Our Plan for Peace

Begin focuses on actions of Israel’s Arab neighbors to show that they do not want lasting peace with Israel. He starts by expressing that both United States and Israel want to increase the momentum towards the peace-making process. Then he shifts to a problem. He talks about how the PLO’s charter includes Hiterlized philosophy. He quotes an article from the Palestinian National Convention. Begin understands that it says that Arabs can return to Palestine and there is not room for Jews. Additionally, the PLO denies the biblical relationship Jews have to the land. He talks about PLO’s terrorism and ultimately says that although Israel does and won’t give up on peace, it cannot have productive talks with an organization whose philosophy is “based on an Arabic ‘Mein Kampf.'” Begin shifts to talk about Israel’s participation in the Geneva Peace Conference. He concludes with mentioning what Israel will do if the PLO is allowed to participate in the Geneva Conference.

Speech at Knesset in honor of the USA Bicentennial

A speech Begin gave at the Knesset to commemorate the USA’s 200th anniversary. The American Revolution was a turning point in world history. Those who fight for freedom and justice do not believe in force, but they are still able to overcome the many and the strong through their moral values. Two hundred years later America is the most powerful nation and the primary force for freedom in the world. Begin asks that the US Ambassador to Israel move to Jerusalem permanently, and that America recognize and treat Israel as an ally like Israel recognizes and treats America. Israel knows all America has done to protect freedom around the world and throughout history, especially in World War Two. Begin also expresses admiration of the American Jewish community, the most powerful Diaspora Jewish community in nearly 2,000 years. Begin hopes that America will continue to protect the free world in the years to come.

The Answer to Arafat

Begin expresses his concern with the Government and other countries finding it necessary to grant Palestinians national self-determination. He believes that the Palestinian identity is successful propaganda and he equates it to Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia during World War II. Believing that the Sudeten Germans needed a right to national self-determination destroyed Czechoslovakia and gravely affected its neighboring nations. With this in mind, he talks about how the Government is making a mistake by reacting to the propaganda. These reactions include finding it crucial to accept UN Resolution 242, signing an interim agreement, and wanting the Geneva conference to reconvene. By such actions, Begin sees that Israel is losing its credibility, which could lead to collapse. In his conclusion he argues that if the PLO is successful, it will not only destroy Israel, it will harm the free world because there will be a “multidirectional Soviet base in the Middle East.”

The Alternative to Surrender

Begin disagrees with the Israeli Government’s policy for moving the Sinai Peninsula frontline eastwards. He is frustrated with the U.S. pressuring Israel to believe that Anwar Sadat wants coexistence with Israel. Egypt only wants to have interim agreements with Israel and if Israel rejects the interim agreements, Egypt threatens to go to war with Israel. Even with this knowledge, the Government agrees to hand over “sources of fuel and the defensive Sinai passes.” Begin then shifts to talking about the U.S. involvement, specifically talking about Henry Kissinger. Begin believes that relations between Israel and the U.S. should not be based on U.S. ensuring the existence of Israel. Instead, the relationship should be based on true, mutual interests. In his conclusion, he says that the Israeli Government’s action has “shattered their credibility” and is inviting more pressure and threats from Egypt and the U.S.

Gideon Lev-Ari interviews Menahem Begin

An interview Begin gave to Israeli reporter Gideon Lev-Ari during the American “reassessment” of 1975. Begin notes the change in the Arab world’s stated demands from the total destruction of Israel to a withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, but says that the Arab goal of destroying Israel has not changed, only the rhetoric. Begin says there must be a full end to hostilities, followed by direct peace negotiations. Then Israel must give the ‘Arabs of Eretz Israel’ (Begin’s term for the Arabs known as Palestinians living in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria) full cultural autonomy and the option of Israeli citizenship but not national autonomy. The Israel-US relationship will continue to survive disagreements between the two countries. Israel must learn from the Munich agreement not to give in when it is threatened by its enemies and pressured to give in by its friends. In the end, peace will come