In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Begin emphasized the need of an opposition in a democracy, and described the voting process to condemn the PLO’s invitation to the Geneva conference. Later, he discussed how the Holocaust shaped his national security view and how it affected mankind, and addressed his failure to reject the Reparations Agreement. He then responded to the claims that he was an ex-terrorist, stating that the fight for liberation and the underground’s military operations are not similar to the PLO’s acts of terrorism. Finally, he discussed the relationship between Israel and the Soviet Union over the years, as well as Herzl’s aim of ending anti-Semitism.
Subjects: Dov Gruner
Begin speaks at the unveiling of Dov Gruner’s memorial in Ramat Gan. He reflects on Etzel’s purpose and the determined Etzel soldiers. He then reminds the audience that Etzel soldiers were not the first dissidents in Jewish history. Begin also explains that a key difference between Israel and other nations is that unlike other nations in war, Israel did not have any allies. This meant that Israel’s only weapons were weapons conquered from its enemy. Begin shifts to speak of the battle in which Gruner was captured and then shares the powerful words spoken to British judges by Gruner, Avshalom Habib, and Ya’acov Weiss. With Gruner’s and other soldiers’ dedication, Begin proudly announced that the nearby British fortress is guarded by Hebrew policemen. Begin then speaks about the significance of the memorial for Gruner being the Lion Cub of Judah. He concludes stating that the spirit of freedom and faith in justice will continue to exist in the Jewish nation forever.
In honor of Israel’s sixth year of independence, Begin speaks on Etzel’s secret radio. He first shares that the revolt in 1944-1948 was blessed, and it was the first Hebrew revolt since the Hasmonean revolt that ended in victory. In order to keep independence, Israel needs a total victory against its surrounding enemies. In addition to being victorious in the battlefield, Begin explains wise foreign policy and mass aliyah are necessary for maintaining independence. He shifts to speak about the necessity for justice to be the supreme ruler. He reminds the listeners that Etzel is not underground in the liberated parts of the Homeland. He also reminds them that there is still work to be done because the entire Homeland is not yet liberated. Before closing, he shares that the country is still in the midst of battles and that peace cannot be bought. In conclusion he shares that in upcoming battles, “the spirit of those who revived our nation” will accompany the Jewish nation.
Begin addresses an audience of Cape Town Jews during his South African tour. He first speaks about his hope that Herut would do better than the current Government if it was in power. In regards to the economy, he speaks about the importance of free enterprise and preventing monopolies. He electrifies the crowd when speaking of Shalom Ash’s regret of previously opposing Jabotinsky’s plan for Jewish emigration from Europe. He quotes from the famous Al Chayet prayer, which is said during Yom Kippur. Begin also expresses his strong disagreement in having relations with Germany. Begin speaks about the lack of peace with Arabs and concludes that it is time for Israel “to change the driver.”
Begin speaks to a South African crowd and first pays tribute to the men who died and are ready to die for the Jewish people. He speaks of Ze’ev Jabotinsky having a minority opinion when he argued for State evacuation. Begin explains that he is not a politician because politicians cannot teach patriotism. Additionally, quoting Churchill, Begin says he would rather be irresponsible and right, than responsible and wrong. Begin speaks what Herut would like to see happen in Israel and specifically references the importance of having a constitution. He speaks of Germany and the dangers if Germany gets back their weaponry. He also discusses of the lack of peace happening between Arab countries and Israel, and that Israel is prepared for war. Begin expresses his frustration about the Government not doing enough to absorb more Jews from North Africa. He closes by reminding the crowd that despite the pessimism regarding the dream of redeeming the Homeland, the dream has come true.