Menahem Begin – Likud Party Winner, Israeli Elections

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.

Surrender Will Not Bring Peace

Begin explains why there is a struggle for peace between Israel and its Arab neighboring countries. There is an argument that Israel is preventing peace because Israel insists to retain land gained from the Six-Day War. He then shares Mapam’s plan for peace, which includes the Gaza Strip. Regarding the Golan Heights, they will negotiate some land, but will not give it all up. Additionally, Israel must link Sharm-el-Sheikh to Eilat. Lastly, Jerusalem will be the capital for one country, Israel. Begin then explains how Egypt, Syria, and Jordan all refuse Mapam’s plan. Begin shifts to Yigal Allon’s plan for peace, specifically focusing on Judea and Samaria. He believes in annexing some of the land and linking Jordan with parts of the West Bank. Begin says though, that Hussein does not find this plan acceptable. Begin then shifts to the crux of his argument: Arabs will not accept a peace treaty that will ensure Israel’s security.

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.”

A Year of Pain Ended, a Year of Problems Begun

Article by Begin shortly before Rosh Hashana 1974, recounting the events and mistakes that led to the Yom Kippur War. The non-mobilization of the reserves by the government during the 10 days of repentance in 1973 would go down in history as “The Blunder” because of just how devastating and fatal that non-action turned out to be. Jews need to learn that government ministers are not all wise. They can make stupid mistakes as well, even with access to information ordinary citizens do not have. He brings examples from Britain and the USSR’s responses to Nazi Germany and from Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal. The government is heading towards another colossal blunder by abandoning the principles of demanding a peace treaty with direct negotiations and not withdrawing from any territories without said peace treaty. The result will be that Israel will lose territory and not gain any peace.

We Can Stand and Must Stand Firm

Begin speaks about the difficult peace process with Egypt and the U.S.’s involvement. Begin first reminds the readers that after the Six-Day War, Israel insisted on direct negotiations with its neighbors for peace treaties. Without peace treaties, Israel is not willing to retreat. Then Begin explains that Yitzchak Rabin continuously makes concessions to Egypt without a peace treaty. Begin further explains that the U.S. is encouraging Israel to do as Egypt says. Begin explains that more concessions threaten Israel’s security because Egypt would disregard any promises made to the U.S. in order to support Syria in a war against Israel. To describe the situation Israel is in, Begin says, “We are required to surrender to our enemies—at the request of our friends.” He explains how the Israel-U.S. relationship is not merely the U.S. giving charity to Israel. He concludes that Israel must not surrender.