He has now sent us these photographs from Brisk, Begin's birthplace, including his family home:
Following Israel’s acceptance of the U.S. peace initiative on August 4, Prime Minister Meir’s Government of National Unity broke up when six members of the Gahal faction, a coalition group led by Menachem Begin, withdrew in protest of the Cabinet’s decision to participate in the cease-fire with the UAR and Jordan. (New York Times, August 4, 1970, p. 9)
Kahlon’s dangerous mix of Netanyahu and Begin
The man who slashed Israeli mobile bills has been tapped to be Israel's next finance minister. But Moshe Kahlon's next reforms are going to be a lot harder, and won't be helped by his legacy of Beginomics and Bibi politics.
By David Rosenberg | Mar. 25, 2015
...Kahlon is a proud Likudnik, but that’s his biggest problem of all. His Likud is not Netanyahu’s free-market, tycoon-fawning, fiscally restrained Likud, but the old Likud of Menachem Begin that likes capitalism and big government in equal doses.
Recall, it was Begin who invited the godfather of free market economics to advise him on policy after the party took power in 1977. But as one observer said at the time Begin followed through on only half of the advice, taking the Milton without the Friedman.
Begin liked the idea of destroying Israel’s socialist establishment, but he couldn’t let go of the idea of populist economics that increased social welfare spending and the birth of the Haredi schnorrer economy, massive deficits, hyperinflation and serial devaluations.
Worse still, on security issues, Kahlon is a Likudnik in the Netanyahu mold -- one that favors negotiations toward a Palestinian state sometime in the distant future when a more amenable Palestinian leadership in in place, the threat of Islamic extremism has passed, and pigs fly. In the meantime Israel will keep expanding settlements, ensuring there will be nothing to negotiate over when the time comes.
It was 3:30 am on May 18, 1977 when Likud leader Menachem Begin walked into Metzudat Ze'ev, the party's headquarters in central Tel Aviv, in order to deliver the election night victory speech.
"Today is a turning point in the history of the Jewish people and the Zionist Movement, the likes of which we have not known for 46 years," he declared, after shocking the elites and political commentators and winning 43 Knesset seats with the Likud, compared to only 32 Knesset seats gained by the Labor Alignment headed by Shimon Peres.
"We reached this day out of full faith in democracy – aspiring to change things in our country through the ballot, and only through the ballot."
That was Begin – the biggest democrat among Israel's prime ministers in the past four decades, and the modest of them all. He never forgot, not even for a second, that his first commitment was to serve all of Israel's citizens, without making any distinction between secular and religious, Jews and Arabs, his supporters and his opponents.
...Unlike Begin, who managed to appeal to diverse audiences, the list led by Netanyahu marks fixation, obsolescence.
...in the Likud, which for several decades turned to the center of the public stage and aimed to take what we remember as the Liberal Party under its wings, Netanyahu is focusing on only one issue: The settlements. In other words, the Likud has become a party which represents only one sector. No more talking about solving the housing crisis and an equal share of the burden. There is one direction: Judea and Samaria.
...we'll reach the conclusion that the current prime minister failed to hold on to proven talents and offer them a place in his garden.
...Even if we agree that these are different times, the comparison to Begin's strong Likud is inevitable.
I remember the excitement in the audience which gathered at Metzudat Ze'ev that night in 1977, when Begin asked his wife Aliza to join him on the podium for the victory moment.
"I remember the devotion of your youth, your love for me as a bride, how you followed me into the wilderness, through a land sown with mines," he said in a paraphrase of a famous verse from the Book of Jeremiah.
It wasn't "come on, Sara" and "the first lady." They stood there without hair designers, without royalty etiquette from other places – a couple which really walked the entire way, made the entire journey, together.
But even more than that, Begin taught us that a leader must take responsibility for his moves, both for his successes and for his failures. That's another thing we can only yearn for.