The Magnificent Emergency

Article by Begin for Yom Haatzmaut (Israel Independence Day) 1968, recounting the events that had transpired since the previous Independence Day. On Yom Haatzmaut 1967, even as Jews were both mourning the Holocaust and celebrating the resurgence of their people Israel, Colonel Nasser of Egypt ordered his troops to go into the Northern Sinai Peninsula. Soon the combined forces of three large Arab armies from Egypt, Syria, and Jordan surrounded Israel. Israel still won and took the Suez Canal, but Nasser was still spouting the same rhetoric a year after the war. Other Arab leaders made similar declarations about their intent to destroy Israel, in Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. Israel is in a state of “magnificent emergency” where it is under threat but has great opportunities to settle and claim its land. To this end Israel needs another mass aliyah from western Jewry and to initiate economic reforms to ensure a free market and economic growth that westerners expect.

We Hear the Cry For Bread and Work

Begin examines Israel’s economic crisis. He claims that Israel is more socialist than it has ever been, and simultaneously, there have been a wave of strikes never before experienced. He believes that the Government is responsible for this economic crisis. Begin discusses how Israel is seen as both a developing and developed country. It is seen as developing because of the U.S. providing “surplus food” aid and Germany giving Israel a loan under the framework of aid to a developing State. Furthermore, unlike in Israel, developed countries provide unemployment insurance. Israel could be seen as developed because of the milliards of dollars given to the State. Begin claims that the Government cares about its citizens only with pressure. Begin is frustrated by the Government’s patch-working actions, instead of coming up with a plan. As result of the Government’s lack of serious action, there is more emigration and less immigration; and immigration is crucial for the country’s future.

Beigin Sums Up

Begin addresses the Knesset focusing on topics important for the future of Israel. Begin first emphasizes the importance for the State to have a constitution. Begin then talks about the condition of Israel’s economy. He specifically talks about the fault of Ben-Gurion depending on Diaspora funds and private capital. Additionally, Begin mentions how the change in currency does not financially benefit Israel; it is simply following England’s lead. Then Begin discusses the issues of unemployment and standard of living. He mentions how the nation is starving, which directly affects labor productivity, which leads to lack of housing for immigrants. Begin touches upon Jews endangered in Arab countries and how Ben-Gurion is not taking any action to protect them. Lastly, Begin goes into detail about the importance of Jerusalem being undivided and the capital for Israel and provides a draft law for Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel.

Speech at Knesset 9.11.49

A speech Begin gave at the Knesset in 1949. The Government has been acting very undemocratically in preventing discussion on the writing of a constitution for the new State of Israel. The budget and the deficit of the new State are enormous, putting the economy at risk. Unfortunately there is little concrete investment in Israel and the charity of the Diaspora Jewish communities is not enough. Herut warned of the need to rescue the Jews in Arab countries from anti-Jewish violence and was ignored, and now that the government is finally responding to the problem it may be too late. The Arabs and other nations are making territorial claims against Israel, and Israel should make territorial claims in response, for all of Eretz Israel should be part of Israel by right. The government should resign in light of the above offences and mistakes. The Herut proposes a law for Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel.