So he’s a bit of a ham, this writer. Still, it’s an interesting bit of Begin history and the point of it is no less interesting: who cares whether they accept Israel’s right to exist?

SO WHEN, on the first day of his premiership in 1977, he was waylaid by a tall, debonair, rakishly good-looking Englishman in a bow tie and a perfectly pitched BBC announcer’s voice, and saucily asked whether he looked forward to a time when the Palestinians would recognize Israel, his jaw tightened in restrained Jewish anger. But honed as he was by years of legal training, he answered with the composed demeanor of a practiced jurist, saying, “Traditionally, there are four major criteria of statehood under international law. One – an effective and independent government. Two – an effective and independent control of the population. Three – a defined territory. And four – the capacity to freely engage in foreign relations. Israel is in possession of all four attributes and, hence, is a fully fledged sovereign state and a fully accredited member of the United Nations.”

“But, surely, you would insist, would you not, that the relevant Palestinian organizations recognize Israel as a sine qua non for negotiations with them?” persisted the fellow.

“Certainly not! Those so-called relevant organizations are gangs of murderers bent on destroying the State of Israel. We will never conduct talks about our own destruction.”

“And were they to recognize Israel’s existence – would you then negotiate with them?” pressed the correspondent.

“No, sir!”

“Why not?”

“Because I don’t need Palestinian recognition for my right to exist.”

About the author

themiddle

8 Comments

  • This “bit of a ham” is Yehuda (“Goobie”) Avner, who has served Israel well, including his former position as Israel’s ambassador to the UK.

    He’s a wonderful fellow and an excellent writer.

  • Unfortunately, the Omlet in power is showing his true leftist run-to-the-goyim face when he laughs it up with Mubarak (who’s army is preparing for war with us), apologizes for the IDF killing Egyptian soldiers who crossed the border to attack them, and for apologizing for the deaths of the Arab family and making it seem like we did it.

    Today he was in Paris to say that disengagement II is inevitable, even though most Israelis don’t support that plan, especially from seeing that disengagement I was a disaster, a lie, and not ‘productive’ at all. How many people drooled at the idea of retreating to the border of Gaza in order to pummel them if they launched one missle at us?

    Weak leaders are making the nation weak.

  • I read stuff like this and have to think: What is the solution, pugnacity? Strength might have been useful to the new “fully fledged sovereign state” but where are we now? I ask myself that every morning. I give up on America (and my liberal bent has changed into, “look you get what you ask for, stupid idiots”), but I refuse to give up on the soul of my people as (partially) represented by Israel. I want to hear a viable solution that pleases the most amount of people, not more war, not more talking to intransigent Arabs, not more Jewish life for land. I respect (duh!) Begin, but I am afraid of what Israel would be like with a leader like him today. Moreover, dealing with the people who pay to build Israel (the goyim mentioned in the comment above) is part and parcel. If you want 10 billion of my tax dollars (as am American) you better have a damn good plan. So therefore, I dare people to stop sniping and start solving…

  • Nathan, don’t forget that it was Begin who made peace with Egypt. He gave back every last inch of the Sinai to achieve this.

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