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: Greater Israel
Begin talks about a series of events regarding the peace process with Egypt. First Begin shares that Begin made it clear that Israel absolutely rejected what Sadat stated he demanded from Israel. Begin continues to say that Israel believes in free negotiations without any prior conditions. He mentions that when Sadat came to Jerusalem and spoke to the Knesset, it was a historic event. Begin shifts to talk about Israel’s peace plan, which Jimmy Carter and his advisors deemed fair. Begin then shares his positive reflections on his visit to Ismailia, including the fact that they “parted in warm friendship.” Begin and Sadat agreed to have two committees, one to negotiate military and the other for political matters. After leaving Ismailia on a seemingly positive note, the controlled Egyptian press wrote anti-Semitic slurs. He concludes by saying Israel and its Arab neighbors should be seen as equals because that is in the direction of peace.
In an interview, Begin discusses different topics regarding the peace process with Egypt and other Arab nations. Begin argues that self-determination does not mean independent statehood and Israel would not accept Palestinian statehood. He also says that although Palestinians will have free political activity, Israel will not allow an organization who wants Israel destroyed. Regarding which nations will have control over the West Bank and Gaza, Begin says that although the land belongs to the Jewish people, there are other claims. Begin strongly argues that settlement building in the West Bank and Sinai should not be viewed as detrimental to the peace talks. Begin says that the peace process is moving, and it’s important that there is patience. The last question was about Likud members voting against Begin’s peace plan. Begin responds by saying he was hurt, but will still pursue his plan.
A reprinting of a chapter from Begin’s book, THE REVOLT, which appeared in the New York Post as part of a series of reprints. This chapter was appended to cover new information revealed over the decades. His description of his experiences as a prisoner of the Soviets, widely denounced by Communists as propaganda, has been acknowledged as truth. Soviet Jews have renounced Communism for Zionism in large numbers. Begin had accused the British of not wanting the Jews of Europe to be saved in the 1949s, and recently revealed documents show how the British prevented the Red Cross from saving 40,000 Jews from Hungary because they might have gone to Palestine. And after Begin always maintained that Israel’s rightful borders included all of Biblical Israel and that any other borders were artificial, in 1967 Israel finally regained Judea and Samaria, erasing the artificial line.
Begin stresses the importance of maintaining the post 1967 borders and not returning the territories of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. He recalls the Yom Kippur War, in which Egypt utilized the element of surprise to attack Israel to cause more damage and more lives to be lost. In order to prevent this from happening again, Begin emphasizes the legal right the Jewish people have to this land.