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Letter by Menahem Begin, Jerusalem, 1977

כתב ע"ח מנחם בגין - Manuscript - Zionism

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  • Lot Number 54270
  • Title (English) Letter by Menahem Begin
  • Title (Hebrew) כתב ע"ח מנחם בגין
  • Note Manuscript - Zionism
  • City Jerusalem
  • Publication Date 1982
  • Estimated Price - Low 200
  • Estimated Price - High 500

  • Item # 2571358
  • End Date
  • Start Date

Physical Description

[1] p., 212:.165 mm., typewritten on stationary, creased on fold, light age staining, signed in ink.


Detail Description

Letter by Menahem Begin (1913–1992) was the former commander of the Irgun Zeva'i Le'ummi (I.Z.L.), a Zionist resistance leader, and after the founding of Israel, a parliamentarian, prime minister, and Israeli statesman. Begin was born and educated in Brest-Litovsk. He graduated in law at Warsaw University. After a short association with Ha-Shomer ha-Za'ir he joined Betar, becoming a member of its leadership in Poland in 1931, and head of the movement in that country in 1938. During the Palestine riots of 1936–38, Begin organized a mass demonstration near the British Embassy in Warsaw and was imprisoned by the Polish police. When the Germans occupied Warsaw, Begin escaped to Vilna, where he was arrested by the Soviet authorities and sentenced to eight years hard labor in the Arctic region. Because he was a Polish citizen, Begin was released at the end of 1941, and arrived in Palestine in 1942 with the Polish army formed in the U.S.S.R. Toward the end of 1943, after having been released from the Polish ranks, Begin became commander of I.Z.L., declared "armed warfare" against the Mandatory government at the beginning of 1944, and led a determined underground struggle against the British (who offered a reward for his apprehension). Begin tried, at the same time, to avoid violent clashes within the yishuv. He was on board the I.Z.L. ship Altalena when it approached Tel Aviv with a consignment of arms during the Arab-Israel ceasefire of June 1948 and was shelled by order of the Israel government. In 1948 Begin founded the Herut Party and became its leader. In May 1967, on the eve of the Six-Day War, Begin was named minister without portfolio in the Government of National Unity. However, he and his colleagues left the government in 1970 when the majority accepted the U.S. initiative for peace talks with the Arabs implying the evacuation by Israel of territories. Following the elections to the Knesset on May 17, 1977, at which the Likkud gained a striking victory, emerging as the largest party, Begin became prime minister. He immediately devoted himself to the task of establishing peace with the Arab states and his efforts resulted in the dramatic visit of President Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem and his address to the Knesset on Nov. 20th, and the inception of the peace negotiations which reached a historic stage with the signing of the Camp David Agreements on Sept. 17, 1978. The succeeding negotiations absorbed much of hIs energies. Begin's efforts in this direction were recognized by the award to him of the Nobel Prize for Peace for 1978.


Reference Description