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July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Menachem Begin’

Yehuda Avner (86), Advisor, Ambassador and Author

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Yehuda Avner, former adviser to Israeli Prime Ministers Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres and Yitzchak Rabin passed away on Tuesday at his home in Jerusalem. He was 86.

Born in the Manchester, England in 1928, Avner made Aliyah in 1947. He joined Israel’s Foreign Service in 1958.

Avner served as Israel’s ambassador to Australia and the UK. He also worked as a speechwriter for Golda Meir and Levi Eshkol.

He was the author of the book, The Prime Ministers, that described his experiences with Israel’s Prime Ministers.

Toby Press is set to release, in a few months, a new novel he wrote called, The Ambassador.

His son-in-law, David Sable, released the following very touching statement:

Dear Friends,

It is with deep sadness that I share with you the passing of Ambassador Yehuda Avner, Begin’s Shakespeare…an articulate champion of the Jewish people and the State, who took his last breaths, at home, in his beloved Jerusalem.

There is so much to say and so much to share and such a rich life to celebrate. Suffice it for now that he always saw himself as a Yerushalmi – a person of Jerusalem…not just from Jerusalem…and to him Jerusalem was a crazy mosaic that encompassed all of its inhabitants.

He was a true servant of the Jewish people…in his role as advisor to the Generation of Legendary Leaders of Israel he was never political, never took personal gain, never shied from conflict…with his bag always packed.. he went; listened, advised and wrote giving voice to the Prime Ministers he served and voice to our cause and our people.

The consummate Ambassador he represented Israel during tumultuous times and was respected by friend and foe alike as he brought his skills to the corridors of power and the backrooms of deals.

He was passionate about art, music, literature and theater and loved nothing better than getting seats to see the latest Opera at the Met or a private tour of the newest exhibition at MOMA.

His legacy is Medinat Yisrael, the State of Israel, to which he dedicated his life to building. His gift to us…his words… which will live on and continue to inspire future generations around the world.

So much more to share….a lifetime in fact.

With deep respect and love for my friend, and in celebration of a life well lived…

David Sable

Bibi Says: ‘I am Going to Speak to Congress About the Bad Offer Made to Iran’

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

On Tuesday, Feb. 10, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released a statement confirming his decision to go to Washington, D.C. next month and to speak in the U.S. Congress about the dangers of the offer the U.S. and its partners has made to Iran.

The prime minister addressed the issue which has been dividing the leadership of the U.S. and Israel: the acceptance by Netanyahu of an invitation to speak before a joint session of Congress next month. It is something this U.S. administration strongly opposes.

Netanyahu acknowledged the very close relationship between the U.S. and Israel, one that has remained strong despite many strong disagreements between leaders in the two countries throughout that relationship. Examples of those disagreements included ones between Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and the U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, Levi Eshkol’s decision at the start of the Six Day War, Menachem Begin’s decision to bomb Iraq’s Osirik nuclear reactor, and Prime Minister Sharon’s Operation Defensive Shield.

The Prime Minister turned next to the heart of the current disagreement. It is not over whether Netanyahu should speak before a joint session of Congress, or about how or even when the invitation was extended.

The fundamental disagreement is over the offer Netanyahu said the P5+1, including the U.S., ‘has made‘ to Iran. Note: not may make, not is thinking of making, but has made. According to Netanyahu, the offer has already been extended, and it is an offer, Netanyahu said, that “threatens Israel’s survival.”

Under this deal, Netanyahu stated, Iran will be able “to break out to a nuclear weapon in a short time, and within a few years, to have the industrial capability to produce many nuclear bombs.”

Netanyahu repeated this is not a personal disagreement between himself and President Obama. “I deeply appreciate all that he has done for Israel in many fields,” he said, and he is not going to Washington because he seeks “a confrontation with the President.”

But Netanyahu is going to Washington, he said, “because I must fulfill my obligation to speak up on a matter that affects the very survival of my country,” and he will speak to Congress before the March 24th political framework deadline, “because Congress might have an important role on a nuclear deal with Iran.”

US Show Compares Israeli PM to Taliban

Monday, December 29th, 2014

An American television show has caused offense by comparing former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to a fictional Taliban leader.

The show Homeland aired an episode in which two characters discussed a fictional Taliban terrorist, with one saying the terrorist had “killed 36 Americans.” The other replied, “Menachem Begin killed 91 British soldiers at the King David hotel before he became prime minister.”

Decades before he was Israel’s prime minister, Begin ran the underground paramilitary group Irgun, which fought to free the fledgling Jewish state from British colonial rule and to defend it against its enemies.

In 1946, Irgun fighters planted bombs in the King David hotel. They then repeatedly called the hotel to warn that bombs had been planted – but the officers who took their call refused to evacuate. The bomb went off with the building still occupied, killing 91 people, 28 of them British citizens.

Begin was not a part of the attack, but accepted responsibility as the head of the group.

Staff at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center slammed Homeland for comparing Begin to a killer. The Irgun repeatedly made efforts to avoid casualties, they argued – a stark contrast to the Taliban.

Homeland recently caused offense in Pakistan due to its depiction of the country’s intelligence services as complicit with terrorism.

President Ruby Got More Applause than PM Bibi at Begin Event‏

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Last night I attended the big festive celebration of ten years of Menachem Begin Heritage Center and Museum. Security was tight, almost like at a foreign airport, because both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Ruby Rivlin were to be there. And yes, they were and yes they spoke.

Officially the evening was a tribute to the late Menachem Begin, a Betari who had led the “Irgun” aka “Etzel” in the war of liberation against the British. After that he was leader of the opposition here in Israel until he shocked the Leftist establishment with his Likud victory in 1977. He then served as Prime Minister and shocked the State of Israel and the world by offering Egypt the Sinai in exchange for “peace.” That’s when he lost me as a supporter.

As part of the deal he included the destruction of all of the Jewish communities in the Sinai. Some were “reconstituted” afterwards in Gush Katif, then later destroyed by Ariel Sharon’s Disengagement Plan. My husband works in the Begin Center, which is why I frequently attend its events.

Many people, yes, those who attend events in the Begin Center feel the way I do, but we still highly respect a lot of what Begin did over his long active public life and feel more for Likud members/politicians like Ruby Rivlin than we do for any other high ranking Israelis.

There was much celebrating and applause last night for our President Ruby. Even though the Likud has been in power most of the past thirty-eight years, his election victory was the very first time that a Likudnik, an unabashed Betar Jerusalem supporter and ideological Betari, has been Israel’s President.

In the forty-four 44 years since our aliyah, I have seen so many changes in Israeli society. Not that long ago, you wouldn’t see an identifiable religious person in the Israeli media. Then it began becoming more common to see the man in a discreet kippah. Now we see women, like the evening MC who covers her hair, wears sleeves and high necklines.

There has been lots of progress in Israeli society integrating religious and Right in various roles. The last holdout, and the most difficult, seems to be in academics. That’s why there has been so much protest against the Ariel University.

The success and popularity of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and Museum is an important step for Israeli society.

Shindler’s Listless Op-Ed in the NYT

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

In his NYTimes op-ed, “Bibi’s Big PR Stunt“, Colin Shindler writes as if he’s become unmoored from comprehending what Benyamin Netanyahu actually said.

Some examples:

a.   It seems that Mr. Netanyahu wishes to define the country as the nation-state solely of the Jews. 

b.   Israel’s first right-wing prime minister, Menachem Begin, did not make the 1979 Camp David agreement with Egypt conditional on recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. 

c.   The suggestion that Israel should be recognized as a Jewish state emerged clearly after the Israeli army’s offensive in Gaza, Operation Cast Lead.

d.   It seems that the idea only became a matter of apparent Zionist conviction with the formation of Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition with far-right parties in 2009. 

e.   For many of the early Zionists, a “Jewish state” meant a state with a Jewish majority in which the Jews could exercise national self-determination. It did not mean an exclusive state of only Jews. Nor did it suggest an implicit “transfer” of its Arab inhabitants. Even Vladimir Jabotinsky, the revered forefather of the Israeli right and a close associate of Mr. Netanyahu’s father, remarked in January 1938 that “it must be hateful for any Jew to think that the rebirth of a Jewish state should ever be linked with such an odious suggestion as the removal of its non-Jewish citizens.”

f.   In the context of the unresolved situation on the West Bank, it purports to elevate Jewishness over democratic norms.

Now, let’s do the simple thing first.  Review what Mr. Netanyahu said on May 4, 2014.

“The State of Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. Our basic laws give full expression to the democratic side of the state. We do this by providing full equal rights to every citizen in Israel…

…On the other hand, that the State of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish People is not sufficiently expressed in our basic laws, and this is what the draft basic law is meant to provide. It will define the national right of the Jewish People over the State of Israel, without infringing on the individual rights of any Israeli citizen in the State of Israel…It will anchor in a basic law the status of the national symbols – flag, anthem, language and other aspects of our national experience. These aspects are under a constant and increasing assault from abroad and at home.

But the foundation of the existence of the State of Israel stems from its being the national home of the Jewish People and from the Jewish People’s deep links to the Land of Israel. Of course, there are those who do not want the State of Israel to be defined [so]…They want a Palestinian nation-state to be established alongside us and that Israel should gradually become a binational, Arab-Jewish state inside shrunken borders…

The State of Israel provides full equal rights, individual rights, to all its citizens, but it is the nation-state of one people only – the Jewish People – and of no other people. And therefore, in order to bolster the status of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish People, I intend to submit a basic law that will anchor this status [and that]…the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state are preserved.

…during the previous government’s term, proposed a draft law on this issue, I announced immediately that I would support it…

If anyone can claim, even in the pages of the New York Times which gets its “facts” about Israel wrong on too many occasions, that what Prof. Shindler (whom I know personally) asserted and what Netanyahu said are similar, I guess there is something wrong with their reading glasses.

Begin’s Palestinian ‘Genie;’ It All Started With ‘Autonomy’

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Way back when, almost thirty-eight years ago, when Israel’s great electoral “Mahapach,” electoral upheaval of 1977 happened and Menachem Begin’s Likud was elected to power the very first time after twenty-nine years of Labor rule, absolutely nobody expected davka him to make revolutionary policy decisions that would facilitate the establishment of a Palestinian State in the very heart of the Historic Biblical Jewish Land of Israel. Sorry for that very long opening sentence…

Yes, the supposedly Right, pro-Jewish rights in the Land of Israel Menachem Begin’s revolutionary “give the Arabs autonomy” policy opened the door to the security and diplomatic Hell that the State of Israel now suffers.

Until Begin began his policy of withdrawing from Land liberated in the 1967 Six Days War, today’s scenario was totally unthinkable.

While Menachem Begin had been in the Opposition, the Leftist Labor leadership never dared proposing withdrawing from any of the Land and certainly not destroying Jewish communities. But just over a decade after Israel’s totally miraculous victory in the 1967 Six Days War, Begin not only handed Egypt’s Sadat the Sinai on a silver platter, he turned thousands of Israelis into refugees, giving away their homes, communities, businesses and farms.

I’ll never forget the bombastic statements he made afterwards claiming that this decision will preserve Israeli rights to the rest of the Land of Israel and his promises that the new communities established in places like Gush Katif were guaranteed as permanent and Israeli. But we all know what happened since then. Begin’s successors in the Likud, Arik Sharon and Ehud Olmert came up with Disengagement and destroyed those very “replacement” communities in Gush Katif.

Even worse, the pressure on Israel to withdraw from Judea, Samaria and neighborhoods in Jerusalem have only gotten stronger.

Evil Genie Another part of Begin’s revolutionary policy, giving the Arabs “autonomy” has already turned them into a de facto and in many cases now a de jure country called Palestine.

That Palestine “genie” has grown and can’t be controlled. It will take a very brave and strong Israel to destroy it. Unfortunately, I don’t see any Israeli politicians with the guts to do it.

Visit Shiloh Musings.  / Batya Medad

New Jerusalem Entrance Highway to Be Named for Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

Monday, October 14th, 2013

A new highway planned for the entrance to Jerusalem and to bring motorists through the Har Nof neighborhood will be named after Rabbi Ovadia Yosef whose home was located there.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said Highway 16, to be named in memory of the rabbi, will connect with the entrance to Begin Highway near Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital.

“Road 16 will symbolically link two great men: Menachem Begin and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef through the two main entrances to the city,” he said.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-jerusalem-entrance-highway-to-be-named-for-rabbi-ovadia-yosef/2013/10/14/

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