Texas Jewish Post (Fort Worth, Tex.), Vol. 31, No. 24, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 16, 1977 Page: 2 of 24
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TEXAS JEWISH POST THURSDAY, JUNE 16,1977 PAGE
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self-sacrifice decides the issue, tilting the scales, and the just cause wins.
Nothing dogmatic about this.
RABBI BERKOWITZ: How would you reply to those who have said that
Menahem Begin is an extremist?
MR. BEGIN: There is nothing extremist about this point of view. We have
never been extremist. What did we want then? What do we want now? Let
.us take the attitude of the Arab countries vis-a-vis Israel.
The great Arab people, whom we respect, now have 21 sovereign states
with an area of 12 million square kilometers. The land of Israel belonging to
the Jewish people is a very small little country and yet the Arabs even want
this country. Where is the justice in that? They should have 22 states, and
the Jewish people should have no country whatsoever?
After 19 centuries of dispersion, persecution and humiliation, we cannot
live without Israel. It was true, in previous generations, but it is especially
true now, because on Israel depends our national security; and so, if you
ask, is it extreme to believe in the right of one’s own people to their own
country? I can only reply that there is nothing extremist in this. For a Jew
to love Zion is moderation because Zion is the faith of our people
throughout the centuries that the land of Israel should be the land of the
Jews. If this means extremism, then we should ask ourselves, Are we
considering the Bible when we use that word? Is the Bible extreme?
When we use that word, are we considering all the teachings, all the
history, all the suffering of the Jewish people? Let us make it clear that
whoever loves the Jewish people and the land of Israel and stands for that
right is no extremist. He’s just a patriot.
RABBI BERKOWITZ: In presenting the questions to you in which I said
that people at one time referred to you and the Irgun as dogmatic and
extremist, by the same token some people also have accused you of being a
group of terrorists, and my question is this: How do you counteract the
accusation of some people, even those who may have believed in the
principles you stated, that yours was a terrorist group?
MR. BEGIN: Times change, and many people who called us those names
then now admit that perhaps they were mistaken. This is why I was invited
in 1967 to join the Cabinet - even by the very people who called us those
names in 1947. And we worked together for three years in good
understanding in a Government of national unity with these same people,
with the disciples of Ben Gurion, the members of the Haganah, and
Now about that horrible word “terrorism.” That word stems from the
Latin “terror,” meaning fear. Indeed, there were people who used terror.
The word in its political use stems from the French Revolution when there
was in-fighting between the various groups which overthrew Louis XVI and
tried to build a republic. All of them died under the guillotine, and that was
called terror. In other words, people were arrested or their heads fell in
order to terrorize and instill fear among the French.
A century later there was a group in czarist Russia which used personal
assassination of the Czar or a governor to instill fear in the Czarist
government. The Russian people considered themselves heroes. They
risked their lives. They died on the gallows and went on fighting because
they said it is an oppressive regime. But admittedly they took upon
themselves that word.
We never used terror. We never wanted to instill fear into anybody’s
heart. Ours was a classical fight for liberation. We never used personal
assassination. In the Irgun, we carried out military operations against an
overwhelming force of 100,000 British soldiers equipped with heavy guns,
tanks and planes, and supplemented by 30,000 British policemen.
When we started our fight for liberation at the end of 1943, we were 388 -
less than 400 men. We finished with 10,000 fighting soldiers. Thousands of
our members and those who helped us were arrested. Some were executed
while others were deported to Africa to concentration camps. Therefore,
that term “terrorist,” doesn’t fit us at all.
Otherwise, all the fights for liberation should be called, and should have
been called, terror - including the war of liberation by the American people.
They, too, rose in revolt, fighting arms in hand and gaining independence.
No one would dare call that terror.
I would like to add that if anyone should again use that word “terrorist”
applying to our struggle for liberation, he takes upon himself the risk of
dividing the fighters of the Jewish people, which include the Haganah, the
Irgun, the Lechi, the volunteers of 1948 and the members of our victorious
army. We never made a distinction between our fighting group and the
But if a person should repeat that word in connection with Jewish fighters,
he takes upon himself the peril of artifically making a comparison with
Concession To Aguda
Likud Attacked For Autopsy Stance
TEL AVIV [JTA] -
Concessions by Likud to the
ultra-Orthodox Aguda Is-
rael came under fire here.
The Israel Medical Asso-
ciation wrote to Premier-
designate Menahem Begin
urging no change in the
present laws governing
autopsies. The Social Work-
ers Union warned Likud
that it would fight any
attempt to amend the
abortion law by removing
the social condition of the
mother as one of the
grounds^ for approval of
The Aguda, with four
Knesset seats, has agreed
to join a Likud-led coalition.
It made several demands in
the religious and social
areas including curbs on
abortion and barring autop-
sies without family consent.
Likud has acquiesced to
In a letter to Begin, Dr.
Rami Yishai, cnairman of
the Medical Association,
declared that any amend-
ment to the law on
autopsies would seriously
affect the quality of medical
care in Israel. He said that
physicians do their utmost
now to comply with the
wishes of the families but in
certain cases autopsies
must be performed in the
interests of national health
and family objections must
not be allowed to override
medical considerations. Dr.
Yishai noted that the
National Religious Party
(NRP), for many years a
coalition partner, never
made such demands and
that whenever controver- >
sies arose over autopsies
they were generally settled
to the satisfaction of the
NRP and the medical
Itzhak Kadman, leader of
the Social Workers Union,
wrote to the Likud leader-
ship that the present
abortion law was adopted
in response to the needs of
the underprivileged sector
of society. To eliminate
social conditions as a
reason for abortion would
place a severe burden on
the poor, he said. He cited
unofficial statistics that
showed that about 80
percent of the abortion »
requests brought before I
committees for approval
cited sociaal conditions.
Peres, UN Leader Discuss Charges
Igypt Violated Sinai Accords
TEL AVIV [JTA] -
Defense Minister Shimon
Peres met here with Gen.
Ensio Siilasvuo, command-
er of the United Nations
forces, to discuss Israel’s
complaints that Egypt is
violating the Sinai disen-
Peres said after the meet-
ing that he had no indica-
tions that the Egyptians
were reverting to a war
option. But, he added, it
was safer to exaggerate
the situation than to under-
estimate it. He said Israel
wanted to let Egypt know it
will not ignore violations.
Earlier, Premier Yitzhak
Rabin visited Israeli units in
Sinai accompanied by Chief
of Staff Gen. Mordechai
Gur. He said that the
Egyptians were generally
observing the Sinai agree-
ments but there were
violations that must be
corrected. He said the
disengagement pact enter-
ed into by Israel and Egypt
in 1975 was still useful and
Nevertheless, Israel has
complained three times in
recent days to the United
Nations Emergency Force
(UNEF) in Sinai about
Egyptian violations. The
complaints followed reports
by UNEF observers that
additional Egyptian troops
were deployed in the
Egyptian limited forces
zone. Israel said the troops
were in excess of the
number allowed under the
agreements and that Egypt
has also installed SAM-7
ground-to-air missiles in
Sinai in violation of the
Peres said the impression
was that Israel was dealing
with a moderate adversary
but the fact is that Egypt is
violating the agreements.
He said that even the
Syrians were more careful
in observing the provisions
of the disengagement
agreements on the Golan
Siilasvuo, who recently
returned from a meeting
with the Egyptian War
Minister in Cairo, confirmed
the Israeli complaint and
said “We are trying to bring
the number of troops back
to the agreed limitation.’
But Siilasvuo said there
was no war atmosphere in
Louis H. Barnett of Fort
Worth, international plas-
tics consultant, will be
presented an Honorary
Doctorate of Engineering
Degree from his alma
mater, Northeastern Uni-
versity in Boston, this
Sunday, June 19. Barnett
received and Honorary
Doctorate of Science
degree in 1974 from Texas
those who today are referred to as the so-called Palestine Liberation
We fought to save a people. They shoot in order to destroy a people. Look ® f
at the methods we used. We did whatever was humanly possible to avoid
civilian casualties, sometimes at the risk of the lives of our own fighting
men. We used to warn away any and every civilian, whether Jew, Briton or
Arab, from the zone of danger in advance.
What do they - the so-called P.L.O. - do? They make the civilian population
the target of their bloody attacks on men, women and children. They never
express regret or sorrow when they have “succeeded” to kill an innocent
Jewish man or woman or child. On the contrary, they rejoice in it. And that
is the difference between fighters and killers. That is the difference
between the Jewish underground and those killers of the so-called P.L.O.
Therefore, for the sake of the dignity of the Jewish people, and indeed of
all men who fought for liberty, never use that cursed word “terrorist.”
Always make a distinction between authentic humanitarian fighters for
liberation and the terrorists who want to kill every man, woman and child in
Israel. And that difference should always be remembered by every person
and by every man who respects the truth.
Here’s what’s next.
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Wisch, J. A. Texas Jewish Post (Fort Worth, Tex.), Vol. 31, No. 24, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 16, 1977, newspaper, June 16, 1977; Fort Worth, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth753406/m1/2/: accessed February 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .