T.V. Interview with Mr. Eban, Mr. Begin, etc.

A television interview Begin gave in 1969 about then-current events. When asked about the Arabs’ claims of being in Palestine for 2000 years he counters with the Arabs coming from Arabia and Mohamed only being born 1400 years ago. He also recounts the Jews’ various expulsions and returns to Israel. He insists that Judea and Samaria are nor ‘occupied’ but ‘liberated.’ He talks about how the non-Jews won’t listen because the Jews supposedly killed Jesus even though it was the Romans who did it and their hatred defies logic. He lashes out at De Gaulle for being an untrustworthy ally. He insists that Iraqi Jews cannot be spies.

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.

Loyal Opposition – Positive Role in Israeli Politics

An op-ed in the Jewish chronicle by Begin about the purpose of and need for an opposition in a democracy. So-called ‘one-party democracies’ are just autocracies called by a nicer name in the west for political expediency. Herut has had to do more than just oppose the government because of the unique threats and challenges Israel faces. Herut took the lead in several important policy initiatives, such as Israel’s alliance with France, the issue of Arab refugees from the War of Independence, and the issue of German scientists helping the Egyptians produce powerful and destructive weapons. It is also important for Herut to constantly seek to replace the government because otherwise it would allow Israel to become a “one-party democracy.” It is imperative that another party eventually win control of the government to allow democracy to work as it is supposed to.

Huge Aid to the Arabs is not Satisfactory

Begin expresses serious concern about the safety of Israel because of the relationships between Arab nations and other countries. He compares Abba Eban to Moshe Sharett because both met with United States’ president. At first, both believed that the U.S. could have a positive influence for the advancement of peace in the region. Begin mentions that Sharett understood that his words did not benefit Israel, but rather put Israel’s safety at risk. Begin argues that Abba Eban and the current Government still does not understand the grave danger Israel faces as a result of France, the United States, and other nations providing weapons to Arab nations. Once the Arab nations are ready to destroy Israel, the Israeli Defense Forces will need to divide into three to protect its borders. However, Begin is confident that even with the odds against Israel, the Arab nations will not succeed in destroying Israel.

The German Threat to Israel

Begin addresses the Knesset focusing on the different threats Israel is facing. He also expresses frustration towards Levi Eshkol for downplaying these threats while he was in the United States as a guest of the President. For example, regarding the Russia-Egypt relationship, Eshkol referred to Nikita Khrushchev’s statements as somewhat moderate, while Begin argues that they are extremely anti-Semitic. Begin touches upon what was said at the African summit conference and shifts to focus on Germany. Begin argues that Eshkol did not cease the opportunity to encourage world opinion to use its influence to put an end to German scientists assisting in Egypt. Begin affirms that regardless of the intention of Israel’s enemies, Israel will not be destroyed. Begin’s concern is that a war will lead to spilt Jewish blood. Begin concludes with speaking positively about the Israel-France relationship, and believes that France should not just be a friend of Israel, but also an ally.