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.
Subjects: Israel-Germany Relationship
Begin discusses the issue of the sale of the s.s. Shalom, a ship which has become a burdensome deficit, to a German company. He states that national honor is far more important than material possession but since many citizens lack this value, it is causing many to emigrate. He stresses that education about attachment to the Motherland may help the situation
An op-ed in the Jewish chronicle by Begin about the purpose of and need for an opposition in a democracy. So-called ‘one-party democracies’ are just autocracies called by a nicer name in the west for political expediency. Herut has had to do more than just oppose the government because of the unique threats and challenges Israel faces. Herut took the lead in several important policy initiatives, such as Israel’s alliance with France, the issue of Arab refugees from the War of Independence, and the issue of German scientists helping the Egyptians produce powerful and destructive weapons. It is also important for Herut to constantly seek to replace the government because otherwise it would allow Israel to become a “one-party democracy.” It is imperative that another party eventually win control of the government to allow democracy to work as it is supposed to.
Begin outlines a few of the issues facing Israel during this time of crisis. Included in these issues are the assimilation of the present generation in Israel, the economic issue which has been bringing the state farther from economic independence, the contraction of towns that were once developing, unemployment, and the high rise in emigration and drop in aliyah (immigration). After enumerating these issues, Begin suggests a few ways to improve the situation. This includes proclaiming the right of the Jewish nation to Greater Israel, announcing to the world that no atomic arms should be given into German hands, providing citizens with employment and insurance in the case of unemployment, and overall, reawakening the nation with a new spirit.
Begin examines Israels economic crisis. He claims that Israel is more socialist than it has ever been, and simultaneously, there have been a wave of strikes never before experienced. He believes that the Government is responsible for this economic crisis. Begin discusses how Israel is seen as both a developing and developed country. It is seen as developing because of the U.S. providing “surplus food” aid and Germany giving Israel a loan under the framework of aid to a developing State. Furthermore, unlike in Israel, developed countries provide unemployment insurance. Israel could be seen as developed because of the milliards of dollars given to the State. Begin claims that the Government cares about its citizens only with pressure. Begin is frustrated by the Government’s patch-working actions, instead of coming up with a plan. As result of the Government’s lack of serious action, there is more emigration and less immigration; and immigration is crucial for the country’s future.