One cold day in the late 19th century, my grandfather Nathan and his younger brother Judah were standing in a railway station in the heart of Europe. They were seen by a group of anti-Semitic hoodlums who ran towards them waving clubs, screaming, "Death to the Jews!"
My grandfather shouted to his younger brother to flee and save himself. And he then stood alone against the raging mob to slow it down. They beat him senseless. They left him for dead. Before he passed out, covered in his own blood, he said to himself: "What a disgrace! What a disgrace! The descendants of the Maccabees lie in the mud, powerless to defend themselves."
He promised himself then that if he lived, he would take his family to the Jewish homeland to help build a future for the Jewish people. I stand here today as Israel's Prime Minister because my grandfather kept that promise.
Menachem Begin retold the incident when a bomb was placed under the apartment building in Romema, Jerusalem where his son Benny was living at the time when he met Jimmy Carter in 1977: