In this economic-centered piece, Begin questions the legitimacy of the Histadrut as an institution, both economic and political. He heavily criticizes the amount of control the union exerts over its members and the economy as a whole, comparing it to the worst aspects of socialism and fascism.
Subjects: Currency Control
Begin discusses Levi Eshkol’s compulsory loan motion in “Herut.” Although Herut warned other parties that this was a bad law, the majority of the Knesset voted in its favor. Begin explains why this proposal is extremely faulty for Israel’s citizens. He argues that Mapai is lowering the standard of living and that a forced loan plan simply adds tax upon tax. Begin acknowledges that in states of emergency, a government will borrow from its citizens without permission. In Israel, though, the Government has done exactly this, except two times in a single yearone for the sake of new immigrants, and the other in hopes to discontinue the economic inflation. Begin concludes that the Government’s actions in both situations are not viable solutions.
Begin addresses the Government’s failure in preventing currency devaluation. He explains that the Government encourages its citizens to just tell themselves that “every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” Begin argues that this mantra is not productive when it comes to economic policies. Furthermore, he argues that devaluation has sped up as a result of Mapai. He shifts to speak about property owners and the faulty solutions the Government suggested. Begin emphasizes how ordinary people are in debt of 30,000-50,000IL. He also shares how Levi Eshkol, the Minister of Finance, reached out to French non-Jews in hopes of them helping prevent Israel from turning into “wandering Jews.” Begin then shifts to discuss David Ben Gurion’s delayed observation that “there are many families without the barest minimum needed for existence.” Begin concludes that while people are living below minimum, Ben Gurion is living generously and is, therefore, leading with maximum hypocrisy.
Begin starts with a metaphor to perhaps show that the consistent reign over Israel is constantly being controlled by a different person, or country. After briefly bashing David Ben-Gurion for assisting the British Mandate in preventing liberation of the Homeland, he refocuses on specific incidents where Herut argued for or against an issue, and Mapai did not listen. These examples include when Herut argued that the Government should recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and when Herut believed in Israel’s birthright. Begin shifts to talk about Ben-Gurion and Moshe Sharrett’s weak foreign policy. Since they do not stand their ground, Begin argues that “no foreign nation [or the UN] can take such Government seriously.” At the end, Begin touches upon the economy and that the Government is attempting to make its citizens dependants.
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.