Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 5

Volume 4, Issue 5
November 14, 2007

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 339,113

From a Position of Strength

Yoel Marcus, a well-known Israeli journalist, who later this month will receive a life-time achievement award at the Eilat journalists conference, wrote in HaAretz last Friday that when Prime Minister Olmert said that, like Menachem Begin, he preferred the risks of peace to the agonies of war,

"he forgot to mention that when Menachem Begin cooked up Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem in secret and later signed the Camp David Accords, he did so from a position of strength, benefiting from the prestige, power and mythical status of the Israel Defense Forces. That was the same IDF that recovered from the surprise of the Yom Kippur War, deployed its troops within 40 kilometers of Damascus and surrounded Egypt's Third Army, forcing Sadat to face the reality of Israel's indestructibility.

The U.S. administration was not the initiator of peace between Egypt and Israel, but it provided the parties with the tools and formulas to solve the bundle of problems that came with moving from a state of war to peace. It is no accident that the Nobel Prize committee awarded the peace prize to Begin and Sadat but skipped over President Jimmy Carter."


Hot off the Press—Begin's World Outlook

Fifty-six years after the original publication of the booklet in Hebrew containing Menachem Begin's speech at the Herut movements second National Conference which took place on February 26, 1951, the 72-page booklet has now appeared for the first time in English with annotations through the sponsorship of the Samuel Aba and Sisel Klurman Research Institute of the Begin Center and the efforts of many people.

The booklet is now being distributed to present lawmakers in Israel, judges, academia and the media. In his introduction, the Founder and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, Harry Hurwitz, records special thanks to Hila Ben-Lulu, Ziv Rubinovitz, Elkana Efrati, Dafna Shkedy, Yuval Bar Or, Moshe Fuksman-Sha'al, Yonatan Silverman, Ilana Brown and Yisrael Medad for their editorial and translation efforts and especially to Mr. and Mrs. Paul Wallach for their financial sponsorship of this publication.

IGF Program Featured

The Israel Government Fellows program which is being run by the Menachem Begin Heritage Center has received extensive publicity in Israel and was featured in the magazine of MASA, which is a publication about long-term programs in Israel conducted by the Jewish Agency and the government of Israel.

The last edition highlighted the fact that the program is operating under the auspices of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem established to commemorate the legacy of Israel's 6th Prime Minister. The Israel Government Fellows internships fall in line with the Center's emphasis on ethical government. The program also includes intensive Hebrew language classes and mentoring sessions.

This week the students are participating in a very important day of study of Israel's security problems and outlook. The program is directed for the Center by Tamar Darmon.

How Much More is Possible?

The biggest attendance so far at the Parashat HaShavua program sponsored by the Rohr Family of New York and Florida was on Thursday night, 8 November, when more than 500 people were present. They crowded the Reuben Hecht Auditorium and filled the Izzy Asper Foyer which had been set up to accommodate 200 people who watched a simultaneous broadcast of the lecture by Dr. Micha Goodman. Some were even sitting on the floor. This is indeed one of the most successful Parashat HaShavua programs in the country.

"No More War" Displays "Peace is Great"

After Sunday, when the exhibition marking the historic visit to Jerusalem of President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, visitors will be able to see on display a copy of the specially produced book Peace is Great which was published at that time. The beautiful book is encased in a magnificent olive wood cover and was donated to the Center by Mr. Morris Kahn, who was one of the original sponsors of the book.

Photogenic Center

The Menachem Begin Heritage Center has become a popular venue for brides and grooms to have some of their wedding photographs taken around its walls, on its terraces and facing the walls of the Old City across the Ben Hinnom Valley.

Visitors to the Center may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of these happy couples during these memorable moments.

Mr. David Rothberg who lives in Toronto and Jerusalem and his sister Laila Rappaport from Toronto visited the Begin Center last week and toured the museum. They came upstairs to greet the Founder, Harry Hurwitz.

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Naomi Pollack of Chicago and a group of friends visited the Center and the Begin Museum on Wednesday morning. They are all here for a wedding which will take place in Jaffa at the beginning of the week.