Gahal’s Plan for Peace

Begin shares Gahal’s plan for peace, with its main objective preserving the peace of the nation of Israel, not only for his generation, but also for future generations. The plan for peace must involve mutual recognition, direct negotiations, a historical truth that Jewish people have the eternal right to their homeland, and no partition of the land. Additionally, there must be no threat of aggression and an obligation to prevent existence of hostile organizations. Begin believes that Gahal’s plan for peace has the combination of security and peace. Without this combination, there will be constant bloodshed and a threat to Israel’s existence. He reflects on the increase of aliyah, which has made Jabotinsky’s dream of having a Jewish majority in the region come true. He also discusses the cycle Jews have been in for all their history: Rising and falling. He concludes that Israel will stop the cycle at rising and therefore, Jews will no longer fall.

Make Conversion Easier

Begin speaks to the Knesset about Jewish and other nationalities in Israel. He emphasizes that one does not need to have to be Jewish to be a free citizen with equal rights in Israel. He also emphasizes that there is not a separation between Jewish nationhood and religion. Begin starts his speech showing that there can be a democratic State consisting of different nationalities. Because of Jewish history, Israel is sensitive to minorities living in Israel. Furthermore, Begin wants to prove that Judaism is far from racist. Then he shares that Herzl understood the intertwining between Jewish nationhood and religion. Begin points out that this connection can also be seen in the Bible. Begin argues that assimilation and intermarriage affects who is a Jew. There are people who are connected to Judaism, but are not considered Jewish. For the sake of these people, he argues, conversion should be made easier.

People, State, Religion

Begin spoke at a symposium on religion in Tel Aviv. In his address, he focuses on explaining the terms: nation, State, religion, and nationality. He first speaks about how these ideas are interpreted differently in the East and West. Begin then explains that unlike other religions, for Judaism, faith and nationhood coexist. Next, he emphasizes the difference between separation of Church and State and separation of religion and State. He then refutes the claim that Communism emerged from Judaism. Lastly, he argues that there is nothing wrong in assisting faith, and then concludes that the nation of Israel needs to maintain faith in times a joy, and not just in times of despair.

Begin Calls On Judge to Retract

Begin criticizes Justice Chaim Cohen for equating the rabbinical decision for the “Who is a Jew?” debate with the Nuremberg Laws. Begin first reminds his readers that it was David Ben-Gurion who introduced such hypocritical rhetoric. Begin argues that it is neither racialist nor Hitlerist for Jews to have negative feelings towards today’s Germany. Begin speaks against accepting reparations from Germany. He then shifts to the incident at the “American – Israel Dialogue” event in Jerusalem, where Judge Cohen compared the decision of “Who is a Jew?” to a “racialistic approach propagated by the Nazis.” Begin quotes what Judge Cohen said and then argues why Judge Cohen’s words were completely inaccurate. Begin provides an example of when Churchill retracted a statement he once made, and then requests for Judge Cohen to do the same—retract his words.

Geneva Peace Conference Structure

A press conference held during one of Begin’s visits to meet with President Carter. In it, he discusses the structure of the Geneva Peace Conference and fields questions regarding PLO participation and what to expect before, during and after the conference.