An interview Menachem Begin gave to the Herald Tribune in March 1947 and reprinted later for relevance to the formation of a provisional government in Israel. The IZL is prepared for a long and difficult struggle with the British. Though the IZL wants to end the policy of reprisals, it will continue the policy until its members are treated as combatants, even if it means hanging British soldiers if its own members are hanged. The IZL has had contact with Arabs in Palestine, though it has been limited. The IZL has plans to carry out attacks outside of Palestine. They do not favor but will not oppose the discussion of Palestine at the UN. The Soviet Union is against the idea of Jewish immigration to Israel from other countries but has a point in that some Jews seem to favor elements of British imperialism. The IZL is not Fascist because it is fighting for survival, is against totalitarianism, and is in favor of democracy and individual freedoms.
Subjects: Gallows Martyrs
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 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.
Menachem Begin addresses an audience at a memorial evening to Abraham Stern and to all the heroes of Lechi. He praises the great heroism instilled in these “rebels.” He mentions Abraham Stern, David Raziel, Meir Feinstein, and Moshe Barazani.
On the 20th anniversary of the Irgun’s declaration of war against the British in Palestine, Begin spoke at a celebration in Tel Aviv. In the speech, Begin recounts the difficulty of the struggle for liberation, compares the Irgun to other national liberation movements, and notes that their struggle was merely the continuation of the Bar Kochba revolt.