Begin's Legacy / Free Press

A journalism school called Herut newspaper.

The newspaper Herut was my journalism school. Even though it was the daily organ of the Herut movement, powerful winds blew there. Its editor, Izik Ramba a Renaissance man, journalist and author opened up the newspaper to outside writers, without examining their politics. He sought to attract readers beyond the party ranks. And indeed, he “raised” a generation of journalists who later pursued impressive careers at other newspapers. For example, Eitan Haber, Zeev Galili, Zvi Kessler and I went on to Yedioth Ahronoth. Aviezer Golan, who deserves the title “Mr. Yedioth Ahronoth,” was involved in Herut when it first came out in 1948, and the same goes for Shalom Rosenfeld, later editor of Maariv, who served as Herut’s parliamentary correspondent. A significant group of journalists from Herut gradually moved to Haaretz, namely: Yoel Marcus, Yehudit Winkler, Oded Zarai, Ada Ushpiz, Uzi Benziman and Dan Margalit.

For his part, Menachem Begin hardly ever intervened in the paper. But he once laid eyes on an article with my byline, which depicted in an ironic way the personal habits of a certain leader in the Labor movement. Begin summoned me to him, praised the article, but then said: “Our newspaper is a political newspaper. It takes on the opponent because of his positions, but it is not the paper’s role to invade the privacy of an opponent, regardless of who that might be.”

Begin - Yaakov Saar / GPO - February 24, 2012
Yaakov Saar / GPO