After Abba Eban responded to his earlier op-ed in the Jerusalem Post, Begin “hits back.” Eban used Begin as a vehicle to attack his own Labor Party and its leaders, and also attacked Begin. Begin says that Eban was deeply embittered over losing his position as Foreign Minister and is still bitter. Begin accuses Eban of having different styles for foreigners as opposed to his countrymen, the former being noble and the latter being coarse. He maintains that according to the press reports of the Labor Party caucus his description of Eban’s speaking of evicting the settlers of Elon Moreh was accurate. He then accuse Eban of an Orwellian twisting of his words so that he supposedly said that it would be a “bloody adventure” to remove the settlers of Elon Moreh when Begin was speaking of the fighting with the Arabs that would result from giving up Judea and Samaria. Certain elements in the Labor Party feel the same need to settle Judea and Samaria as Begin.
Subjects: Shimon Peres
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.
Begin participates in a discussion led by Geulah Cohen with other key actors (Moshe Sneh, Nathan Yellin-Mor, Haim Landau, Shimon Peres, Eliezer Livneh, Shmuel Katz, and Ya’acov Riftin) about the pre-State resistance. Begin first speaks about the United Resistance Movement and argues against Moshe Sneh’s statement that the Haganah always fought against the British regime. He acknowledges that illegal immigration led by the Haganah was an important form of resistance, but not armed resistance. In fact, the Haganah assisted the British regime in the attempt to liquidate the Underground during “the season”. Begin returns to speak about the United Resistance Movement, and about the King David Hotel operation. Begin also shares how the British government was not interested in stopping the annihilation of European Jews during the Holocaust. The discussion closes with disagreement about what happened with Altalena and the mistrust Haganah leaders had towards the Underground’s intentions.
Begin is interviewed for the newspaper “Yediot Ahronot” and addresses the possibility of a Government of National Unity. Begin explains that the idea of national unity came out of disagreement between Gahal and Mapai regarding the concentration of Egyptian forces. Begin then explains the process of him speaking with Shimon Peres and eventually going to David Ben-Gurion’s home to share his proposal. Although his proposal was not accepted, Begin emphasizes Ben-Gurion’s “praiseworthy behaviour.” Even so, Begin shares that Gahal, Rafi, and the National Religious party have continued conversations about a future Government of National Unity.
Begin criticizes the current government, and specifically Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, for its inability to deal with issues of aliyah, emigration, and unemployment. He states that “it is the mission of this State to bring our exiles together, to congregate those who were scattered.” However, due to unemployment, there has been a major decrease in aliyah and an increase in emigration.