JERUSALEM (Jul. 10)
Former Prime Minister Menachem Begin, a near recluse since his surprise retirement in 1984, seemed back in his old form in a rare media appearance Wednesday.
Interviewed by army radio on the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Irgun, the underground guerrilla group he led, Begin lashed out at critics. He included an apparent swipe at the United States, which took a dim view of Israel’s bombing raid on an Iraqi nuclear facility near Baghdad in 1981, when Begin held office.
“They will no longer dare play the game which they played when we attacked the reactor in Baghdad,” he said. “Israel’s just cause was proven when the Scud missiles were launched against us.”
Begin flared with anger when he was asked to compare the intifada with the Irgun’s operations against the British Mandate in Palestine.
“This is blasphemy,” the former prime minister said. “Have we ever attacked citizens, have we ever attacked British citizens?”