Camp David Accords – NBC Nightly News
[Reporter reviews Camp David Accords story and substance, says he asked Begin about Israeli withdrawal from settlements in the Sinai; Begin starts at 11:15]
I declared at Camp David that we should bring the issue before the Knesset and the Knesset will get this time complete freedom of vote. It means that no party discipline will be put into operation as the usual case is in any democratic parliament. And so, every member of the Knesset will vote in accordance with his conscience. I think of the possibility to be silent in order not even through my speech to influence the vote. But I didn't yet take a decision on it. Maybe I will refrain from taking part in the debate itself, so that that freedom of vote will be complete.
Now, I can't forecast any outcome. It may be decided on the edge of one vote, or a few votes only, because there are difference of opinion in all the parties, within the parties, and therefore let the Knesset decide.
When the vote is taken, I told President Sadat that I will inform him immediately about the outcome. Any vote should not contradict the negotiations for the peace treaties. Shouldn't be an obstacle whatsoever. Any vote. But I would like to try and anticipate that vote.
[Narrator 12:30; interview with Begin starts at 34:17]
Can we assume that if there, if Jordan does not enter into the negotiations on the West Bank, that Israel and Egypt can still sign a peace treaty?
Mr. Chancellor, you will allow me to be careful, because I wouldn't like to embarrass President Sadat. We did not suggest to him a separate peace treaty with Egypt, because he has difficulties in the Arab world. What we want is a comprehensive settlement, peace settlement. We want a peace treaty with Jordan, with Syria and with Lebanon. And, therefore, the second document takes this into consideration. But, of course, nobody can become a stumbling block. We will negotiate peace treaties with any neighboring state which wants to negotiate with us. We cannot compel anybody.
As I understand it, Israeli forces, and I'd like to get back to their deployment, can remain in the West Bank area.
Will remain there.
Will remain there. How long? After five years?
Now, I think that's worth going into in more detail. Do you foresee, sir, the deployment of Israeli military forces in what we call the West Bank and you call Judea and Samaria for five, ten, 15 years as a guarantee for Israeli security?
Yes, why not? Yes, possible, because the issue is not of keeping forces, the issue is security of lives. But please, my friend, take note that my overriding sensitivity is Jewish blood. Too much Jewish blood was shed in our time and we want security for the lives of our children and grandchildren, for future generations.
If I'm an Arab from Palestine, what choices for citizenship would I have five years from now?
Any choice. We give them free options of citizenship. A Palestinian Arab can choose Jordanian citizenship or Israeli citizenship.
But the plan that was agreed upon at Camp David does not allow for that Palestinian to have Palestinian citizenship or a Palestinian passport.
No, we didn't agree to a Palestinian state. Mr. Chancellor, nobody now would agree. It would be a solid base in the heart of the Middle East armed with the most striking weapons. Every house or home in Tel Aviv and in Jaffa and in Jerusalem and in Rehovot would be in the range of their artillery or even their machine guns. We would then put our civilian population – men, women and child – into the range of the enemy's fire. That is absolutely unacceptable to us.
[Reporter 36:55 to the end]