Menachem Begin


Israeli Politician, Founder of Likud and Israeli Prime Minister

Author Quotes

The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized? Jerusalem was and will forever be our capital.

The underground fighters of the Irgun arose to overthrow and replace a regime. We used physical force because we were faced by physical force. But physical force was neither our aim nor our creed. We believed in the supremacy of moral forces. It was our enemy who mocked at them. That is why, notwithstanding the enemy's tremendous preponderance in physical strength, he it was who was defeated, not we. That is the law of history... What has a struggle for the dignity of man, against oppression and subjugation, to do with 'terrorism?' Our purpose, in fact, was precisely the reverse of 'terrorism.' The whole essence of our struggle was the determination to free our people of its chief affliction -- fear.

The world must know that the Jewish people have a right to self-defense, just like any other people.

Things you see from there are not what you see from here.

The British Press and the British troops continued to call us by the name ["terrorist"] which, in their Generals' opinion, suggested bravery on our part and fear on theirs. They called us 'terrorists' to the end. No doubt there was a psychological explanation for this. And yet, we were not terrorists ... It all depends on who uses the term.

The historical and linguistic origins of the political term 'terror' prove that it cannot be applied to a revolutionary war of liberation ... A revolution, or a revolutionary war, does not aim at instilling fear. Its object is to overthrow a regime and to set up a new regime in its place. In a revolutionary war both sides use force. Tyranny is armed. Otherwise it would be liquidated overnight. Fighters for freedom must arm; otherwise they would be crushed overnight. Certainly the use of force also wakens fear. Tyrannous rulers begin to fear for their positions, or their lives, or both. And consequently they try to sow fear among those they rule. But the instilling of fear is not the aim in itself. The sole aim on the one side is the overthrow of armed tyranny; on the other side it is the perpetuation of that tyranny.

The Jew bows before no man only God.

I love to read ? and try to daily, and have yet to meet a wise man who doesn?t read regularly. Begin believed: It is terribly important for an educated man, if he wants to know things, to read a minimum of 150 pages a day.

I wish to declare that the Government of Israel will not ask any nation, be it near or far, mighty or small, to recognize our right to exist. The right to exist? It would not enter the mind of any Briton or Frenchman, Belgian or Dutchman, Hungarian or Bulgarian, Russian or American, to request for his people recognition of its right to exist. Their existence per se is their right to exist. The same holds true for Israel. We were granted our right to exist by the God of our fathers, at the glimmer of the dawn of human civilization, nearly four thousand years ago. For that right, which has been sanctified in Jewish blood from generation to generation, we have paid a price unexampled in the annals of the nations.

Israel will not transfer Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district to any foreign sovereign authority.

Our enemies called us terrorists. People who were neither friends nor enemies, like the correspondents of the New York Herald-Tribune, also used this Latin name, either under the influence of British propaganda or out of habit.

Israel is still the only country in the world against which there is a written document to the effect that it must disappear.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

When Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am,” he uttered a very profound thought. But there are times in the history of peoples when thought alone does not prove their existence. A people may “think”: and yet its sons, with their thoughts and in spite of them, may be turned into a herd of slaves - or into soap. There are times when everything in you cries out: your very self-respect as a human being lies in your resistance to evil. We fight, therefore we are!

Each of us should realize and should exhibit through our actions the following truth: Moral influence and ethical responsibility are more important and more forceful and more important and more forceful and more lasting than mere power. We are here to be moral forces in the universe, in the world of nations, in our communities and in our families.

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Israeli Politician, Founder of Likud and Israeli Prime Minister