Begin delivers a speech in response to Anwar Sadat’s address to the Knesset. He starts off briefly reflecting on past events to show that Israel has been dedicated to making peace with its neighbors since declaring independence. Then Begin shifts to agree that a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt should not put a wedge between Arab nations because Israel also wants peace with its other neighbors. He hopes that there will no longer be wars between Egypt and Israel and if there are disagreements between the countries, ambassadors will handle it. He shifts to expressing disagreement with Sadat’s statement that Israel took a foreign country. Then he talks about the importance of conducting negotiations respectfully so that there will eventually be a reached consent and thus, a signed peace treaty. Begin includes that he is open to negotiations with neighboring Arab countries and closes by quoting both the Bible and Koran.
Subjects: David Ben-Gurion
A television interview for ABC News. After he is elected but before he assumes office Begin already faces disagreements with the Carter Administration, with Clark and Seamans asking about those disagreements and his commitment to peace. Carter says Israel should withdraw from nearly all of the territories captured in 1967 while Begin says Judea and Samaria are integral and permanent part of Israel and there is existential danger in giving them up. Begin insists he is willing to negotiate peace with all Arab countries but not the PLO. When challenged over possibly losing American economic and military aid Begin counters that the relationship with America is mutually beneficial. Israel is keeping Communism out of the Middle East, Begin says.
An interview Begin gave to Israeli reporter Gideon Lev-Ari during the American “reassessment” of 1975. Begin notes the change in the Arab world’s stated demands from the total destruction of Israel to a withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, but says that the Arab goal of destroying Israel has not changed, only the rhetoric. Begin says there must be a full end to hostilities, followed by direct peace negotiations. Then Israel must give the ‘Arabs of Eretz Israel’ (Begin’s term for the Arabs known as Palestinians living in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria) full cultural autonomy and the option of Israeli citizenship but not national autonomy. The Israel-US relationship will continue to survive disagreements between the two countries. Israel must learn from the Munich agreement not to give in when it is threatened by its enemies and pressured to give in by its friends. In the end, peace will come
In the Passover Edition of the Jewish Herald, Begin states 8 points Herut has proposed in order to establish peace in the Middle East. He then addresses neighboring Arab countries. Begin stresses to them that each time they attempted to destroy Israel, they destroyed themselves. He continues to say that Israel is getting stronger because the fighting Jew has emerged and is “prepared to fight for liberty.” Begin argues that although that the fighting Jew can destroy Arabs, the fighting Jew wants to make peace. Additionally, Begin says that history that continuing with war is pointless. He reiterates, though, that Israel’s forces are alert and ready. He then counters the argument that Herut views are extremist and concludes that making great land concessions and negotiating with Arafat representatives are in fact extremist.
Begin calls on General Rabin to fix the economic crisis he believes his party created. He expresses concern and disappointment that the Labor-dominated majority Knesset rejected the Likud’s proposal to fix the economy. Begin stresses that he and the Likud party believe in their unalienable right to an unpartitioned Eretz Israel. However, there is anxiety looking forward to the future because General Rabin uses phrases like “Jordanian-Palestinian” State. Begin believes that it would be wrong to comply with the UN demand to evacuate Judea and Samaria. He calls upon the words of Ben Gurion and Chaim Weizmann to back up his opinion that the Jewish people have a right to all the land of Israel. He addresses General Rabin and the Cabinet and reminds them of the triumph of 30 years ago, and urges them to preserve Israel’s security.