Thursday, July 10, 2008

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 38

Volume 4, Issue 38
July 2, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 214,220

70 Years Ago—Recalling Shlomo Ben Yosef

This week it is 70 years since the Betari Shlomo Ben Yosef was hanged by the British. In protest against the Arab riots and attacks upon Jews, he fired at a bus carrying Arab passengers. No one was hurt, but according to British Emergency Regulations, his action was a capital crime. He was tried, sentenced to death and executed.

Ze'ev Jabotinsky was terribly upset by this whole development and made a number of his great speeches about the issue and wrote a number of articles calling Ben Yosef the "Knight of Hadar". Ben Yosef, who was just about 18 years of age, said in his last minutes that he was going to his death with the name of Jabotinsky on his lips. He was the first of the Irgun and Lehi people thus to be executed by the British.

The Irgun Veterans Association, the Jabotinsky Institute, the Betar movement and the local council of Rosh Pina, where Ben Yosef is buried, will hold a memorial service at the cemetery on Thursday.

Unveiling Ceremony of Harry Brand Sculpture

A most attractive new feature has been added to the Begin Center. It is situated in the Hurwitz Family Entrance Hall and is literally the first thing visitors see when they enter the building. It is an unusual artistic creation by Prof. Harry Brand, who is a leading architect and who was a member of the building committee of the Begin < st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Center. It is made of solid aluminum and has next to it a significant quote from the thoughts of Menachem Begin which, in essence, says: "We are in our land not by the right of might, but by the might of right."

A select gathering of members of the Brand family, some of their friends, leaders of the Begin Foundation and Center and some visitors from abroad, including Lisa and Harry Posin of Boca Raton were present at the ceremony.

Herzl Makov opened the proceedings with warm words of thanks for Brand's creation which he presented to the Center. He was followed by Harry Hurwitz, who knew the Brand family and the Seeff family from South Africa. The Seeffs were leading and devoted members and supporters of the Zionist Revisionist Organization and the Betar Youth movement. In response, Harry Brand related that in 1957 when Menachem Begin visited South Africa, Mr. and Mrs. Begin stayed for a few days in the Seeff home in Johannesburg. At the end of the stay, Mr. Begin handed them a signed photo with an expression of gratitude. It is this official photo that formed the base of the artistic likeness which Harry Brand created. On behalf of the family he also thanked Mr. Hurwitz and his associates for their warmth and friendship to Mrs. Seeff after Sam had passed away.

There was enthusiastic applause from those present when the blue curtain covering the wall was pulled aside.

Bnai Zion Mission at the Center

The Bnai Zion fraternal organization in the US is currently celebrating its 100th anniversary with a series of events in different parts of the USA and elsewhere.

Among them is the visit of prestigious mission of the organization headed by its current President, Mr. Shaffer, and including its Executive Vice President Emeritus, Mr. Mel Parness and his successor, Mr. Jack Grunspan. Their program included a visit to the Begin Center and its state-of-the-art, hi-tech museum.

In addressing them briefly, the Founder of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Harry Hurwitz, related his own connection to the Bnai Zion during the time he served as Minister of Information at the Israel Embassy in Washington, DC. Mr. Parness recalled a number of meetings of the organization's leaders with Prime Minister Begin. The members of the mission were very impressed by the museum.

Lowell Milken and Family Pay A Visit

Mr. Lowell Milken of the Milken Family Foundation of Los Angeles, his sons Shmuel and Aaron, other members of the family and associates visited the Begin Center on Monday. They spent more than two hours touring various features in and around the building visiting the Menachem Begin Museum and getting a detailed briefing from Harry Hurwitz.

They were greatly impressed by all they saw and heard and will consider their practical participation in this great, educational, inspirational project.

Mr. Milken had a number of important suggestions which will be considered by the Board.


"The Stopping Power of Land: The Geopolitical Rationale of American Military Intervention Policy in Post-Cold War International Crises" a working paper in Hebrew by Ziv Rubinovitz, a research assistant at the Begin Center, was published by The Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Congressman Michael Pence and his wife Karen of Indiana paid a very brief visit to the Begin Center on Sunday. They are close friends of Mr. and Mrs. Hart Hasten of Indianapolis and were happy to see the important Institute with which the Hastens are connected.

Mr. Hart Hasten is the President of the US Friends of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation.

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Mr. Simi and Mrs. Lorraine Abraham and their daughter Yakira who is currently studying in Jerusalem visited the Begin Center and were very happy to meet with Harry Hurwitz whom they had known in South Africa. Lorraine is the Executive Director of the Zionist Federation of Australia and Simi who was at one time in charge of Information in the South African Zionist Federation is now in private business in Melbourne.