Saturday, May 5, 2012

On BZ Netanyahu and Menachem Begin

From Tom Segev:

Benzion Netanyahu, who died this week, was considered a very zealous Zionist; in the 1940s he worked with Ze'ev Jabotinsky, founder of the Revisionist party. It is customary to say that his opinions prevented him from being accepted as a lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and that even Menachem Begin did not take him with him to the Knesset, because Netanyahu was too extreme for his taste. But things that David Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary apparently call for a reassessment of Netanyahu's extremist image.  A meeting between the two took place on Friday, November 11 (,1956)...Netanyahu and Ben-Gurion knew each other. In July 1945 Netanyahu offered Ben-Gurion - then head of the Jewish Agency - to work on bringing the Revisionist Party back into the World Zionist Organization. Ben-Gurion made their return conditional upon the disbanding of the Irgun, the Revisionists' armed militia. Netanyahu, who came to Ben-Gurion accompanied with some of his colleagues, told Ben-Gurion that during World War II, he had overseen the propaganda work in the United States of the New Zionist Organization (the NZO ), the group founded by the Revisionist Zionists. He assured him that he had not worked with the radical faction of the Revisionist movement, headed by Hillel Kook...According to Ben-Gurion's diary, Netanyahu told him that when the state was founded, he had left the Revisionist Party.         


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