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.

You Don’t Have a Majority in the Knesset for Re-Partition of Eretz Yisrael

A speech Begin gave in the Knesset shortly after the December 1973 elections. He congratulates the Speaker of the Knesset and the new MKs and wishes continued good health for reelected Prime Minister Golda Meir. He questions whether the government ever asked for a mandate to withdraw from any territory before a peace agreement is reached. The national consensus had always been no withdrawal without a peace agreement, and the government never asked for a mandate to go against that consensus. Therefore it never received such a mandate. And yet it is acting as if it has a mandate to give up territory without a peace deal. The government has already given up Judea and Samaria, either to Jordan, or worse, to Arafat. This denies Jewish history and Jewish rights. It also would put most Israelis within range of the enemy’s new weapons from the USSR.

Confusion and Whitewash

An op-ed Begin wrote for “Ma’ariv”. Shortly after the Yom Kippur War, Prime Minister Golda Meir admitted on national radio that “fatal mistakes” had been made, much to Begin’s surprise and satisfaction that she was admitting the truth. He says that the disinformation campaign has led to the government confusing itself to the point where important Ministers cannot agree on what the government already decided its policy would be with regards to peace talks with Syria in Geneva. The government keeps on falsely promising peace and warning of many wars if peace is not soon achieved while sending conflicting messages on how to achieve peace. However, the public is becoming aware of the lies of the government. The government is making a dangerous mistake in talking about the rights of the Palestinians, as they legitimize Arafat and anti-Zionist arguments. Though the government attempts to whitewash all of its lies and scandals it is unable to do so before the public catches on.

We Seek a Mandate from the Nation to Form a Government

An interview Begin gave to Rafael Bashan of Yediot Aharonot during the negotiations for the formation of the Likud bloc. Begin asserts that there is a strong common denominator between the various parties that are trying to form this new bloc. Contrary to rumors that Begin chose the name ‘opposition alignment’ no name had as yet been chosen for the new bloc. The time of the National Unity Government is over, and a one-party government would not function better but would be worse for democracy. The government, while not being able to carry out the program, had undertaken to give back parts of Judea and Samaria. Begin believes that the public needed to see a party staying 100% committed to its principles. He is proud of his demand in 1967 that Moshe Dayan be made the Minister of Defence because the national unity government that resulted greatly helped Israeli and IDF morale in the days leading up to the Six Day War. Begin demands settlement of all of the Land of Israel.

A Tower of Babel

Begin speaks about the contradictory opinions of leaders within the Labor Party regarding the land liberated in the Six-Day War. He first speaks about Moshe Dayan’s views, which are close to those of Gahal. Like Begin, Dayan believes that the liberated land should not be partitioned. Begin shifts to question how Dayan’s colleagues could consider partitioning the Homeland, which goes against the essence of Zionism. Begin then counters the argument that in 25 years, the Homeland will not have a Jewish majority. To conclude, Begin reiterates that the beliefs of the members of the “united” Labor Party are different and therefore, this party is deceiving the public.