Thursday, September 3, 2009

Center Bulletin, Vol. 5, No. 42

Volume 5, Issue 42 September 3, 2009

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 509,696

Marking Two Milestones:
Five Year Anniversary and Half a Million Visitors


Reuben Hecht Auditorium
Dr. Micha Goodman

Philosophical Aspects of Biblical Heroes

Dr. Udi Lebel

Coming Out of the Underground: The Right Wing in Israeli Memory, Then and Now

Screening of The Band's Visit (Subtitles in Hebrew)

Simon Family Balcony
Dondorme Orchestra

External Tour to the Old Train Station and the King David Hotel
6:00pm to 9:00pm, leaving every hour
Two Blasts that Shook Jerusalem

Museum Tour
6:00pm to 9:30pm, leaving every half hour
The Menachem Begin Heritage Museum

PLEASE NOTE: All events are free and entrance will be on a first come, first served basis EXCEPT museum tours and tours outside the Center. Events are all in Hebrew. The tours are by RESERVATION ONLY and SPACE IS LIMITED. Reservations will NOT be accepted before August 20.

Sidney Zion Passes Away in New York

Sidney Zion was an American author who wrote Begin from the Beginning, which is currently out of print. He was more famous for advocating for changes in hospital policy after the tragic death of his daughter. He passed away this week and we send condolences to his family.

We bring to you a letter he wrote which was published on March 10, 1992 shortly after Menachem Begin passed away:

To The New York Times, March 10, 1992

"The Courage to Make Peace" (editorial, March 10) states that Menachem Begin transformed Israel in two important ways-by leading Likud to power and by making peace with Egypt. True enough. But it's like analyzing George Washington's contribution to America by referring only to his presidential years.

Menachem Begin led the first Hebrew revolution in 2,000 years. On Feb. 1, 1944 as commander in chief of the Irgun Zvai Leumi, he issued a proclamation of revolt, promising a "war to the end" with the British mandatory regime in Palestine, "which hands our brothers over to Hitler." The proclamation demanded that the British immediately transfer power in Palestine to a provisional Hebrew government. "There will be no retreat. Freedom-or death."

The British shrugged it off. David Ben Gurion's Jewish Agency denounced it as "madness." But the revolt was on, and true to the proclamation, it did not end until the British were driven out of the country in 1948.

It was a classic street revolution. The Irgun, never more than 10,000 strong, blew up British installations, copped British arms, liberated British prisons, in retaliation flogged and hanged British soldiers.

Vilified as "terrorists" in the world press, informed against, kidnapped and tortured for years by order of the Jewish Agency, the Irgun, with the tiny but lethal Stern Group, fought on.

From November 1945 to July 1946, the Hagannah, the official underground army, joined the fight, but on orders of the Jewish Agency, laid down its arms in favor of diplomacy. Irgun and Stern rejected this.

The day the British withdrew from Palestine, May 14, 1948, the British Colonial and Foreign Office published a termination of the mandate, explaining: "84,000 troops. . . had proved insufficient to maintain law and order in the face of a campaign of terrorism waged by highly organized Jewish forces."

Menachem Begin rests in peace, but there can be no peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors until one and all recall that Israel was made not in a U.N. backroom fix, but by the blood of its sons and daughters.

-Sidney Zion, New York, NY

Comments from the Visitors' Book

In preparation for our five year anniversary and the celebration of our over 500,000 visitors since we opened to the public, we bring you a few comments from our visitors' book.

- It was a magnificent tour. I wished our wonderful country would be provided with such a unique human being as this wonderful leader, this outstanding leader again. – New York Jewish Museum

- A wonderful tribute to the life and principles of a great Jew, Menachem Begin – JM in the AM

- I am thrilled to be able to visit and pay tribute to a great leader and honor my father, Ben, who fought with Begin.

- Excellent presentation – worth the trip from America. This is our second time here. "We need him now." – Oak Park, Michigan, USA

- Very informative look at the history behind a man who helped create history. – Monsey, Indiana, USA

- A beautiful museum in a magnificent setting, a fitting tribute to a great Jew. - USA

- The most excellent museum I've ever been in. – Fort Meyers, Florida, USA

- It was most interesting to relive those momentous years during the creation of our sacred land. – from Holocaust survivors

- The tour was AMAZING!

- Most impressive and informative. – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

- Learned, was impressed, relearned. – Long Island, New York, USA

- Thank you. This is an amazing museum. I found it to be just wonderful and very emotional. I believe it is the most inspirational museum I have ever visited worldwide. – Australia

- An amazing, unbelievable experience. Kol HaKavod! – Johannesburg, South Africa

- This is a very educational and cool exhibit! We enjoyed it very much! – on the occasion of her Bat Mitzvah from Toronto, Canada
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