After Shimon Peres addresses the Knesset as the leader of the opposition, Begin addresses the Knesset to close the debate and to receive confidence in the government from the Knesset. Begin criticizes Peres for the aggressive tone he spoke and that he will get used to not being the ruling party. He also reflects on the change within the country that led to Likud getting majority votes. Members from the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality argue with Begin about the future peace options with surrounding Arab nations. Begin then concludes the debate and the vote happens with 63 in favor and 53 against.
Subjects: Golda Meir
A television interview for ABC News. After he is elected but before he assumes office Begin already faces disagreements with the Carter Administration, with Clark and Seamans asking about those disagreements and his commitment to peace. Carter says Israel should withdraw from nearly all of the territories captured in 1967 while Begin says Judea and Samaria are integral and permanent part of Israel and there is existential danger in giving them up. Begin insists he is willing to negotiate peace with all Arab countries but not the PLO. When challenged over possibly losing American economic and military aid Begin counters that the relationship with America is mutually beneficial. Israel is keeping Communism out of the Middle East, Begin says.
In the Passover Edition of the Jewish Herald and only a few months before elections, Begin criticizes the Labor Alignment. Begin first shares Jabotinksy’s article regarding the murder of Haim Arlozoroff and the Jewish value of one cannot be called guilty until the verdict has been given. However, 23 years later, the late Avraham Stavsky still did not receive a fair trial. This leads Begin to argue that the Government who denied Stavsky a trial has been in power for 44 years. He shares Labor Alignment slogans over the years, such as: “To retain power everything is permitted,” “The Party,” and “there is no alternative.” Begin responds saying that there is a clear alternative, Likud. He speaks about the seats his party has gained over the years and that today Likud only needs six more mandates to be called upon to form the new Government. He concludes that it is crucial to remove the ruling party because there is no party who holds permanent ownership of the country.
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.
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