The King David Bombing

A reprinting of a chapter from Begin’s book, THE REVOLT, which appeared as part of a series of reprints of Begin’s book in the New York Post. Begin describes how the King David Hotel was the fortified center of British power in Mandatory Palestine and how striking it would prove to them that it was indeed possible to fight against the powerful British Empire. The Haganah approved the attack on the hotel. The Etzel did not want to cause any cause any casualties in the attack, especially civilian casualties. To that end they set off a warning fire cracker and called several locations, including the hotel, giving warnings about the bombs and instructions to evacuate. Though plenty of time to evacuate was given, the British forces refused to evacuate and many people, including civilians, were killed. Begin and the Irgun were distraught at the needless death and struggled to understand why the British refused to save their own lives or the lives of the civilians by evacuating.

The Underground Arises to Overthrow the British

A reprinting of a chapter from Begin’s book, THE REVOLT, which appeared as part of a series of reprints of Begin’s book in the New York Post. Begin describes the two most pressing issues facing the Jews during WW2: the Nazi Holocaust and the British closure of Palestine Jews fleeing the Holocaust. This closure made the revolt inevitable. The Etzel had no desire for any conflict with the Arabs of Palestine and warned them to not interfere with the fight against the British. Some Arabs even helped the Irgun in the revolt. It was only after the UN decided to partition Palestine that the Arabs rose up against the Jews. The British thought they were ‘omnipotent’ and therefore a revolt which they could not suppress would be a terrible blow to their prestige, and indeed the Etzel’s revolt was such a blow. The Etzel did not want to use violence, but the British regime left it no choice. It was the Etzel’s commitment to morality that led it to triumph over the superior British forces.

Of palestinism and pragmatism

An article by Begin about the dangers posed to Israel by ‘Palestinianism,’ the belief that there should be a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. First begin takes apart the idea of giving the land to King Hussein of Jordan, as King Hussein refuses to even mediate on the matter and instead has given all negotiating authority to the PLO. He also insists on a complete withdrawal to the pre-Six Day War lines and references the borders of the 1947 partition resolution, implying that he will want a further withdrawal to those borders at a later date. Some say that they can accept a Palestinian state as long as Arafat is not in power, and Begin points out how there is no way to keep Arafat from assuming power in a sovereign Palestinian state that would almost certainly invite him to lead, putting Israel and its citizens in mortal danger. Because there is no way to stop Arafat from taking over a Palestinian state there is nothing pragmatic about wanting to create such a state.

Gideon Lev-Ari interviews Menahem Begin

An interview Begin gave to Israeli reporter Gideon Lev-Ari during the American “reassessment” of 1975. Begin notes the change in the Arab world’s stated demands from the total destruction of Israel to a withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, but says that the Arab goal of destroying Israel has not changed, only the rhetoric. Begin says there must be a full end to hostilities, followed by direct peace negotiations. Then Israel must give the ‘Arabs of Eretz Israel’ (Begin’s term for the Arabs known as Palestinians living in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria) full cultural autonomy and the option of Israeli citizenship but not national autonomy. The Israel-US relationship will continue to survive disagreements between the two countries. Israel must learn from the Munich agreement not to give in when it is threatened by its enemies and pressured to give in by its friends. In the end, peace will come

A Year of Pain Ended, a Year of Problems Begun

Article by Begin shortly before Rosh Hashana 1974, recounting the events and mistakes that led to the Yom Kippur War. The non-mobilization of the reserves by the government during the 10 days of repentance in 1973 would go down in history as “The Blunder” because of just how devastating and fatal that non-action turned out to be. Jews need to learn that government ministers are not all wise. They can make stupid mistakes as well, even with access to information ordinary citizens do not have. He brings examples from Britain and the USSR’s responses to Nazi Germany and from Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal. The government is heading towards another colossal blunder by abandoning the principles of demanding a peace treaty with direct negotiations and not withdrawing from any territories without said peace treaty. The result will be that Israel will lose territory and not gain any peace.