egypt, and the U.S. if the upcoming meetings are successful. He concludes that settlements are not an obstacle to peace because Israel’s peace plan involves living together with Arabs.

The Statesman

Begin writes about Ze’ev Jabotinsky and provides examples to prove that Jabotinsky was a statesman. First Begin compares a statesman to a musician, painter, and sculptor. He does this to show that it takes time to realize that someone is a statesman, just how it takes time to realize someone is a musician, a painter, or a sculptor. Then Begin provides examples through history that led people to see Jabotinsky as a statesman. For example, he predicted that Britain would open a front in the Middle East. Additionally, he argued that Zionists must not be neutral and help Britain fight Turkey. Also, he realized that a Jewish British High Commissioner was an anti-Zionist. Lastly, Begin mentions that Jabotinsky knew that for survival, there must be a Jewish Army. In all of these circumstances, Jabotinsky was correct, proving he is a statesman.

A Victory for Humanity

Begin writes a message to celebrate Israel’s 30th anniversary of independence. He first mentions the hardships Jews faced during their nearly 2,000 years of exile. He specifically references to the Holocaust and the sacrifices Jews made for Israel’s existence. Then he speaks about Israel’s history—the wars, the cultivation of land, the ingathering of Jewish exiles, and the unification of Jerusalem. He talks about how Israel still has not experienced a day of peace, and that the peace efforts with neighboring countries will continue. Begin then shifts and mentions the Jews from Europe and Soviet Union who returned to Judaism. Furthermore, he believes that the continuity of the campaign for their right to return to the Jewish homeland. Begin then gives thanks to Israel’s fallen heroes. He lastly states that people from every nation shall rejoice for “Israel’s rebirth is, indeed, a victory of humanity.”

My Plan for Peace

Begin discusses Israel’s plan for peace and the different obstacle Begin has faced in the process. The first part of the peace plan focuses on Palestinian self-rule in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Begin then talks about Israel’s peace plan with Egypt, specifically regarding the Sinai Peninsula. In order to give up this land, it must be demilitarized so wars do not reoccur. However, while Anwar Sadat and Begin agreed that the Egyptian army will remain about 200 kilometers from the international boundary, the Egyptian War Minister presented their army being only 40 kilometers from the boundary. This brings Begin to talk about Israeli settlements and how they strengthen Israel’s national security. Then Begin questions the U.S.’s change in opinion about Israel’s peace proposal. He mentions the strong relationship he has with Sadat and then hints of anti-Semitism were published. He closes with still having hopes for peace.