Thursday, April 3, 2008

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 25

Volume 4, Issue 25
April 3, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 388,054

"I Would Have Made the Same Decision."

On the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Peace Treaty between Israel and Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak surprisingly praised Egypt's peace with Israel. In an interview with a Warsaw newspaper, the Egyptian President commended Sadat's groundbreaking move: "I would have made the same decision." He was at the time Sadat's deputy and close to him.

When Menachem Begin came to Cairo for Sadat's funeral, he met many important international leaders. However, the most important meeting was with President-elect Hosni Mubarak. The two had met previously during Begin's nine meetings with Sadat. This occasion, as they shook hands, both uttered the same words simultaneously: "Peace forever" and addressed each other as "m y friend".

Unfortunately, with the passage of years, anti-peace forces in Egypt, among them the lawyers' guild, publicly opposed the Peace Treaty and to this day still call for it to be revoked.

Muranowska Square Dedication

65 years after the heroic Warsaw Ghetto Uprising started, various public events will take place in and around the area where the few, in different groups, fought against the German forces. Among them was the ZZW comprising members of the Irgun and of the Betar whose headquarters were situated in #7 Muranowska Street. To mark the occasion, a ceremony will take place at Muranowska Square where Prof. Moshe Arens and others connected with the National Movement will unveil a plaque commemorating the event. Prof. Arens has been busy doing research on the Uprising and has identified the leaders of the ZZW who all died in the battle. Prof. Arens is presently completing his research which will, in due course, be published as a book.

In the well-known book Muranowska 7 by Chaim Lazar, the author, wrote:

The periodical 'Magen David' was the last written word of the Jabotinsky Movement in the Warsaw ghetto that has been left to us. … Today we know that, even after the major Aktion [53 consecutive days in the summer of 1942 which took over 300,000 Jews to Treblinka], the Jewish Military Organization continued to issue pamphlets in the ghetto until the revolt of 1943; but it is this final issue of 'Magen David', ably written and edited by Arie (Leon) Rodal, w hich has survived as the last written testimony and a memorial for future generations. From its worn pages and blurred print we may learn of the yearnings and aspirations and of the spirit that prevailed among the disciples and followers of the man whose warning call had rung, unheeded, throughout the Jewish world: 'If you do not liquidate the diaspora, the diaspora will liquidate you.' Those now trapped between the ghetto walls saw this dire prophecy come true.

… They made the Warsaw ghetto their Tel Hai, the stronghold of Jewish heroism.

US Deputy Secretary of Health Visits the Center

The Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services of the United States Government, Dr. Tevi David Troy, visited the Menachem Begin Heritage Center on Wednesday. He was accompanied by a number of members of his staff, several persons from the US Embassy in Israel and security personnel.

He was met by Harry Hurwitz, Founder and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, who was with the group throughout the tour of the Begin Museum. Dr. Troy was greatly impressed by the concept of the Begin Center and the Begin Museum had a special effect on him.

He congratulated the management of this rare Institute and wished them great success in its development.

In Memoriam

Veteran leader and spokesman of the Jabotinsky movement in Europe, later in Palestinian and the early days of Israel, Dr. Mordecai Hacohen passed away and was buried on Monday at the Har HaMenuhot cemetery. Dr. Hacohen spent a major part of his life in the United States and organized a number of historic events for the move ment including the 100th birthday celebration for Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the award of the Jabotinsky Prize Medal and many similar events. He was ill in recent years but visited the Begin Center in October 2006 and was greatly impressed by what had been done.

At the funeral the Begin Center was represented by Yisrael Medad. The speakers were Shlomo Nakdimon, Jack Friedgut, Judge Ya'akov Tyrkel and Mr. Moshe Mandelbaum, the former governor of the Bank of Israel. They described Hacohen as one of the founders of Israel's Foreign Service and initiators of its early programs.

He is survived by hi s wife Hoshana, his sons Yisrael and Ariel, his daughters, Naomi Weiss and Yael Wasserman, and grandchildren.

We extend our heartfelt sympathy to all the family.

Geography Finals at the Begin Center

Twelve finalists from around the country participated in the closing event of a national school quiz on geography which took place in the Reuben Hecht Auditorium in the Begin Center last week. The enthusiastic audience of young people, parents and teachers were addressed by Yuli Tamir, the Minister of Education and were received by the Director of the Electric Company and the he ad of the Jewish National Fund.

There was great excitement when the winners were announced and the prizes were awarded.


Jane Sherman, daughter of the late Max Fisher of Detroit, paid a short visit to Israel to introduce Doug Stewart, the newly appointed Director of the Fisher Foundation, to the heads of various Institutions in Israel. They met with Freda and Harry Hurwitz and Herzl Makov at the Begin Center and were given an update on the status of the Center, its plans and its needs. Stewart then visited the Begin Museum and was most impressed by the story, the technology and its presentation.