We Seek a Mandate from the Nation to Form a Government

An interview Begin gave to Rafael Bashan of Yediot Aharonot during the negotiations for the formation of the Likud bloc. Begin asserts that there is a strong common denominator between the various parties that are trying to form this new bloc. Contrary to rumors that Begin chose the name ‘opposition alignment’ no name had as yet been chosen for the new bloc. The time of the National Unity Government is over, and a one-party government would not function better but would be worse for democracy. The government, while not being able to carry out the program, had undertaken to give back parts of Judea and Samaria. Begin believes that the public needed to see a party staying 100% committed to its principles. He is proud of his demand in 1967 that Moshe Dayan be made the Minister of Defence because the national unity government that resulted greatly helped Israeli and IDF morale in the days leading up to the Six Day War. Begin demands settlement of all of the Land of Israel.

A Deep Moral Crisis

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.

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.

Israel’s Hope Lies in A Change of Regime

Begin criticizes the current government, and specifically Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, for its inability to deal with issues of aliyah, emigration, and unemployment. He states that “it is the mission of this State to bring our exiles together, to congregate those who were scattered.” However, due to unemployment, there has been a major decrease in aliyah and an increase in emigration.

We Believe in Israel’s Future

Begin outlines a few of the issues facing Israel during this time of crisis. Included in these issues are the assimilation of the present generation in Israel, the economic issue which has been bringing the state farther from economic independence, the contraction of towns that were once developing, unemployment, and the high rise in emigration and drop in aliyah (immigration). After enumerating these issues, Begin suggests a few ways to improve the situation. This includes proclaiming the right of the Jewish nation to Greater Israel, announcing to the world that no atomic arms should be given into German hands, providing citizens with employment and insurance in the case of unemployment, and overall, reawakening the nation with a new spirit.