A reprinting of a chapter from Begin’s book, THE REVOLT, which appeared as part of a series of reprints of Begin’s book in the New York Post. Begin describes how the King David Hotel was the fortified center of British power in Mandatory Palestine and how striking it would prove to them that it was indeed possible to fight against the powerful British Empire. The Haganah approved the attack on the hotel. The Etzel did not want to cause any cause any casualties in the attack, especially civilian casualties. To that end they set off a warning fire cracker and called several locations, including the hotel, giving warnings about the bombs and instructions to evacuate. Though plenty of time to evacuate was given, the British forces refused to evacuate and many people, including civilians, were killed. Begin and the Irgun were distraught at the needless death and struggled to understand why the British refused to save their own lives or the lives of the civilians by evacuating.
Subjects: United Resistance Movement
On “Gaurmont”, a history of the Irgun. It covered its formation, the King David Hotel and Acre Prison operations, and its ultimate dissolution.
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 argues against Levi Eshkol’s decision for not having an army parade on Israel’s Independence Day in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. Begin says that one of the Eshkol’s reasons is because in the past, the parades in Jerusalem were insignificant, which did not raise morale of the army or Jerusalemites. Begin accuses the Government of simply unwilling to organize a powerful parade in Jerusalem. Another reason of Eshkol’s for not having an army parade in Jerusalem is because it would breach the Armistice Agreement with Jordan. It is extremely troubling to Begin that Eshkol even mentions Israel’s capabilities to break the Agreement because Jordan has already broken the Agreement. Begin goes even further to say that all of the Armistice Agreements have been broken by the Arab nations. In the conclusion, Begin writes that because of Eshkol’s mistakes, the Israeli public will either think that if the parade is in Jerusalem, it will be lacking morale or breaching the Agreement.
Begin wants to dissolve the discomfort Ha’aretz readers have about Etzel. He begins by emphasizing that it is most important that the readers contemplate his words. Then he continues to mention that no nation besides Israel has ever questioned its liberators’ actions. Instead, it “is considered a privilege by them.” Begin then goes into detail about the hatred he and Etzel felt from the Jewish Agency’s leader, Ben Gurion, prior to the negotiation. He said that Ben Gurion used a system of propaganda, which he referred to as “the hate system.” Along with propaganda, Begin dismantles the lie stating that Etzel did not want a united army after the emergence of the State. Lastly, he mentions the importance of Ben Gurion saying that taking down Altalena might have been a mistake. Through providing a thorough understanding of events that happened in the past, Begin ends his piece with: “it is not we [Etzel] who must correct any image, but they who must correct their angle of vision.”