Begin addressed his upcoming trip to Cairo in a speech given shortly after the peace treaty with Egypt was signed. “It is not time to rest on our laurels,” he said, calling for Palestinian Arab autonomy as well as ensuring Israel’s security from all sides. He then called for a campaign in the United States to ensure Israel’s security, as well as for Jewish communities in the United States to stand by Israel. Later, Begin discussed Israel’s poverty problem, referred to the Bonds’ role in helping Israel’s economy, and urged the audience to donate to Project Renewal.
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.
In our peace proposal we suggested that a second, narrow United Nations zone be created in the northern Sinai around the district of Yamit—a new town founded several years ago in the desert by the sea-shore. May I point out that the two proposed UN zones—conceived as vital to our national security—make up hardly move … Continued
In the peace proposal we have presented we gave up this past claim to territorial control. For the sake of an agreement and the peace, we now suggest that the narrow strip between our southern port, Eilat, and Sharm-el-Sheikh, become a United Nations zone. This is a far-reaching compromise proposal. And I emphasise, again, that … Continued