Begin’s statement at a government meeting proposing the annexation of the Golan Heights by Israel. Israeli law and sovereignty is to be fully applied to the Golan Heights. There is a law from 1967 relating to the territories of Eretz Israel, but that law does not apply to the Golan because it was part of the French Mandate for Syria. When Syria controlled the Golan it used the position to attack Israeli civilians. Israel has invited the rulers of Syria to negotiate peace, but Syria has refused to discuss peace. Syria’s Foreign Minister stated that the Arabs must wait until they are stronger than Israel. Assad stated that he would not recognize Israel even if the PLO were to do so. Syria’s actions mean that Israel’s response is not a breach of the Camp David Accords. Israel will face severe international protests over the annexation, but it is a matter of life and security, and so Israel must act in spite of those protests.
Subjects: Fundamentals of Israeli Security
Barbara Walters interviews Prime Minister Begin on “ABC” about the progress of the peace process with Egypt, the meaning of Palestinian Arab autonomy, reactions to the Iranian hostage crisis and the Olympic Games in Moscow. He closes with how he wishes to be remembered.
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.
Well, sir, I hear for the last 30 years that time works against Israel. I didn’t see any sign of it. We are not frightened. I think we can sustain our independence. We shall never call foreign armies to defend our country. For instance, I may say in this country, we shall never ask one … Continued
Begin writes a response to a letter doubting Begin’s peace efforts. The original letter suggests Begin to go to the polls and argues that if he does not have majority support, he should no longer remain Prime Minister. Begin’s response letter first acknowledges that Israel is not just a country for its residents, but also a country belonging to Diaspora Jews. He also says that a national election is an internal issue. Then Begin talks about how his campaign in the 1977 national election focused on “the political-security problems and the socioeconomic problems.” Israelis voted for Begin fully aware of his political-security visions. Begin talks about how he takes his duty as Prime Minister seriously and it’s his responsibility to strengthen Israel’s security. Begin believes that strengthening Israel’s security means having peace with its neighbors. He claims that the original letter’s idea of security would lead to permanent bloodshed and thus, threaten Israel’s existence.