The Twelfth-Fourteenth Session of the Tenth Knesset Wednesday, June 14, 1983 – The establishment of a committee of inquiry into the activities of the opposition circles during Operation Peace for the Galilee

Begin claims that the war in Lebanon was a war of self-defense, an attempt to protect the north from a real threat. Begin criticizes the opposition for trying to create the impression that there was aggression when going to war. Begin opposes the establishment of another commission of inquiry and claims that the government has adopted the conclusions of the Kahan Commission.

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.

Camp David Accords

I declared at Camp David that we should bring the issue before the Knesset and the Knesset will get this time complete freedom of vote. It means that no party discipline will be put into operation as the usual case is in any democratic parliament. And so, every member of the Knesset will vote in … Continued

A Lesson in Democracy

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.

Israel Will Not Submit to Threats

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.