Temple Beth Shalom, 1461 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd. in Arnold, is hosting an event May 13 at 7 p.m. as part of The Menachem Begin Legacy Project and its Begin Legacy Tour, running May 13-22 with stops in Maryland, New Jersey and New York.
The 40th anniversary of the signing of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty is this year, with the project and tour recognizing Menachem Begin’s legacy of security, democracy, liberty and inclusivity. The series of events is designed to recognize Begin’s achievements, and to promote a documentary envisioned on the founding of Israel and the liberation of the Jewish people through the lens of Begin’s life.
Herzl Makov, CEO of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, is slated to speak about “The Attack on the Osirak Nuclear Reactor and the Leadership Values of Menachem Begin.”
Makov was an Air Force major in the Israeli Defense Forces as an air crew staff member. His squadron participated in Operation Opera, which targeted Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor when Begin was prime minister. Later, in addition to a wide array of public roles in Israel, Makov served as chief of staff to Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir.
“Israeli planes yesterday bombed and destroyed an atomic reactor near Baghdad that would have enabled Iraq to manufacture nuclear weapons, the Israeli Government announced today,” said a 1981 New York Times report at the time. “Prime Minister Menachem Begin justified the action as having been essential to prevent the ‘evil’ President Saddam Hussein of Iraq from attacking Israeli cities with atomic bombs of the type dropped on Hiroshima during World War II.”
Meanwhile, Rob Schwartz, founder of the Ohr Hatzafon Institute, is working with Jews in America, Israel and England to produce a documentary on Begin’s life.
“What is motivating us is that a documentary about this great man does not exist,” Schwartz said. “Furthermore, the increase in virulent anti-Semitism is alarming and Begin made an iron-clad commitment to protect the honor and physical safety of Jews in response to the anti-Semitism he witnessed.”