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DECEMBER 1948: BEGIN'S FIRST VISIT TO THE US
Today we launch a three-part series about Menachem Begin's first visit to the US 60 years ago in December 1948 where he was greeted with a ticker-tape parade in the streets of New York accompanied by the mayor. We take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Estelle Friedman, whose husband Elitzur Friedman joined Menachem Begin on this visit to the US, for her recent contribution of newspapers from that time to the Begin Center archives. Over the next two issues of the Bulletin, we will be publishing segments from The Jewish Ledger and The Answer that describe Menachem Begin's visit and quote from his speeches.
For today, we present to you a picture of Menachem Begin with Yohanna Jabotinsky, widow of the Zionist leader and mentor of the Revisionist Movement, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, and members of the Betar Youth Movement at a festive dinner conducted in his honor.
MENACHEM BEGIN'S CONNECTION TO CHABAD
This past week we watched in horror and dismay at the events in Mumbai at the Chabad House. May the families of the victims find comfort in their sorrow.
Menachem Begin spoke to and met with Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson on several occasions and we direct our readers to the Chabad website where Menachem Begin says a few words about Rabbi Scheerson. The link is HERE. (As this is an external link to the Chabad site, we cannot be responsible if it doesn't work properly.)
MONITORING MENTIONS OF BEGIN ON THE INTERNET
One of the tasks that is undertaken by the Begin Center is to monitor the mentions of Menachem Begin on the internet. This allows us to see in what context he is mentioned and how often he is still mentioned even today. Here are a few examples this week:
• Israeli readers were reminded about Menachem Begin's modesty this week in an article in Ha'Aretz opinion piece lamenting the fact that our politicians today lack this admirable trait.
• The author of a new biography of the late Harold "Izzy" Asper (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), Mr. Peter C. Newman, reflected on Mr. Asper's admiration of Menachem Begin and the Irgun when he was interviewed about the book.
• The Los Angeles Times connected the King David Hotel with the attacks in Mumbai placing it first on its list of hotels that had been bombed. A few people who left comments mentioned that the LA Times notably neglected to include the bombings by Arabs against hotels in Netanya and Taba, actions that were directed solely against civilians. Yisrael Medad of the Begin Center wrote to the newspaper that "only the southern wing was targeted which was wholly British, having been taken over from the owners in stages, beginning already in 1938. The Army Headquarters were located there as were the offices of the Mandate Government Secretariat."
ISRAEL COMMUNICATION LAW
Amendment 40 of the Israel Communication Law was put into effect on December 1, 2008. It is an effort to eliminate, or at least reduce, spam advertisement messages.
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There will be three major events at the Begin Center in December.
On December 21, the Begin Center, in cooperation with the International Cultural Center of Krakow, the Krakow Landsmanchaft and several other organizations, will open "A World Before Catastrophe", a view of the Jewish community in Krakow between the two World Wars.
On December 23, the Begin Prize will be awarded to Dr. Reuven Or of Hadassah Hospital and certificates of honor will go to Prof. Moshe Arens and Harold "Smoky" Simon. Participants in the PERACH program will also be honored at this ceremony.
On December 30, the Begin Center will award academic scholarships for university level research work done in fields about Menachem Begin and/or other related topics.
David Krakow adds:
The photograph which shows Simcha/Seymour Rosenberg, then Natsiv Betar U.S.A., together with Menachem Begin and Madam Jabotinsky was taken at a reception and Misdar conducted for Mr. Begin by the American Betar at the hotel Diplomat in N.Y. at the time of his visit in 1948. Natsiv Rosenberg, a long time member of the American Netsivut, had succeeded Moshe Arens as Natsiv in Sept. 1948 and headed the American delegation to the fourth Kinus Olami of Betar held in Tel Aviv in the spring of 1948.
Meira Rosenberg adds:
The Betari standing in the picture between Menahem Begin and Mrs. Jabotinsky is my late father, Seymour Rosenberg, who at the time was twenty-four years old and the Head of the American Betar.