Brandon (ex_marlonbra690) wrote in usforeignpolicy,

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Begin and Settlements

So I recently purchased the dvd "50 Years War - Israel and the Arabs" from PBS Online. It's probably the most comprehensive survey of Israeli history that I've found on DVD so far. Most interesting was the portion discussing the Camp David Accords and Jimmy Carter's attempts to convince Israeli leader Menachem Begin to dismantle settlements in the occupied Sinai. Begin was absolutely unwilling to negotiate even an inch on the subject. I couldn't believe the hard line that he took - If he wasn't going to compromise on Sinai settlements, there was no way he'd allow for a Palestinian state in the West Bank (1 of Egypt's main demands)...Eventually the Knesset decided to dismantle the settlements, no thanks to Begin. And who did Begin call for advice on the issue? None other than Ariel Sharon. Quite the interesting bit of history..
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No surprises about Begin. I actually found a dusty ol' first edition copy of his autobiography. That guy's pretty intense--I couldn't get through more than half of it!
i can see that for sure. That dvd was my first introduction to Begin. What an intense guy... "I will give up my right arm and my right eye before I ever dismantle 1 single Jewish settlement".. shit, talk about a hardliner.
Hmmph, my respones vanished!

What I was going to say was that Begin was definately known for his extreme statements, but that you have to wonder about them sometimes--for example, he said "When goyim [non-jews] fight goyim, we sit and watch." It was with regards to the Iran-Iraq war or maybe the Lebanese war, I think. I'm sure it went over well in Israel at the time, but what does it even mean when he was busy arming the Iranian mullahs and the Lebanese Phalange at that exact time?
certainly the rhetoric doesn't match the actions. nor will it for any politician. interesting aspect you speak of.. i'll have to learn more about him.