Thursday, March 25, 2010

Begin The Arab Shot Dead

A story from the paper:-

Menachem Begin shot dead, Sadat in jail, Carter walks free

Menachem Begin is dead.

That may not sound like news, since Begin the Israeli leader died 18 years ago, more than a decade after making peace with Egypt in 1979. That year, the "peace triplets" were born: Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat and Jimmy Carter Kidasa.

"When the boys were born I truly believed in coexistence," said Ibrahim Kidasa, their father. He and his wife, Hitam, thought they would raise their three sons in a new society, one that has put down its weapons and chosen to focus on building the peace.

But yesterday morning, Menachem Begin Kidasa was shot to death in Lod.

The police arrested Na'ef Radwan, a 21-year old resident of Lod, as a suspect in the killing. He denies it. Police are investigating claims that Radwan was angered by Begin's drinking alcohol near his 19-year old brother, so he went home, got a pistol and shot Begin. Radwan is being held in custody for five days.

"How will this help me now? Nothing will bring Begin back," Ibrahim said.

"We are Arabs. When the killer is a Jew, Israel will do everything in order to bring the murderer to justice, from anywhere in the world. Here they killed an Arab and who cares? Another one that was and is gone."

Sadat, meanwhile, has been granted furlough from prison because of his brother's death. He landed in prison a decade ago with a three-month sentence, but has been serving time since then because he killed another prisoner two days before his release. Now he is due to be released again, in two months.

The morning the triplets were born at Assaf Harofeh Hospital in Tzrifin, the small home of the Kidasa family was filled with flowers and well-wishers. Yesterday, hours after Begin's death was confirmed in the same hospital, hundreds came to the house to offer their condolences.

Ibrahim has lost the hope that drove him to name his three sons after a historic peace, he said. He learned that good intentions will do nothing to get his family out of the poor neighborhood that offered them little beyond crime.

"Look at the children growing up in Rishon Letzion, in the afternoon," he said. "They go to after-school activities, they go to the community center. There is nothing like that here. Our children do not know what after-school activities are. This is no way to create coexistence."

On Tuesday night, Lod residents called the police to complain that drunks in the neighborhood were disturbing their sleep. The patrol found Begin there and the police officers say he promised them he would get things quiet. The officers left and two hours later, gunfire broke out in the same area. The police searched the backyards and the alleys, and found Begin bleeding on the ground. He had been shot in both legs and was bleeding to death.

Begin uttered a few words and lost consciousness. The officers called an ambulance and the medics described his condition as critical as they rushed him to the hospital. After a short battle to save him, the doctors declared him dead.

Like Sadat, Begin had also been in prison. Ibrahim never visited his sons in jail, though.

"It was humiliating for me and I could not bear the shame," he said. "I am an Arab, and before every visit they wanted me to strip to see I was not smuggling in drugs. For me this was new. I had never had any run-ins with the law, never been arrested."

"I am fed up," he said. "We had a lot of good will, but we were unlucky."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"The Earth Cries Out" To Be Shown

On Wednesday, March 31, 2010, the Begin Center will show the Italian film, with Hebrew subtitles, "The Earth Cries Out" at 5, 7 and 9 PM. Tickets at 20 NIS. Reservations: 02-5652020

The New York Times

Il Grido Della Terra (1949)

THE SCREEN IN REVIEW; ' Earth Cries Out,' an Italian Import Dealing With British-Jewish Strife in Palestine, at Ambassador
Published: August 31, 1949

Credit the Italian film-makers who produced "The Earth Cries Out," a realistic drama which opened at the Ambassador yesterday, with trying to scan the post-war conflict between the British and the Jews in Palestine with a sober and fair delineation of the principles and passions involved. And credit them further with capturing, in this crudely constructed little film, some brave and believable glimpses of the courage of peoples on both sides.

With arresting reality, they have pictured the hardships and the fortitude of Jews on their way to Palestine from Italy aboard a broken-down, blockade-running ship, the eagerness and the resolution of these immigrants to reach the perilous shore and their overwhelming rapture upon their safe arrival in a Jewish colony. Likewise, they have imaged, with documentary care, the appearance and behavior of British soldiers carrying out their orders to contain the Jews.

Indeed, they have viewed with compassion the irony and the tragedy of all caught up in this bitter struggle, with no more sympathy shown for the young Jewish "terrorist" who is captured and executed for a violent deed than for the brave British officer who is kidnapped and executed by the "terrorists" in return. The complex of human loyalties and tragic suffering in the Palestine strife is this picture's theme, and it is realized with a great deal more sincerity than in a recent Hollywood film on the same theme — the picture called "Sword in the Desert," which is now at the Criterion.

But, unfortunately, the structure and the dramatic performance of this film are clumsy and inconclusive, due primarily, it appears, to a weak script by Lewis F. Gittler and stiff direction by Duilio Coletti. There is considerable rambling and jumping in a plot which has to do with the ultimate triangular contention of three old wartime friends — one now a Haganah colonizer, one a "terrorist" and one a British officer. And a couple of incidental romances are loosely woven in.

Under such circumstances it is surprising that anything in the way of strong conviction can be delivered by the cast. But, in spite of the drama's insecurity, some stout individuals are portrayed by Andrea Checcki, Luigi Tossi, Carlo Ninchi, Marina Berti and Peter Trent. And the countless "bit" players and extras, many of them actual soldiers and emigrés, are wonderfully vivid and authentic. The integrity of the picture owes much to them.

English dialogue has been dubbed in so that the language is readily understood, with occasional poor synchronization of the lips only a mild annoyance.

THE EARTH CRIES OUT (Il Grido Della Terra), script by Lewis F. Gittler; directed by Duilio Coletti, produced in Italy by Albert Salvatori for Lux Films. At the Ambassador.

Arle . . . . . Andrea Checcki
Dina . . . . . Marina Berti
Judith . . . . . Vivi Gioi
Ship Captain . . . . . Carlo Ninchi
David . . . . . Luigi Tosi
Dr. Tannen . . . . . Filippo Scelzo
George Birkemore . . . . . Peter Trent

Sunday, March 14, 2010

PM B. Netanyahu's Knesset Speech Commemorating the Gallows' Martyrs

PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the Knesset Special Session in Memory of the Jewish Prisoners Hung from the Gallows

Today, we honor the memories of the nine Irgun fighters and the three Lehi fighters who were tried and sentenced to death by hanging. They were willing to pay the heavy price for their actions which were, at times, controversial.

There is an argument about the character of the Jewish underground movements. Those who claim symmetry between them and Arab terrorist organizations need to examine what their intentions were and what the intentions of Arab terrorists are, which is generally and almost always to methodically harm civilians in thousands of attacks. On the other hand, in the case of the Jewish underground movements, both the Irgun and Lehi, such occurrences were exceptions and targets were, for the most part, military – targets that were indisputable. Therefore, the exceptions prove the rule and not the other way around.

Today, we honor the bravery of the 12 Israeli underground fighters, 12 men who, even when the hour approached for them to be summoned to the gallows, did not despair. Instead their belief in their mission to liberate their homeland only grew stronger.

Menachem Begin wrote about the 12 hanged men as follows: “Our generation has had ten martyrs in the homeland and two in Egypt and until their final breath on this planet, each of them exhibited such bravery as few have had in the history of mankind. More bravery was not possible.”

Indeed the heroism of Shlomo Ben-Yosef, Eliyahu Hakim, Eliyahu Bet-Tzuri, Dov Gruner, Mordechai Elkahi, Yehiel Drezner, Eliezer Kahani, Meir Feinstein, Moshe Barazani, Yaakov Weiss, Avshalom Haviv and Meir Nakar continues to serve as a symbol of profound sacrifice, even decades after they lost their lives.

Members of Knesset,

The lives of the 12 men who went to the gallows were brief, but their actions earned them a place of honor in the history of the struggle for our rebirth, and their names are forever engraved on our hearts.

Which of us does not remember the almost unbelievable story of Moshe Barazani and Meir Feinstein? Grenades were smuggled to their prison cells in a basket of oranges. Their original plan was to blow themselves up together as they were being hung. However, it then became clear to them that one of the rabbis of the Jewish community intended to be there as they were executed. In order not to endanger him, the two decided that after his visit, they would take their fate into their own hands. They embraced firmly and exploded the grenades up against their hearts.

It is doubtful that anyone could invent such an unbelievable story, a story which expresses supreme heroism, sublime love for country and people. Yes, love of country, love of the homeland, love for their people. I have no doubt that, because of this, decades later Menachem Begin of blessed memory, per his request, was buried near Barazani and Feinstein on the Mount of Olives.

Anyone needing further proof of the spiritual forces that drove them can find it in the resolute words written by Dov Gruner only two days before he was led to the gallows: “I write these lines 48 hours before our persecutors carry out their murderous act, and at such times one does not lie.” Gruner adds: “I swear that if I had the choice to start over, I would choose the same path…”

Members of Knesset,

The heroism of those who went to the gallows and their devotion left each and every one of us with an important mandate: remember the fallen, their moral strength, because this faith in their people and their land, and their willingness to sacrifice their lives is the key to our national existence. Therefore, I welcome the plan initiated by the Minister of Education that deals with values of heroism and sacrifice as it relates to those who went to the gallows.

We will never forget that their sacrifice was not in vain. We will teach our children about the sanctity of life and love for their country, but at the same time we will remember and know that there is such dedication, which went as far as a willingness to sacrifice one’s life if needed for our country.

From those who went to the gallows until today, from the ‘30’s through the reality of our lives, the message of sacrifice and heroism didn’t fall silent.

The people of Israel bow their heads in memory of the 12 who went to the gallows.

May their memories be forever blessed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On the Gallows Martyrs

On the Gallows Martyrs Ceremony:-

What happened to the 13th militant?

The Menachem Begin heritage center and the Uri Zvi Grinberg heritage home [named after the nationalist poet] are holding several events this week to commemorate the Olei Hagardom - the Zionist militant members of the Stern Gang and the Irgun underground, executed by British authorities in the Mandate period.

The main event will take place tomorrow at the Knesset, with speeches by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Tzipi Livni, whose father was a prominent Irgun commander. Memorials will be held for the 12 Irgun and Lehi fighters accused by the British of terrorist acts.

And there's a 13th person not listed by the organizers, but who will be mentioned at the ceremonies nevertheless: Mordechai Schwartz.

Schwartz was born in Czechoslovakia in 1914. He immigrated to Israel alone in 1933, and joined the British police. Like most Jewish policeman, he was also a member of the Haganah, the largest mainstream underground organization. The Great Arab Revolt against the British mandate in the Jewish community in Palestine broke out in 1936. During the revolt, hundreds of Jews were killled by Arab militias and yet the Jewish leadership decided not to retaliate.

Schwartz and several other policemen were posted at the summer camp of the High Commissioner in Atlit in northern Israel. On the night of September 1, 1937, he shot and killed an Arab policeman. He was tried, and was sentenced to hang. He was executed on August 16, 1938, and buried in the old cemetery of Haifa. The execution took place six weeks after the death of the first of the Olei Hagardom, Shlomo Ben Yossef of the Irgun, executed for shooting at a civilian Arab bus near Safed.

Ben Yossef was acting against the orders of his commanders, but they embraced him and made him their first martyr. In contrast, the Haganah disowned Schwartz. Only a handful of journalists and researchers have written about Schwartz; he was by and large forgotten. Recently a group of researchers working for the Toldot Yisrael, a non-profit association involved in oral history documentation, found a new interest in his story.

At his trial, Schwartz claimed he heard gunfire, left his tent with his gun, and fired several shots. "When I returned to the tent ... I saw my fellow policeman Mustafa Khoury was dead," he claimed. The court rejected his testimony, and ruled Schwartz murdered Khoury.

After his death, claims were made he shot Khoury in self-defense, and that the murder had something to do with him being homosexual - even though Schwartz had a fiancee, Hannah Blum.

Recently, however, researchers found testimony confirming Schwartz's motive was political.

"One of Schwartz's friends testified the Arab policeman entered the tent drunk, boasting he had raped and killed Jews and that Schwartz's turn would come," said director Peleg Levi.

Menachem Begin's first government sought to correct what it called discrimination against the dissident Jewish underground organizations. Museums were set up in Acre and Jerusalem, and Schwartz's name was commemorated once again. The respect paid to Schwartz by their old rivals prompted the Haganah veterans to acknowledge him, and his picture now hangs at the Olei Hagardom museum in Acre.

"It angers me that Schwartz is not on the list for the Knesset ceremony," said the director of the Haganah Veterans Association management committee, who was jailed in 1947 for possession of explosives. "It's painful the Irgun and Lehi are monopolizing the memory of Olei Hagardom. I've approached the prime minister's office a number of times about the matter."

Geula Cohen, one of the organizers of the event, said in response: "The Haganah didn't commemorate Schwartz and it pained me for years. We're actually working to commemorate him and we will read his name at the ceremony, even though this is a ceremony by the Lehi and the Irgun. We've also issued a medal for him and invited his family.

The Knesset spokesman said the organizers were responsible for the content of the ceremony.


The hall:

Amir Benayoun performing:

Geula Cohen

Knesset Speaker Rivlin:

Additional report:

Arab MKs: Jews hanged by British mandate were terrorists

Arab Knesset members Talab al-Sana (United Arab List-Ta'al) and Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al chairman) said Tuesday the Jewish revisionists hanged in the gallows by the British mandate before the establishment of the State of Israel were similar to Palestinian militants.

The Mks made their comments, disrupting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech commemorating the Jews hanged at the gallows by the British mandate before the establishment of the State of Israel.

"They [the Jewish revisionists] shot at Arab buses, and killed a minister," shouted Tibi during Netanyahu's speech. "Is killing a minister permitted? Are they heroes or terrorists?" Tibi asked.

The Arab MK's also claimed that the Jewish revisionists who were hanged, also referred to as Olei Hagardom, were just like the Palestinian terrorists today.

"Terror is terror, whether it is perpetrated by Arabs or Jews," Al-Sana said.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) excused the two MKs from the Knesset assembly after calling them to order three times.

"Every nation has a right to its own truth," Tibi said after leaving the Knesset assembly hall.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Letter in the Irish Independent

In response to quite incorrect information relating to Menachem Begin and the Irgun passing as historical fact from someone in Ireland, I corrected him:

Trouble reading?


Sunday, March 7, 2010

An Example of Pro-Arab Propaganda

Found in the Irish Independent:-

Thursday March 04 2010

Lack of 'ethics' in history of Israel

Kevin Myers says "The founding fathers of Israel saw it as an ethical state" (Irish Independent, March 2).

Has he forgotten the 1946 bombing by the Irgun of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem when 91 people were killed and 46 injured? This gallant action was led by that great pacifist and statesman Menachem Begin.

Has he forgotten the massacre of Deir Yassin in 1948 when 107 men, women and children were murdered by Israeli forces led by that gallant soldier Moshe Dayan?

The massacre of Palestinian refugees, again men women and children, in the Sabra and Shatila camps in Beirut in 1982 by Christian militia urged on by the Israel Defence Force cannot by any means be called ethical.

Nor can the attack in recent years on Gaza when 1,500 people, many children, were killed by Israeli forces using phosphorous shells.


Through An Anti-Semite's Eyes

How Menachem Begin gets enlisted in an anti-semitic, anti-Zionist screed:

The degree to which the Israel lobby has succeeded in dominating American politics is encapsulated in an apocryphal story about Menachem Begin, a member of a notorious Zionist terrorist gang in pre-Israel Palestine who went on to be elected Prime Minister of Israel. When an American supporter is said to have suggested that Israel become the 51st state, Begin is described as evincing shock: “What?! Then we would only have two senators!”