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Monday, January 03, 2011

What really went on between Begin and Thatcher

In an earlier post, I described a meeting between then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and then-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Rick Richman brings a different perspective, quoting from Yehuda Avner's account of the meeting.
Then Begin turned to Thatcher:
“Madame Prime Minister, your foreign secretary dismisses my country’s historic rights and pooh-poohs our vital security needs. So I shall tell you why the settlements are vital: because I speak of the Land of Israel, a land redeemed, not occupied; because without those settlements Israel could be at the mercy of a Palestinian state astride the commanding heights of Judea and Samaria. We would be living on borrowed time. And whenever we Jews are threatened or attacked we are always alone. Remember in 1944, how we came begging for our lives — begging at this very door?”

“Is that when you wanted us to bomb Auschwitz?”

“No, Madame, not Auschwitz. We asked you to bomb the railway lines leading to Auschwitz. In the summer of 1944, Eichmann was transporting to their deaths a hundred thousand Hungarian Jews a week along those lines to Auschwitz.”
Carrington abruptly challenged Begin again: “And what does this have to do with the settlements?”
“Lord Carrington, please have the goodness not to interrupt me when I am in the middle of a conversation with your prime minister. … As I said, whenever we are threatened or attacked, we have only our own fellow Jews to rely on.”

“Peter,” said Mrs. Thatcher softly, “I think an admission of regret is called for.” …

“Quite right, Prime Minister. … Somehow, your little country, Mr. Begin, evokes all sorts of high emotional fevers. Stirs up the blood, so to speak.”
Begin, his composure regained, smiled at him, the smile not reaching his eyes. “The story of our people is very much a tale of having to defend ourselves against bouts of irrationality and hysteria. It happens in every generation.”
In 1979, Begin signed a peace treaty with Egypt, returning land exceeding the size of Israel. He offered Palestinians a quasi-state autonomy; they rejected it. Thirty years later, we know, five times over, that settlements were not an obstacle to peace; to the contrary, their removal in Gaza resulted in a new rocket war.
Read the whole thing.

I'd love to get Avner's book (hint, hint!).


Someone sent me an Amazon gift card for the book, so you're all too late!

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At 10:54 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

While I opposed the withdrawal from Sinai, I miss Begin. The secular, socialist pais-cutting New-Jew zionism of the Ben-gurion types never inspired me. I can be "normal" in the US without having arab colonizing dreck trying to kill me, plus the new-Jew culture makes me vomit.
Begin OTOH was a proud in your face Jew, not a gentilized "Israeli". I now he was no frumie, but knew enough torah to be part of the Torah world. He never fell for the leftie BS that if we act normal and more goyish, our enemies will not hate us.
He had no problem telling off anti semitic world leaders. He would not be afraid of being called a "racist" and would not pull his punches against Obama- yes Shafran is wrong, there would be twice the opposition to Obama if both his parents were white- , he'd call Norwegian arab suporters QUISLINGS AND ADAM SHAPIRO TYPES THE KAPOS THEY ARE. I miss him

At 2:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmmm, plz don't confuse the "new Jews" or even the "new socialist Jew" with a "new-left" Jew or "new agenda Jew" of today's generations--they drained swamps, revived Hebrew, established the Haganah etc. We still don't know that we can live normal lives in the U.S. forever.


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