On this great anniversary, we bow our heads in humility and love as we remember our fallen heroes of the Haganah, Palmach, Irgun, Lechi, Mahal and the soldiers of the Israel Defence Forces. It is their self-sacrifice which brought us out from bondage and regained for us the dignity of independence. They will be engraved … Continued
Begin writes a message to celebrate Israel’s 30th anniversary of independence. He first mentions the hardships Jews faced during their nearly 2,000 years of exile. He specifically references to the Holocaust and the sacrifices Jews made for Israel’s existence. Then he speaks about Israel’s historythe wars, the cultivation of land, the ingathering of Jewish exiles, and the unification of Jerusalem. He talks about how Israel still has not experienced a day of peace, and that the peace efforts with neighboring countries will continue. Begin then shifts and mentions the Jews from Europe and Soviet Union who returned to Judaism. Furthermore, he believes that the continuity of the campaign for their right to return to the Jewish homeland. Begin then gives thanks to Israel’s fallen heroes. He lastly states that people from every nation shall rejoice for “Israel’s rebirth is, indeed, a victory of humanity.”
Begin speaks to Herut, Hatzohar, and Betar about the history and the future of their Movement. He starts by thanking the members for their strong commitment throughout the years. He reflects on Etzel’s dedication to fighting for the Jewish homeland and Etzel’s patience which prevented a civil war. He shifts and acknowledges the challenges and discrimination the Movement’s members have faced while being in the Opposition. Begin mentions that since the Movement has been in office, it has strengthened the morale of the people. He acknowledges that some members of the Movement are disappointed that they are not part of the new Government. Begin reminds them that the Movement’s guiding principles are justice and righteousness. Additionally, being part of the Movement means to serve the people instead of ourselves. He concludes by sharing his hopes for the upcoming year.
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 events surrounding the battle of Dir Yassin, which was called a massacre in the international media and by the Labor Zionists. Dir Yassin was a strategically important village from which attacks against aid convoys to Jerusalem were launched. The Etzel and the Lehi launched a joint operation to capture the village and provide relief to Jewish forces in Jerusalem. The Etzel warned the civilians to leave before the fighting, giving up the element of surprise. The fighting in Dir Yassin was intense, leading to many casualties on both sides. Arab forces hoping to gain a propaganda victory spread rumors about a wanton massacre at Dir Yassin, and Labor elements, hoping to discredit the Etzel as political opponents, also helped spread the rumor. The unintended result was the fleeing or surrendering of Arabs throughout the country, making the overall war effort much easier for Jewish forces.
Begin strongly opposes the UN resolution 741 which recognizes the right of Palestinian people to “achieve their rights by all means.” In response, Begin writes, “Has the world so soon forgotten that Hitler and Stalin also asserted their right to achieve their justified aims by all means?” He is particularly perturbed by the phrase “by all means,” and makes the point that all means includes murdering school children as happened in Kiryat Shemona and Ma’alot. Begin reminds enemies that the fighting Jew “arose during a time when the enemy used all means.” If the Arabs use “all means,” there will not be a state of Israel, he argues. The article also includes an excerpt that Begin wrote for “The Revolt” that Time magazine quoted out of context.