Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Dreary Dreadful Independent

Some British newspapers cannot forgive.

For example, The Independent:

There is a dreary inevitability to the way in which the most dreadful creatures turn up at Downing Street or Buckingham Palace. Archbishop Makarios, Jomo Kenyatta, Menachem Begin, Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, Robert Mugabe, Nicolae Ceaucescu and Vladimir Putin to name a few. 


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Menachem Begin Recalled to VP Pence

From the transcript of the conversation conducted by President Reuven Rivlin with US Vice-President Mike Pence:

As a Jerusalemite — and I am a Jerusalemite, son of Jerusalemite, son of the son of Jerusalemite — I am here born as seventh generation to my family. We have come to Jerusalem 210 years ago. One hundred years we have lived with our neighbors and our cousins, the Arab community in Jerusalem, in harmony. Unfortunately, we are now in a sort of tragedy for both of us. They are — most of them refuse even to recognize the very existence of the State of Israel.
But we are so very proud as Jerusalemites about the decision of President Trump, about recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
You have to know, my tutor, former Prime Minister Menachem Begin at the time had said the obvious should be said from time to time, even be written down. And the obvious was said, and we appreciated very much. And we see it as a real gift for the 70th anniversary of the state of Israel.


Comparing VP Mike Pence and PM Menachem Begin

Mr. Pence threaded his remarks with references to Scripture, a rhetorical technique Knesset audiences have rarely heard from a political leader since Menachem Begin resigned as prime minister in 1983.

Rabbi Meir Soloveitchik


When Begin Countermanded Sharon

In a story by Ronen Bergman in the New York Times, detailing various attempts to eliminate PLO head Yasser Arafat, you can read this on Menachem Begin:

On Aug. 5, 1981, Prime Minister Menachem Begin appointed Ariel Sharon as defense minister of Israel. Begin, a hero of the underground movement in Israel’s prestate era, had a deep admiration for the former general — “a glorious commander of armies,” he called him — but he was somewhat apprehensive about Sharon’s unwillingness to accept the authority of his superiors. “Sharon is liable to attack the Knesset with tanks,” one of Begin’s deputies half-joked two years earlier.

Sharon quickly raised the stakes. He put a renewed focus on Arafat and gave the greenlight for Ben-Gal and Dagan to carry out an operation that, if it succeeded, would change the course of Middle East history. Operation Olympia called for Israeli agents to plant a massive set of bombs under a V.I.P. dais under construction in a Beirut stadium where, on Jan. 1, 1982, the P.L.O. was going to celebrate the anniversary of its first operation against Israel. With the push of one button, they would achieve the destruction of the entire Palestinian leadership.

Everything was ready, including powerful explosive charges already secreted beneath the dais, as well as three vehicles loaded with explosives that were supposed to be parked on the streets around the stadium; these were to detonate about a minute after the dais exploded, when the panic was at its height and the survivors of the initial blast were trying to flee the scene. The resulting death and destruction were expected to be “of unprecedented proportions, even in terms of Lebanon,” in the words of a very senior officer of the Northern Command. But a group of worried AMAN officers, as well as the deputy defense minister, went to Begin and demanded that he order Dagan to call it off. “You can’t just kill a whole stadium,” one officer recalled telling Begin. “The whole world will be after us.” Begin shut down the operation.