You Don’t Have a Majority in the Knesset for Re-Partition of Eretz Yisrael

A speech Begin gave in the Knesset shortly after the December 1973 elections. He congratulates the Speaker of the Knesset and the new MKs and wishes continued good health for reelected Prime Minister Golda Meir. He questions whether the government ever asked for a mandate to withdraw from any territory before a peace agreement is reached. The national consensus had always been no withdrawal without a peace agreement, and the government never asked for a mandate to go against that consensus. Therefore it never received such a mandate. And yet it is acting as if it has a mandate to give up territory without a peace deal. The government has already given up Judea and Samaria, either to Jordan, or worse, to Arafat. This denies Jewish history and Jewish rights. It also would put most Israelis within range of the enemy’s new weapons from the USSR.

Confusion and Whitewash

An op-ed Begin wrote for “Ma’ariv”. Shortly after the Yom Kippur War, Prime Minister Golda Meir admitted on national radio that “fatal mistakes” had been made, much to Begin’s surprise and satisfaction that she was admitting the truth. He says that the disinformation campaign has led to the government confusing itself to the point where important Ministers cannot agree on what the government already decided its policy would be with regards to peace talks with Syria in Geneva. The government keeps on falsely promising peace and warning of many wars if peace is not soon achieved while sending conflicting messages on how to achieve peace. However, the public is becoming aware of the lies of the government. The government is making a dangerous mistake in talking about the rights of the Palestinians, as they legitimize Arafat and anti-Zionist arguments. Though the government attempts to whitewash all of its lies and scandals it is unable to do so before the public catches on.

We Seek a Mandate from the Nation to Form a Government

An interview Begin gave to Rafael Bashan of Yediot Aharonot during the negotiations for the formation of the Likud bloc. Begin asserts that there is a strong common denominator between the various parties that are trying to form this new bloc. Contrary to rumors that Begin chose the name ‘opposition alignment’ no name had as yet been chosen for the new bloc. The time of the National Unity Government is over, and a one-party government would not function better but would be worse for democracy. The government, while not being able to carry out the program, had undertaken to give back parts of Judea and Samaria. Begin believes that the public needed to see a party staying 100% committed to its principles. He is proud of his demand in 1967 that Moshe Dayan be made the Minister of Defence because the national unity government that resulted greatly helped Israeli and IDF morale in the days leading up to the Six Day War. Begin demands settlement of all of the Land of Israel.

Race to Give Up

Begin speaks about members of the Knesset fighting for who can give up more of the Homeland than other members. He shares viewpoints from various leaders including: Allon, Eban, Hussein, Ismail, and Ben Aharon. One viewpoint focuses on handing over part of Jerusalem to Jordanian supervision. Another one discusses closing Jewish settlement to certain areas. A third viewpoint argues to retreat to the 1967 lines. These viewpoints, Begin argues, will not lead to peace, only to Israel’s destruction. Lastly, Begin speaks about Gahal’s viewpoint and concludes that citizens of Israel will be able to vote in eight months to change the current, destructive course of Israel’s future.

The Jarring Mission

Begin describes the recent struggles within the Government. He first discusses the U.S. -Israel relationship and how it needs constant clarification. However, positive change in the relationship happened. Begin describes the decisions made in 1970 regarding Dr. Gunnar Jarring’s peace efforts based on the Rogers Initiative. Ultimately, the U.S. agreed with Israel’s views, including William Rogers. Begin then shares that in Rabin’s most recent trip to Israel, he did not visit his superior, Foreign Minister Abba Eban. A reason for this could be because documents Rabin marked as “Top Secret” were handed over for publication. Begin contemplates who could have leaked the documents and believes it is a national scandal with serious international repercussions. Begin then goes into more detail how it is problematic that Ministers publically share their voting decisions. Begin fears that “administration which acts in this matter is endangering the foundations of Israel’s statehood.”