Menachem Begin – Irgun Commander

All public discussion on Eretz Israel is a good thing.  We are sure of our cause. We don’t like this reprisal system; we wish it would end.  Retaliation is bad; if they would treat us as combatants it would end. Is not this movement one of the most humanitarian in all history?  It is not … Continued

By Our Present Stand We Assure Israel a Future and Peace

The interview with Begin focuses on his political perspectives and experiences. The introduction positively describes Begin and emphasizes how people think he has changed. The first question asked is about the relationship between Etzel agreeing to work with the Haganah, and Gahal agreeing to a Government of National Unity. Begin explains the differences between both situations. However, the main similarity is the purpose: Salvation of the nation. Begin then discusses his experiences while being in “Opposition.” He talks about the importance in stating that it is a historic right for Judea and Samaria to be part of Israel, however, he emphasizes that he will not initiate war. He spends time defining political terms such as “left,” “right,” “socialists,” and “progressives.” He identifies some of these groups as anti-Israeli and therefore, also anti-Semitic. The interview ends with Begin sharing his beliefs about peace. He is confident that peace will someday come.

The Magnificent Emergency

Article by Begin for Yom Haatzmaut (Israel Independence Day) 1968, recounting the events that had transpired since the previous Independence Day. On Yom Haatzmaut 1967, even as Jews were both mourning the Holocaust and celebrating the resurgence of their people Israel, Colonel Nasser of Egypt ordered his troops to go into the Northern Sinai Peninsula. Soon the combined forces of three large Arab armies from Egypt, Syria, and Jordan surrounded Israel. Israel still won and took the Suez Canal, but Nasser was still spouting the same rhetoric a year after the war. Other Arab leaders made similar declarations about their intent to destroy Israel, in Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. Israel is in a state of “magnificent emergency” where it is under threat but has great opportunities to settle and claim its land. To this end Israel needs another mass aliyah from western Jewry and to initiate economic reforms to ensure a free market and economic growth that westerners expect.

Begin outlines economicand social program

A speech Begin gave in America during the mid-1950s. The essence is democracy is that the rulers change from time to time, and by questioning that principle the government is acting totalitarian. On the political front, if Herut came to power, it would form a constitution. A constitution is necessary to set limits on what the government can do and explicitly tell the citizens their rights and responsibilities. On the social plane Begin favors a free market approach with some government intervention to help narrow the gaps. Herut would work towards the famous ‘5 Mems.’ On the economic lane, Begin focuses on the Histadrut, and how he would break up the monopoly of the Histadrut the way trusts are broken up in America in order to ensure the success of free enterprise and the flow of investment. He would not force the disbandment of any labor unions, as they are necessary to ensure that workers have a high enough standard of living to be consumers.