Speech at Knesset in honor of the USA Bicentennial

A speech Begin gave at the Knesset to commemorate the USA’s 200th anniversary. The American Revolution was a turning point in world history. Those who fight for freedom and justice do not believe in force, but they are still able to overcome the many and the strong through their moral values. Two hundred years later America is the most powerful nation and the primary force for freedom in the world. Begin asks that the US Ambassador to Israel move to Jerusalem permanently, and that America recognize and treat Israel as an ally like Israel recognizes and treats America. Israel knows all America has done to protect freedom around the world and throughout history, especially in World War Two. Begin also expresses admiration of the American Jewish community, the most powerful Diaspora Jewish community in nearly 2,000 years. Begin hopes that America will continue to protect the free world in the years to come.

In Courage Lies Our Salvation

Begin criticizes the Government for acting out of fear, which Begin argues will lead to disaster. Begin then shares that Yitzchak Rabin acted irresponsibly when he announced that Sadat had transferred a third of his army to the reserves. Because of that statement, other countries will be interested in selling arms to Egypt. Begin explains that Sadat transferred soldiers to reserves not because his hopes for peace in the near future, but because of Egypt’s current economic crisis. Sadat is in fear of being overthrown. Begin shifts to talk about the poor relationship between Rabin and Ford. Regarding this land, the Government stated that Jerusalem was liberated and Judea and Samaria were conquered. Begin argues that there should not be a difference between Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria: All was liberated. He concludes with for the sake of Israel’s existence, the Government needs to be courageous and strong.

Israel’s Right to National Security

Begin does not focus on Israel’s right to exist, but rather Israelis’ existence as a right. He believes that Israel’s existence is a right and it is Israel’s responsibility for its existence. For example, during the Six-Day War, Israel wanted assistance from U.S., but did not want the U.S. to be responsible for the existence of Israel. Begin shifts to talk about the common threat of communism and how this provides partnership opportunities for Israel with other countries. Towards the end he talks about the danger of using the term “Palestinians.” Therefore, for Israel’s safety, the term “Israeli Arabs” should be used. He closes with saying a ceasefire and direct negotiations for peace treaties will allow Jews and Arabs to live freely together in Israel.

The Great Change in U.S. Jewry

Begin shares the address he made to the National Press Club during his visit to the United States. He first discusses World War II and how no nation attempted to save European Jews. This leads him to justify why Israel takes seriously every threat made towards Israel. A recent threat Begin mentions was when Israel wasn’t on a map the London Times published. Begin explains that currently Israel’s neighbors will find any excuse to attack, just like what happened in the Yom Kippur War. Begin shifts to explain five actions that could lead to real peace. To explain his distrust towards “international guarantees,” he speaks of what happened in Vietnam after an international guarantee was made. Begin speaks about American Jewry, specifically the youth. Lastly, Begin shares his observation that there is a great change amongst American Jews: In addition to financially supporting Israel, they now feel it’s their duty to take political action.

Choice in Policy, No Fatalism

An op-ed Begin wrote from the Jerusalem Post. He says that Israel must stand fast in demanding a full peace treaty and not withdrawal from any territory without a peace treaty. Israel is becoming isolated internationally and the PLO, despite having goals similar to the Nazis and carrying out murderous attacks on civilian targets, is gaining international recognition. The government is weak and not standing up for Israel’s rights. The Likud is in favor of a national unity government but the Alignment has sabotaged their efforts to form one by demanding that the Likud give up its principles first. He calls on mobilizing the American Jewish community and the pro-Israel community to lobby on behalf of Israel in America. There is a demographic problem, but if Jews come in large enough numbers from the Soviet Union it will cease to be an issue. Israel also must do more to save the Jews under threat in Syria. If Israel sticks up for its rights it will come through the current challenges.