In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Begin emphasized the need of an opposition in a democracy, and described the voting process to condemn the PLO’s invitation to the Geneva conference. Later, he discussed how the Holocaust shaped his national security view and how it affected mankind, and addressed his failure to reject the Reparations Agreement. He then responded to the claims that he was an ex-terrorist, stating that the fight for liberation and the underground’s military operations are not similar to the PLO’s acts of terrorism. Finally, he discussed the relationship between Israel and the Soviet Union over the years, as well as Herzl’s aim of ending anti-Semitism.
Subjects: Theodor Herzl
An interview Begin gave to Israeli reporter Gideon Lev-Ari during the American “reassessment” of 1975. Begin notes the change in the Arab world’s stated demands from the total destruction of Israel to a withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, but says that the Arab goal of destroying Israel has not changed, only the rhetoric. Begin says there must be a full end to hostilities, followed by direct peace negotiations. Then Israel must give the ‘Arabs of Eretz Israel’ (Begin’s term for the Arabs known as Palestinians living in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria) full cultural autonomy and the option of Israeli citizenship but not national autonomy. The Israel-US relationship will continue to survive disagreements between the two countries. Israel must learn from the Munich agreement not to give in when it is threatened by its enemies and pressured to give in by its friends. In the end, peace will come
In the Passover Edition of the Jewish Herald, Begin states 8 points Herut has proposed in order to establish peace in the Middle East. He then addresses neighboring Arab countries. Begin stresses to them that each time they attempted to destroy Israel, they destroyed themselves. He continues to say that Israel is getting stronger because the fighting Jew has emerged and is “prepared to fight for liberty.” Begin argues that although that the fighting Jew can destroy Arabs, the fighting Jew wants to make peace. Additionally, Begin says that history that continuing with war is pointless. He reiterates, though, that Israel’s forces are alert and ready. He then counters the argument that Herut views are extremist and concludes that making great land concessions and negotiating with Arafat representatives are in fact extremist.
Begin speaks about members of the Knesset fighting for who can give up more of the Homeland than other members. He shares viewpoints from various leaders including: Allon, Eban, Hussein, Ismail, and Ben Aharon. One viewpoint focuses on handing over part of Jerusalem to Jordanian supervision. Another one discusses closing Jewish settlement to certain areas. A third viewpoint argues to retreat to the 1967 lines. These viewpoints, Begin argues, will not lead to peace, only to Israel’s destruction. Lastly, Begin speaks about Gahal’s viewpoint and concludes that citizens of Israel will be able to vote in eight months to change the current, destructive course of Israel’s future.
Begin exploits the actions of the Russian Government to prevent Soviet Jewry from immigrating to Israel. First, he explains the motives behind the Russian tax placed on those who want to leave to Israel. Additionally, Begin speaks about the absurdity of the education tax that Jews have already paid off. Then Begin focuses on the concentration camps and conditions of labor Russian Jews were forced to partake in. Again, Begin shifts to confront the State loan each worker was required to give, and how only Jews wanting to immigrate to Israel do not receive their share of that loan, nor their pensions. Then Begin speaks about what Jewish youth in the Diaspora should do to support their brethren in Russia. He concludes that the Soviet Jews are true revolutionaries and heroes.