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Menachem Begin-A Brief Biography & Quotes
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Posted on December 10, 2001
BASED On Declassified Israeli Documents & Personal Diaries

1913-1992

Manachem Begin was born in 1913 in Brest Litovsk, currently Belarus, and graduated as a lawyer from the University of Warsaw, Poland. After the Germans occupied Poland, he sought refuge in Lithuania. In 1942, he emigrated to Palestine where he led the Irgun terror gang. Since the British proposed the policies set out in the 1939 White Paper, Begin as well as Shamir (who led the Stern terror gang) joined forces to wage a wave of terror against British and the Palestinian people during WW II. Both Begin and Shamir were wanted by the British as terrorists for war crimes against the Palestinian people.

The Irgun and Begin were credited with the most famous massacre against Palestinian civilians, during the 1948 war,. visit DEIR YASSIN for further details. For internal Israeli political reasons, the Irgun, Stern and Begin were unfairly singled out by the main stream Israelis as a terrorists. On the other hand, the Haganah committed the lion's share of undisclosed war crimes against the Palestinian people. Between 1948-1977 Begin led the Israeli opposition as a member of the Likud party, and in 1977 he became Israel's sixth Prime Minister. He is credited with achieving the first peace treaty and neutralizing Egypt's army. With Egypt sidelined, Begin felt comfortable attacking the PLO and destroying its bases in Lebanon during the 1982 Israeli invasion. He resigned office in 1983 soon after the death of his wife, and then lived in seclusion until his death in 1992.

It's worth noting that Begin was a major disciple of Ze'ev Jabotinsky, and a strong believer in the IRON WALL theory. The lose of both of his parents during the Holocaust had a profound affect on his political life. From his quotes below, you will get an idea how much the Holocaust had obscured his vision of reality, and created a two dimensional view of the world around him. The Nazi war crimes against Jews were often cited by Begin as an excuse for heavy handed policies against the Palestinian people and Arabs in general.

Related Links

  • Wanted by the British Mandate: Have you seen these terrorists? Don't be shy to circulate!
  • NY Times Op-Ed article written by prominent American Jews (including Albert Einstein) critical of Menahem Begin's visit to the States, Dec. 2, 1948
  • Famous Quotes

    One day after the U.N. vote to partition Palestine, Menachem Begin, the commander of the Irgun and Israel's future Prime Minster between 1977-1983, proclaimed:

    "The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized .... Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever." (Iron Wall p. 25 & Simha Flapan, p. 32)

    Soon after Menachem Begin and the Likud party won the Israeli election in 1977, the government's foreign policy was stated as follows:

    "the Jewish people have unchallengeable, eternal, historic right to the Land of Israel [including the West Bank and Gaza Strip], the inheritance of their forefathers," and pledged to build rural and urban exclusive Jewish colonies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip." (Iron Wall, p. 354-355) This is a typical Zionist argument where the Bible or the "Word of God" is being used to achieve political objectives.

    While Menachem Begin was negotiating the with Egypt on the final status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, he presented the following reasoning why Israel cannot withdraw from these areas:

    "Israel will not transfer Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza District to any foreign sovereign authority, [because] of the historic right of our nation to this land, [and] the needs of our national security, which demand a capability to defend our State and the lives of our citizens." (Iron Wall, p. 356)

    Again Begin used the Holocaust as a justification for the invasion of Lebanon. On June 5, 1982 he told the Israeli Cabinet:

    "The hour of decision has arrived. You know what I have done, and what all of us have done. to prevent war and bereavement. But our fate is that in the Land of Israel there is no escape from fighting in the spirit of self-sacrifice. Believe me, the alternative to fighting is Treblinka, and we have resolved that there would be no Treblinkas. This is the moment in which courageous choice has to be made. The criminal terrorists and the world must know that the Jewish people have a right to self-defense, just like any other people" (Iron Wall, p. 404-405).

    Almost 18 years later, the Israeli army was forced out of Lebanon after murdering more than 20,000 Lebanese & Palestinian civilians. The only difference between the old and the new Treblinka that in the new Treblinka it was Lebanese and Palestinian civilians who were being murdered, not Jews.

    When the American President Ronald Reagan threatened to review American-Israeli relations over the indiscriminate carpet bombing of Beirut in 1982, once again the Prime Minister of the "Jewish state" used the Holocaust to clamp down on his critics, Menachem Begin wrote president Reagan:

    "Now may I tell you, dear Mr. President, how I feel these days when I turn to the creator of my soul in deep gratitude. I feel as a Prime Minister empowered to instruct a valiant army facing Berlin where amongst innocent civilians, Hitler and his henchmen hide in a bunker deep beneath the surface. My generation, dear Ron, swore on the alter of God that whoever proclaims his intent to destroy the Jewish state or the Jewish people, or both, seals his fate, so that which happened once on instruction from Berlin---with or without inverted commas--- will never happen again" (Iron Wall, p. 404-405).

    If Palestinians felt that Israel was founded based on the destruction of their hopses, and the theft of their homes, farms, businesses, ports, banks, ..etc., would it be just to mention the memories of Sabara and Shatila to justify the the carpet bombing of Tel-Aviv?

    The reference to the Holocaust is often used and abused by many Israeli leaders to justify aggression, invasion, and the usurpation of other people's rights. When President Reagan sent a letter to Menachem Begin condemning the attack on the Iraqi civilian nuclear reactor in June 1981, Begin responded with a letter replete with references to the Holocaust, he wrote:

    "A million and half children were poisoned by the Ziklon gas during the Holocaust. Now Israel's children were about to be poisoned by radioactivity. For two years we have lived in the shadow if the danger awaiting Israel from nuclear reactor in Iraq. This would have been a new Holocaust . It was prevented by the heroism of our pilots to whom we owe so much." (Iron Wall, p. 387)

    Menachem Begin was strongly influenced by Ze'ev Jabotinsky's Iron Wall theory, he stated to Eliahu Ben-Elissar (the director general of the PM's office):

    "The deterrent power, or in Jabotinsky's language THE IRON WALL, was intended to convince the Arabs that they would not be able to get rid of the sovereign Jewish presence in the Land of Israeli, even if they would not bring themselves to recognize the justice of the Jewish people's claim to the homeland." (Iron Wall, p. 354)


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    Posted by dfs on March 8, 2012 #142302

    Yes, and Menachem Begin also spend the rest of his life in practically self-inflicted house arrest after leaving the government. Sure sounds like "proof of a chosen race" to me.
    Hey, wait a second... the Nazi phrase "Super race" and Israeli phrase "chosen people" sound a lot alike... huh, weird, couldn't be RACIAL SUPREMACY, could it? Nah...
    Posted by HumanRights on February 18, 2012 #141788

    Menachem Rudy, you are an obvious racial supremist. The majority of Israelis justify killing and destroying the homes of the Palestinians, or "Arabs," by claiming divine right and racial superiority. Now please tell me, how is that any different than what Hitler did? He killed because he wanted to "cleanse" Germany of "inferiors," is that now what is happening in Palestine? What Hitler did was absolutely and totally wrong, and the ethnic cleansing in Palestine is also absolutely and totally wrong. Apartheid is Apartheid, whether it is in Africa of Germany or Palestine. There is no such thing as a "chosen people" or "super race".
    Posted by rod starns on January 28, 2012 #141288

    a message to you rudy yes the english word great is ambiguous you could also say hitler was great or atom bombs are great in terms of their power
    but doing good and trying not to leave problems for future
    generations would be great in the other sensce of the word
    Posted by abubakardoma on May 10, 2011 #133994

    if you talk about terrorism, terrorism,terrorism. i want you to justify this 5 people for example, during there life time. what they did is and act of terrorism or what? 1.hitler of germany 2. mussolini of italy 3. menachem begin 4. timil tigers 5. ira in britain 6. loard salvation army in africa. check there history very well and answer your self. one good things is we are all going to account our action before GOD on the day of judgement.
    Posted by Hypocrisy on March 6, 2011 #131162

    Funny how you would mention terrorists in a derogatory manner when Menachem himself was a leader of a terrorist organization known as "Irgun", which is backed by Israel's legal declaration stating that "Irgun" was a terrorist organization in 1948. Of course hypocrisy amongst rightist Zionists such as yourself is the norm.
    Posted by Menahem Rudy on February 6, 2011 #130208

    Well, he is the one whose name inspired my own. Derived from the great king of Israel who reunite the Yudea and Samerea after the Yabesh died.
    All Arab-moslem leaders are nothing compared to the GREAT contemporary leaders of Israel: Theodore Herzl, David Ben Gurion, Menahem Begin. Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan and all.
    They are the living evidence of Israel as the chosen people and the Israel land is the promised land for Jewish people.
    Remember, Menachem Begin also won the Nobel Prize for peace...
    Not the islamic terrorists like Imam el Husaini.
    Posted by Aboo Imraan on November 8, 2010 #125408

    Actually Ariel, the pioneers of modern terrorism and educators of its tactics are the likes of terrorist Zionist groups such as the "Stern gang", "Irgun", and "Haganah" just to name a few. These were the REAL predecessors of the Takfeeree and Jihaadee groups like al-Qaaidah, etc. Would like for you to point out who recognizes (name your sources with proofs)that "most terrorists are Muslim and the majority of victims belong to other faiths", when Muslims are also victims of terrorism by their fellow Muslims as well as by people of other faiths?
    Posted by Ariel on October 15, 2010 #123638

    Menachem Begin was one of the greatest Israelis. I salute him for his leadership and stateman-like qualities. No Arab/Muslim leader ever came close to matching this great personality. Your site may condemn him as a terrorist. But the world recognises the fact that most terrorists are Muslims and the majority of victims belong to other faiths.