Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Begin Took Responsibility

The Washington Post's Richard Cohen, after reading George W. Bush's memoirs:

Reading Bush's book, seeing him in his various TV appearances, I keep thinking of Menachem Begin, the late Israeli prime minister. In 1982, Begin took Israel to war in Lebanon. It cost Israel as many as 675 dead, 4,000 wounded and its image as invincible on the battlefield. Begin took responsibility. He resigned and became a recluse, a depressed and beaten man.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Foyer Furniture

For our visitors' comfort:


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Headcover Memory

This picture recalls to me an incident in my wife's life experience:

That is a British policeman in Mandate Palestine searching a Chasid for arms - perhaps hidden under his shtreimel.

And my wife?

Well, a good few years ago, my wife and I attended a World Likud Conference at the time of a Zionist Congress and with Bibi Netanyahu as guest, we all had to go through extremely stringent security checks.

We were searched and went through a metal detector and then my wife was requested to remove her head-covering for a further check.

I will ask her to comment on that with more details.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An Appreciation of Menachem Begin

Aluf Benn on Menachem Begin:-

Menachem Begin had a well-developed sense of history. Before he became prime minister, his character on the satirical show "Nikui Rosh" used to mutter, "It's now 3:05 and it's a historic moment. It's now 3:06 and it's a historic moment." As prime minister, he always spoke in the name of the Jewish people, and at every opportunity he would preach morality to non-Jews, reminding them of the Bible and the Holocaust.

But as a practical statesman, Begin knew how to distinguish between preoccupation with the past and concern for the future. In the peace talks he conducted with Egypt, he did not waste time on pointless arguments over the question of who had been the aggressor and who the victim during the decades of conflict. The peace agreement he signed with Anwar Sadat focused on the future, not the past: It determined borders, security arrangements and mechanisms for normalization.

Begin understood that in order to attend to the future, it was necessary to close the files of the past and to set priorities. He opted to obtain quiet on the Egyptian front in order to focus on what he considered more important: building settlements in the West Bank and ending the Mapai party's domination of society and the economy.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

British View

From a reminisce about the author's father, DJ Taylor:

My father, to particularise, really did believe, or affect to believe, that the French were collaborators, that three ­Englishmen with a Bren gun could hold off the entire Italian army, that America could do no wrong.

‘Terrorist! Terrorist!’ he would yell in the early 1980s, whenever the face of the Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin appeared on the television screen, which seemed inexplicable until you realised that back in 1946, in Palestine, Begin was the commander of the Irgun, the direct-action Zionists who lobbed Molotov cocktails into caf├ęs frequented by British servicemen.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thirty-Three Years and Still Counting

From Alexander Yakobson:

"How can you not see that fascism is approaching?," someone wrote to me recently. The problem is that fascism has been approaching for 33 years now (at least ). Since the night of the election upset on May 17, 1977, when the Likud came to power, we have been hearing that fascism is loudly approaching.

Then, we were already on the edge of the fascist abyss, and since then we have taken a big step forward. But today, after decades of approaching fascism, it is clear that Israel is a far more democratic and free country than it was in 1977.


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