Begin in Camp David Warning to Carter

Newspaper: Jewish Herald
posted on:
22 In aug 1978
Individuals - Anwar Sadat. States - Egypt. Peace Agreements , peace process with Egypt , Greater Land of Israel - Settlements
Begin is interviewed by Al Anba, a pro-Government Arabic paper, regarding the upcoming Camp David talks. In this interview he first states that it should be up to the conflicting parties to settle their differences, and therefore the U.S. should not be considered a "full partner." Begin argues for the necessity of Israel and its neighbors to sign peace treaties. Furthermore, the peace plan should be a result of free negotiations and not a peace plan proposed by the U.S. Begin then mentions that it will be beneficial for Israel, Egypt, and the U.S. if the upcoming meetings are successful. He concludes that settlements are not an obstacle to peace because Israel's peace plan involves living together with Arabs.
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"I warn against the submission of a plan by the United States, since she is not a party to the conflict which should be resolved only by the parties involved," he said.

He went on to warn the United States to be "wary of the view that the Camp David talks will be 'fateful.'  A 60-year-old conflict cannot be solved in one meeting," he said.

In an interview published in the latest issue of "Newsweek," he repeated that President Carter should play a part of an "honest broker" at the Camp David talks.

"We want peace treaties, and that’s what we'll talk about at Camp David," Mr. Begin said, adding: "Should Egypt be prepared to sign a peace treaty on the understanding that it is to be followed by peace treaties with the rest of our neighbours, we would be prepared to do so."

If that was impossible, a solution would be to adopt the West German line of living at peace with former enemies without a formal peace treaty, Mr. Begin added.

He went on: "If there is a suggestion to talk about the so-called declaration of principles, we shall not reject it.  We have, I believe, at least four or five formulas already prepared, and we'll be willing to discuss with Presidents Carter and Sadat any formulations they may make."

Mr. Begin said he did not expect the United States to propose a peace plan, because that would be "unhelpful."  A peace plan should be the result of free negotiations between the two parties concerned, he said.


"We want these meetings to succeed for the sake of Israel for the sake of Egypt, and, I might add, also for the sake of prestige of the President of the U.S.," Mr. Begin remarked, after dismissing the prospect of the Camp David parley being a "last chance" meeting.

Mr. Begin defended his Government's decision to authorise five new Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley.  They have been approved on June 28, before the Camp David meeting was set up, he said, adding that implementation of the decision had subsequently been suspended.

"This project is if I may use a Shakespearean word, 'kosher' from all points of view," he said.

"The settlements are not an obstacle to peace.  They are part of our peace plan.  I'll say so at Camp David.  On this, I may say, we really differ with the American Government.  The concept of our peace plan is to live together with the Arabs