Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Center Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 47

Volume 3, Issue 47
September 4, 2007

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 324,657

Rosh Hashana Greetings from History

Soon after becoming Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin used the approaching Rosh Hashana holiday to greet the people of Israel and the Jews of the world with blessings from Jerusalem.

In an interview on the Israel Defense Forces radio on 6 September 1977, Menachem Begin said:

We are on the threshold of a new year and I believe with implicit faith that the day of peace will come. The one thing that is inevitable is Peace. It will come because this government's policy leads to serious consideration of Peace Treaties, not interim agreements.

He concluded the lengthy interview with the words:

As I am speaking over the IDF radio station, allow me to wish all the soldiers and officers of Israel a happy and blessed New Year. We have a glorious army of which all the people of Israel are proud. All the best, soldiers of Israel. We are proud of you.

And a year later on 22 September 1978, upon his return to Israel from the Camp David negotiations, he said in a statement:

May there be a good and blessed New Year for the whole House of Israel. A year of Peace. May we, with G-d's help, soon be able to sign a Peace Treaty and to bring the message that not only in this generation, but in the coming generations, too, we shall live in our country in peace, in honor, in liberty and in justice.

Quandt on Carter

William B. Quandt is Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia and was a member of the National Security Council staff during the Carter Administration. He has written periodically about Carter's program during the Camp David negotiations and his attitude toward Prime Minister Menachem Begin and the people of Israel. His latest article, published in the Spring 2007 Journal of Palestine Studies, deals with Carter's latest controversial book and says that Carter believed that the Camp David Accords referred to the "negotiations on final status issues which shall be based on all the provisions and principles of UN Security Council Resolution 242. The word withdrawal was initially listed among those principles, but Begin insisted that it be removed, and it was."

Quandt goes on to say that

"Begin rejected the Carter formulation precisely because it would have obligated Israel to withdraw after a transitional period to approximate the 1967 lines as part of an eventual peace agreement. This he would not do. The most that he would accept was that "the negotiations", not even "the outcome of the negotiations", would be based on "all the provisions and principles of UN Security Council Resolution 242." For Begin this meant that the Palestinians or Jordanians could raise the issue of withdrawal if they so chose, but he was under n o obligation to agree to it. The wording of the final agreement left all parties able to read into the text their preferred positions. It did not resolve the issue and Carter is incorrect to imply that Begin made any commitment to withdrawal from the West Bank."

Russian Birthright

Two groups of Birthright visitors totaling some 50 people came to the museum last week. Prior to their arrival, the request had been made for them to have the museum soundtrack in Russian. This was easily available through the earphones which carry the Begin story in five languages—English, Russian, French, Spanish and Arabic.

The young people were very pleased with the service and complimented the Begin Center for providing it.

Wolf Blitzer Interviewed on IBA

Wolf Blitzer, the well-known CNN senior political correspondent was interviewed by Leah Stern of the English television program of Israel Broadcast Authority to mark the completion of Blitzer's 30 years in print, radio and television journalism.

When asked to highlight the main stories and personalities that he had followed in Israel, he replied that the main personalities were Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Menachem Begin of Israel who have achieved a special place in history by terminating the state of war between their two countries. He also thought that King Hussein of Jordan, whom he had interviewed, was a leading figure in the region.

Museum Hours During the Holidays

Please take note of the following:

The day before Rosh Hashana September 12 Closed

Rosh Hashana September 13-14 Closed

The day before Yom Kippur September 21 Closed

The day before Sukkot September 26 9am-12:30pm

Sukkot September 27 Closed

First day Chol Ha'Moed (Friday) September 28 9am-12:30pm

Chol Ha'Moed September 30-October 2 9am-7pm

Day before Simhat Torah October 3 9am-12:30pm

Simhat Torah October 4 Closed

Friday October 5 9am-12:30pm

We wish all readers of this bulletin and their families and the Whole House of Israel