My Plan for Peace

Such was our peace proposal.  When it was first presented last December it was greeted in this great country and elsewhere with words of praise and with a most positive general reaction.  Indeed, as the President said publicly, the Israeli peace plan represented “a long step forward.”  The Secretary of State declared it to be … Continued

A Man Who Loves His Homeland

Another name people call us is ‘extremist.’ Jews, Zionists, what has happened to us? If a Jew says that Eretz Yisrael belongs to the Jewish people by right, not only to the Jews who live in Eretz Yisrael, but to all sons of the Jewish people – is that extremism? Is that not what Herzl … Continued

The Golan Heights Law

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.

PM Begin’s Speech at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

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.

PM Begin in an Interview with Barbara Walters and Walter Cronkite

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.