It is true that, for the last 30 years we have not enjoyed a single day of peace. Last year, in the wake of ceaseless previous efforts, we embarked on the road of direct negotiations to establish peace between ourselves and our neighbours. Despite all the difficulties, we believe that this noble goal will be … Continued
Subjects: Optional or Non-Optional War
Begin describes the American spirit as crushed, defeated, and powerless after a visit in April 1975. He attributes this to the war in Vietnam and America’s feeling of shame that comes with the inability to combat communism. Begin reveals that he was always skeptical of the Paris agreements, and to believe they would be effective in containing communism and preventing war would be cynical or naive. He argues that the spread of communism is just as much a blow to Israel as it is to all other nations. On American television, he explained to the public that the situations in the Middle East and South-East Asia are not comparable. Begin tells Americans that the Arab minority “enjoys cultural autonomy and the option to accept citizenship.” He ends by stating that it would be an unwise choice for Kissinger to advise Ford to not supply Israel with arms. That would be a decision that would cause outrage amongst both Israelis and Americans.
Begin very clearly outlines the goals of Israel as: “peace treaty, declaration on the establishment of peaceful relations, ceasefire, armistice, non-belligerence, and a state of war and its annulment.” Begin accuses Dr. Kissinger of trying to deprive Israel of what it needs, a peace treaty. He says that without a peace treaty, there can be no transference of territory, except, according to Kissinger, in Israel. Likud urges the Prime Minister to not retreat until Egypt has annulated the state of war, meaning no withdrawal from the land without a peace treaty. He says that if Israel were to comply with Egypt’s demands and retreat, Israel would be in the same position as the war-torn Vietnamese city Phnom-Penh, “within the range of the enemy’s guns.” Even America, he says, cannot help alleviate the situation there because of the gunfire of the Khmer Rouge forces. He says, “They are what our enemies wish for us,” as he urges the public to stand tall, not to retreat, and defend Israel.
Begin speaks about how dangerous the concept of a Palestinian entity is for Israel’s existence. He first reflects on the terror attack that took place at the Munich Olympicssharing how both Israelis and Arabs felt. He explains that what happened in Lod and Munich are ways to commit genocide, not liberate a nation. He shifts to speak about his disagreement with Zionist Palestinianists and speaks about Palestinian and Zionist land claims. Then Begin expresses shame towards Professor Talmon’s inaccurate comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany. In addition to shame, in his conclusion, Begin shares arguments to counter such comparison.
Begin affirms Israel’s right to self-defense in the face of Syrian aggression, despite the threat from Egypt to attack Israel in the case that Israel Syria.