Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 15

Volume 4, Issue 15
January 23, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 371,518

Hot Off the Press: New Edition of White Nights in English

The new English edition of White Nights, which includes excerpts from KGB documents that are appearing for the first time in English, is now on sale in selected bookstores connected with Steimatsky publishers and at the Tal Klein souvenir store in the Begin Center.

This is Menachem Begin's second book (the first was The Revolt). It was written and published in Hebrew (1953) and soon after in English (1957). The original text was translated from Hebrew to English by Katie Kaplan.

Begin tells the story of his interrogation and imprisonment by the Soviet authorities who had taken over Lithuania where he was temporarily living. They charged him with being an agent of British Imperialism and sentenced him to 8 years in a correctional labor camp. While he was in the camp Germany invaded the Soviet Union which ente red into an agreement with the Free Polish Government whereby any Polish citizen in a Soviet prison or labor camp would be released if they joined the Free Polish Army commanded by General Anders. Begin did so and traveled with the Army to the Middle East where he was demobilized. Soon after, he became commander of the Irgun Zvai Leumi. The book makes fascinating reading even at this time. The book is available for 69 NIS.

"Integrity of our National Rights"

The archives in the Menachem Begin Heritage Center constantly receives important documents, pictures and letters from organizations and individuals all over Israel and abroad.

Recently a family that has been living in Jerusalem for more than 20 years sent a copy of a letter which they had received from Prime Minister Menachem Begin in response to a letter they had sent to him before their aliyah.

In the letter of three paragraphs, he said:

"The principle of Government policy is clear: peace and security with Egypt, thereby breaking the cycle of warfare, sorrow and bereavement which had lasted for more than three decades; and the search for peace with our other Arab neighbors whilst maintaining the integrity of our national rights and the security of Eretz Israel and, at its heart, Yerushalayim, the eternal and indivisible capital of the people of Israel and of the Jewish people wherever they may be."

Begin Center Staff Participate in Conference

The Begin Center congratulates two of its staff members, Ziv Rubinovitz and Yisrael Medad, upon being selected to present research papers at The 3rd Annual Graduate Conference in Political Science in memory of Yitzhak Rabin held last week at the Hebrew University.

Ziv, who works as assistant to Prof. Gerald Steinberg at the Center's Research Department, spoke on The Geopolitics of American Use of Force in the International Arena since 1898. Yisrael, the Center's director of Information Resources, presented a paper on “The Temple Mount To Our Hands and Beneath Our Feet” – The Survival of an Obstructed and Shunned Protest Movement. These were among the 65 papers presented by MA and PhD students from all Israel's univer sities.


John and Jill Roth of Sydney, Australia, visited the Begin Center last Friday morning where they were met and guided by Freda and Harry Hurwitz. John and his brother Stanley made a significant contribution to the Building Fund of the Begin Center. Their contribution has provided the Avenue of the Heritage which sums up Begin's main philosophy as the viewers move from section to section until the Peace Room. At the beginning of the Avenue is the inscription telling of the Roth Family's kind contribution.

A few days later their son, Jeremy, who was here with the Australian Youth Academy group, visited the Begin Center separately and toured the museum.

The Roths were very impressed by the museum and said they would urge their friends to come and visit.

* * * * *

160 members of the national division of Information Technology of Discount Bank visited the Begin Center last Monday. They had a full day at the Begin Center that included all the Begin Center activi ties as well as their annual planning meeting. They broke up into smaller groups and visited the museum, the archeology garden and were given a brief history of the area surrounding the Begin Center. Some groups were taken on a tour from the Begin Center to the King David Hotel. At the end of the day, 50 people from the group were taken from the Begin Center to the Kotel (the Western Wall) in the Old City.