Prime Minister and Correspondent Interview Each Other

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3 In apr 1979
Individuals - Anwar Sadat. Kol Israel , Peace , Peace Agreements , peace process with Egypt
Conversation between Begin and Israel Radio Correspondent Shalom Kital after official visit to Egypt. Begin felt the Egyptian people warmed up to him, signaling a bridge not just between the governments, but between the peoples of Israel and Egypt.
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Jerusalem, 3 April, 1979

Prime Minister and Correspondent Interview Each Other

In a playful exchange of roles on the flight back from Cairo (Tuesday. 3. 4. 79), Prime Minister Menachem Begin answered—and asked—questions during an interview a correspondent from Israel Radio, Shalom Kital:

Begin: Mr. Kital, how do you feel on the way home?

Kital: I think that I am moved just as you are.

Begin: Mr. Kital, what is your evaluation of these two days in Egypt?

Kital: I think that the success was greater than I expected—and, I think, (greater) than you expected as well.  Is this so?

Begin: I agree with your words and I return the broadcast to the studio in Jerusalem.

Kital: Mr. Prime Minister, after all, what is your summation of the visit?

Begin: The visit was wonderful.  I want to tell you—we didn't even dream of it.  Especially since there were reports that, actually, the Egyptians did not want this visit and wanted to postpone it.  What a confusion there was!  The Egyptian people came out in their thousands and tens of thousands to welcome a man who is today the Prime Minister of Israel.  I left the car today in order to go into the crowd.  From last night I had been asking the security service to permit me to go into the crowd, to greet them.  I have no misgivings about anything.  Our boys were willing—but the Egyptians were not-in any way.  Today, they were persuaded.  And I went into the crowd—there were about five or six thousand people.  It is hard to describe the words of affection, the demonstration that they displayed for me.  They stood on roofs five, six stories up and waved.  As you can see: I was not hurt by anyone.  I am healthy and well.  This was one of the most wonderful things about the entire visit.

It is a fact that, since last night, the Egyptian people apparently got really warmed up in its attitude, as a result of what it saw on television or read in the papers.  Today, I could not go ten meters without meeting people waving their hands, in greeting, raising their hands way up high from so much excitement.  This is the most important thing of the whole visit: we established relations of friendship between the two peoples.

In addition to this, I had a very important discussion with President Sadat.  If you noticed, it lasted for just fifty minutes.  In these fifty minutes we solved problems that, it is likely, we would have needed six months of negotiations in order to solve.

Kital: Do you mean anything about El Arish, giving over El Arish?

Begin: Many additional things.

Kital: Such as what?

Begin: Really, I find it hard to tell you, Mr. Kital, because of the intimate security surrounding us. (Laughter in the background-GW)

Kital: Thank you very much.