Issues and Answers – Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters interviews Prime Minister Begin on “ABC” about the progress of the peace process with Egypt, the meaning of Palestinian Arab autonomy, reactions to the Iranian hostage crisis and the Olympic Games in Moscow. He closes with how he wishes to be remembered.

The Correctness of Our Way

Begin defends himself and Herut against the negative claims that he rules Herut and that Herut would rather stay in the Opposition, and not attain the Government. He speaks of his own moral influence and his belief that “ruling” means being of service to citizens. He explains that Herut and the Liberal Party formed the coalition Gahal, and if they are given the authority, Gahal will propose an inclusive Government. Begin shares that at each Herut Movement convention, there are new faces and new members, some being former members of the Labor Party. Then he speaks about the difficulty Herut experienced while compromising with the Liberal Party for the sake of the creation of Gahal. Begin shifts to discuss Herut’s consistent stand against partition of the Homeland, unlike other parties. He also speaks about the importance of narrowing the socio-economic gap. He concludes emphasizing that Herut has not changed its views, because the views have always been morally correct.

Mr. Ben Gurion…and a Matter of ‘Fraud and Deception’

Begin writes about David Ben Gurion’s attempt to change the electoral system to strengthen Mapai. He explains that Ben Gurion hopes to change the electoral system from proportional representation to the constituency system. Begin speaks about both of these systems and acknowledges that there has yet been an election system that has the perfect combination of justice and utility. He speaks about the democratic electoral systems in both England and the United States. Begin shifts to criticize Ben Gurion’s desire to create a two-party government. He speaks about Ben Gurion being a Marxist. Begin concludes saying that for Israel’s future, Mapai’s regime needs to be weakened.

What Would Herut Do

While in South Africa, Begin addresses the South African Revisionist Party’s Executive Council and speaks about what Herut would do if it was the leading party in the Government. This address was printed over the course of three newspaper editions, each focusing on a specific topic. In the first article, Begin explains the country’s internal struggles, and then shares Herut’s solutions to those problems. The discussion of Israel’s economic problems continues in the second articleIn the last article, Begin speaks about the lack of peace with Arab countries and that liberating all of Eretz Israel is the road to peace. He expresses the necessity in giving complete equality of rights to the Arab population living in Israel. Begin also spends time discussing is the politics within the Government and concludes that it is crucial to not give up the dream of Herut being victorious in elections.

My Message Is One of Faith’ Menachem Begin Tells S.A.

Begin speaks to a South African crowd and first pays tribute to the men who died and are ready to die for the Jewish people. He speaks of Ze’ev Jabotinsky having a minority opinion when he argued for State evacuation. Begin explains that he is not a politician because politicians cannot teach patriotism. Additionally, quoting Churchill, Begin says he would rather be irresponsible and right, than responsible and wrong. Begin speaks what Herut would like to see happen in Israel and specifically references the importance of having a constitution. He speaks of Germany and the dangers if Germany gets back their weaponry. He also discusses of the lack of peace happening between Arab countries and Israel, and that Israel is prepared for war. Begin expresses his frustration about the Government not doing enough to absorb more Jews from North Africa. He closes by reminding the crowd that despite the pessimism regarding the dream of redeeming the Homeland, the dream has come true.