Begin speaks to Herut, Hatzohar, and Betar about the history and the future of their Movement. He starts by thanking the members for their strong commitment throughout the years. He reflects on Etzel’s dedication to fighting for the Jewish homeland and Etzel’s patience which prevented a civil war. He shifts and acknowledges the challenges and discrimination the Movement’s members have faced while being in the Opposition. Begin mentions that since the Movement has been in office, it has strengthened the morale of the people. He acknowledges that some members of the Movement are disappointed that they are not part of the new Government. Begin reminds them that the Movement’s guiding principles are justice and righteousness. Additionally, being part of the Movement means to serve the people instead of ourselves. He concludes by sharing his hopes for the upcoming year.
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.
A reprinting of a chapter from Begin’s book, THE REVOLT, which appeared as part of a series of reprints of Begin’s book in the New York Post. Begin describes the events surrounding the battle of Dir Yassin, which was called a massacre in the international media and by the Labor Zionists. Dir Yassin was a strategically important village from which attacks against aid convoys to Jerusalem were launched. The Etzel and the Lehi launched a joint operation to capture the village and provide relief to Jewish forces in Jerusalem. The Etzel warned the civilians to leave before the fighting, giving up the element of surprise. The fighting in Dir Yassin was intense, leading to many casualties on both sides. Arab forces hoping to gain a propaganda victory spread rumors about a wanton massacre at Dir Yassin, and Labor elements, hoping to discredit the Etzel as political opponents, also helped spread the rumor. The unintended result was the fleeing or surrendering of Arabs throughout the country, making the overall war effort much easier for Jewish forces.
A reprinting of a chapter from Begin’s book, THE REVOLT, which appeared as part of a series of reprints of Begin’s book in the New York Post. Begin describes how the King David Hotel was the fortified center of British power in Mandatory Palestine and how striking it would prove to them that it was indeed possible to fight against the powerful British Empire. The Haganah approved the attack on the hotel. The Etzel did not want to cause any cause any casualties in the attack, especially civilian casualties. To that end they set off a warning fire cracker and called several locations, including the hotel, giving warnings about the bombs and instructions to evacuate. Though plenty of time to evacuate was given, the British forces refused to evacuate and many people, including civilians, were killed. Begin and the Irgun were distraught at the needless death and struggled to understand why the British refused to save their own lives or the lives of the civilians by evacuating.
A reprinting of a chapter from Begin’s book, THE REVOLT, which appeared as part of a series of reprints of Begin’s book in the New York Post. Begin describes the two most pressing issues facing the Jews during WW2: the Nazi Holocaust and the British closure of Palestine Jews fleeing the Holocaust. This closure made the revolt inevitable. The Etzel had no desire for any conflict with the Arabs of Palestine and warned them to not interfere with the fight against the British. Some Arabs even helped the Irgun in the revolt. It was only after the UN decided to partition Palestine that the Arabs rose up against the Jews. The British thought they were ‘omnipotent’ and therefore a revolt which they could not suppress would be a terrible blow to their prestige, and indeed the Etzel’s revolt was such a blow. The Etzel did not want to use violence, but the British regime left it no choice. It was the Etzel’s commitment to morality that led it to triumph over the superior British forces.