Volume 3, Issue 21
March 7, 2007
Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 264,016
2007: A Special Year
Now that the observation of the 15th anniversary of the passing of Menachem Begin has been very successfully completed, attention has turned to the next major series of events to be observed in 2007.
The first two are the famous political "Earthquake" that took place 30 years ago on 17 May 1977—the Knesset election that was won by the Likud party and changed the political make-up of Israel. This was the first time in 29 years that Labor lost its power and the pendulum swung over to Likud. In the last 30 years there have been four Likud Prime Ministers. At times Begin's party shared office with Labor in Unity governments and at times, as now, it is in opposition.
The most important lesson of the 1977 election was that in Israel, too, it as possible to change peacefully from one political grouping to another as democracy provides.
It is already known that one of the leading universities is planning a major symposium on the 1977 political "Upheaval" and the Begin Center is considering a series of events on that election and the premiership of Menachem Begin.
Final Events Marking 15 Years
Two more events to mark the 15th anniversary of the passing of Menachem Begin, the sixth Prime Minister of Israel, will take place within the next fortnight. This will conclude the elaborate program of organization and spontaneous events that have marked the occasion.
The two additional programs will be a symposium at the Haifa University on the subject of "A Second Look at Menachem Begin." And the last event will take place at the Hebrew University, Mexico Hall. It will be presented by the Student Union on the subject of "Ethics in Government."
Last week's main symposium, which started in the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and continued at the Bar Ilan University, was well-supported in both places. The lectures and comments which were recorded will be transcribed and eventually a booklet will be published on various aspects of the life and "World View" of Menachem Begin.
Ministry of Justice Celebrates at the Center
The Ministry of Justice once again held its annual "Outstanding Workers" event at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. This year's prestigious occasion was attended by the new Minister of Justice Daniel Friedman, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz and other luminaries. The formal program was preceded by a lavish cocktail reception catered by the White Nights restaurant.
Hundreds of workers and members of their families thoroughly enjoyed the occasion.
The new printing of the historic document first published in 1951 on the Weltanschauung of Menachem Begin has become a talking point all over the country. It has been quoted by Ministers, judges and other academics ever since the first copies were distributed.
The on-going dispute between the Minister of Justice Daniel Friedman and Attorney General Mazuz was highlighted in the press when Mazuz added an unusual comment to his weekly Cabinet report. According to the HaAretz newspaper, Mazuz chose to include quotes from the "well-known speech of Menachem Begin of 1951" regarding the role of the Court in the State of Israel. His words had "not lost in importance or relevance 55 years later." At the time, Begin had said, "we should not be satisfied with the mere independence of the Court, but we must consider the supremacy of the Court our cause."
Later, the new Minister of Social Affairs, Isaac Herzog of Labor, said: "It is particularly symbolic that there are statements made by Menachem Begin who was identified as the leader of the right and the quotations from his 1951 speech are of high moral value."
Because of the interest created by the publication of the Hebrew booklet, the leaders of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center have given serious consideration to its translation into English and its early publication in that language. We are hoping to make an announcement on this possibility at an early date.
Nathan Silver z"l Anniversary
Next Monday, 12 March, it will be ten years since Nathan Silver, the first president of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, passed away. The family will participate in a series of events connected with his well-known philanthropic work.
In this connection, a small ceremony will take place at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center where the Executive Board Room bears the name of Nathan Silver. His daughter Debra Silver Karta, who is a well-known sculptress, created a special sculpture which will be unveiled in the Board Room at the ceremony.
v Keep the passion alive! – Denver, Colorado, USA
v A proper tribute to a man of vision and integrity for whom the Jewish state, Israel and the Jews of the world owe a great debt.