For the first time in history, the Arabs in Judea and Samaria would enjoy such a situation. They didn’t have it under Jordanian or Egyptian rule in Judea, Samaria or in the Gaza Strip. We took the initiative to suggest autonomy. It’s a novel human idea. And it was accepted, but it cannot be widened … Continued
Subjects: Autonomy Plan
At a Speech to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Begin stated that the peace treaty with Egypt precedes all previous agreements between the two countries, and urged sympathy for Sadat’s hostile situation within the Arab world. Begin then emphasized the importance of the Israeli people’s support for the peace treaty, saying that it will be presented to the Knesset for approval regardless of party discipline. Later, he explained how the US government’s peace proposals to King Hussein included departures from the Camp David Accords, in matters such as the legal status of Jerusalem, the IDF presence in Judea and Samaria, the establishment of settlements and the autonomy plan. Finally, Begin noted the sacrifices Israel had made for the sake of peace, including evacuation of settlements and the waiver of the Sinai Peninsula.
Begin addressed the halting of settlement construction for the duration of the Palestinian negotiations in an interview shortly after the Camp David Accords were signed, noting a difference of opinion with the US government on the matter. Begin outlined the autonomy plan’s fundamental elements and defended the morality of Judea and Samaria’s settlements, expressing a wish to end military authority in the region. Later, Begin considered the prospect of negotiating a peace treaty with Jordan and other Arab countries, saying that Egyptian-Israeli relations and the Palestinian Arabs’ solution are not interwoven.
Subsequently, Begin emphasized his desire to follow in the footsteps of Camp David and use the US government’s aid in drafting a peace pact. He proposed providing facilities for the US navy in the Mediterranean and establishing US bases in Sinai, but denied the conception of stationing US soldiers in Judea and Samaria so that Israel could defend itself independently against its surrounding enemies. However, he noted that Israel sought military assistance from the US in order to do so, acknowledging Israel’s contribution to US national security. Begin went on to discuss his Camp David experiences, his impressions of Carter as a negotiator, and the sticking points in the negotiations over the legal status of Jerusalem.
First, we worked out a detailed proposal for the complete administrative autonomy of the Palestinian Arabs in Judea, and Samaria and the Gaza district. The administration of the Military Government will be abolished. The residents will, themselves, elect their own Administrative Council in a democratic, secret ballot. The departments of the Administrative Council will deal … Continued
Begin discussed the obstacles in the peace process, as well as the autonomy proposal, at a press conference at Blair House, Washington. He then spoke about the security situation in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, citing the Coastal Road massacre two weeks prior to the briefing and the Yom Kippur War as examples. He later addressed the Operation Litani’s casualties in Lebanon, the implementation of Resolution 242, and his resignation from the cabinet in 1970.