Esor Ben-Sorek
Esor Ben-Sorek

Benny Begin — His Father’s Son

If Benny Begin, a member of the Likud party and former MK in the political party founded by his late father, our most beloved prime-minister Menachem Begin, could insist that Bibi Netanyahu must resign from office, we can hear his father’s voice speaking.

Menachem Begin was one of Israel’s greatest heroes, leaders, prime ministers and humanists. For many of us revisionist Zionists who follow the teachings of Zeev Jabotinsky, Menachem Begin was closest among all who preceded and succeeded him, to God.

He lived all the years of his life speaking honestly and preaching humaneness, love, concern and caring for one another.

Many years ago when I had the very great honor of meeting him personally, when we shook hands I kissed his hand. He replied, “I thank you but it is better to kiss our holy Torah”.

He was a man of great humility and sincerity. The autographed large photo of him is framed and hangs on a wall in my apartment. It gives me the privilege to “see” him many times each day.

Happily, his son Benny follows in his father’s footsteps walking straight, talking straight, without faltering.

His remarks concerning the resignation of our prime minister, something which he endorsed, impressed me very much.

It is not very often that Benny Begin makes bold criticism of our leaders and/or policies.

But when it happens, the entire nation should pay its highest attention. He is, after all, his father’s son.

I can think of no greater tribute to him than aligning him with his late father’s ideals of honest government.

Our lives were enriched when Menachem Begin lived. His intense love of his wife and family always came first, rapidly on the heels of his burning love and devotion to the State of Israel.

He and David Ben-Gurion, our first prime minister, were at bitter odds since prior to our independence and into many years thereafter.

Ben-Gurion was a supporter of the pre-State Haganah defense forces while Begin was the strongest defender of the Irgun, a more militaristic organization.

The tragedy of the Altalena ship bringing military equipment to the shores of Palestine, ammunition intended for use against the British mandatory personnel by Begin’s Irgun, was ordered by Ben-Gurion to be sunk in the harbor of Tel-Aviv in order to prevent the weapons and ammunition to reach the Irgun.

The memory of that tragic decision by Ben-Gurion lingers still in the minds of Israelis who have not forgotten and have not forgiven.

After our independence, Menachem Begin served as a member of the Knesset in the opposition.

Years later, his son Benny was also elected as a member of the Knesset and he served wisely and well… a human copy of his beloved father.

The family name Begin remains sacred and honored to all Israelis who knew him. We have had no leader, no prime minister, who can compare to Menachem Begin in any way.

Truth was always on his tongue. He spoke it, he wrote for it, and he practiced it all of his life.

His son, Benny, is a copy of his father’s virtues and values.

Therefore, if Benny Begin states that the resignation of Netanyahu is the best medicine for Israel’s sick government, we, the people, need to sit up and listen.

The body is the body of Benny. But the voice is the voice of Menachem.

Blessed be his memory.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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