A message from Begin to his Likud base after the 1973 elections, where there Likud gained a lot of ground on Labor. A fundamental shift in Israeli politics is taking place, and Likud is emerging as a true viable alternative to the Labor establishment. . In the settlements and the Arab sector the Likud is making some gains, but in the cities, which are what truly matters in elections, the Likud is making huge gains. And in the army the Likud received more votes than any other party despite an intimidation campaign waged to keep soldiers from voting for Likud. The government also lost ground to Likud despite its lies about being close to a peace deal that would allow Israel to keep the land it captured in 1967. Likud’s support comes from the “believers and the poor.” Likud’s appeal comes from its commitment to the land of Eretz Israel, its commitment to security, and to dissatisfaction with Labor.
Subjects: Government-Army Relationship
A speech Begin gave at the Knesset after the Yom Kippur War. The Chief of Staff had said that if the reserves had been called up 24 or 48 hours earlier the war would have taken a less costly course in its early stages. The brave IDF soldiers did their best and were in the end victorious, but the government should never have put them in such an impossible situation. Begin demands that Prime Minister Golda Meir and her cabinet resign. Resigning would show the powers that convene the Geneva Conference that Israel does not have a government with the authority to make concessions until after new elections are held, and then the conference can be pushed back until January. The Government has also been irresponsible in accepting an agreement with Secretary of State Kissinger and President Sadat for the release of Israeli POWs in exchange for easing the siege on the Egyptian Third Army. Despite the failures of the government, the IDF is the best army in the world and is full of heroes.
Begin speaks to the new Knesset focusing on his disappointments and lack of confidence in the new Government. Throughout the speech, he repeats that within the Government “‘yes’ is not ‘yes’; ‘no’ is not ‘no.'” He first discusses members’ actions in finding a loophole around the law the fifth Knesset adopted. He also discusses the actions of the new Minister of Labour, who demands Sabbath Law. This Minister demands the Ashdod Port to be closed on Shabbat, but because this could damage the national economy, he will determine if the port needs to operate on Shabbat. Ultimately, he argues that national action needs to happen and shares the actions Herut wants to take.