One of the most decisive issues is, one, the essence of the autonomy. What is the autonomy? Because I think it is made clear by the Camp David agreement, but there are many proposals. For instance, there is an Egyptian proposal to have an assembly, an executive, a judiciary. I call it a Palestinian state … Continued
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.
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 discusses Israel’s plan for peace and the different obstacle Begin has faced in the process. The first part of the peace plan focuses on Palestinian self-rule in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Begin then talks about Israel’s peace plan with Egypt, specifically regarding the Sinai Peninsula. In order to give up this land, it must be demilitarized so wars do not reoccur. However, while Anwar Sadat and Begin agreed that the Egyptian army will remain about 200 kilometers from the international boundary, the Egyptian War Minister presented their army being only 40 kilometers from the boundary. This brings Begin to talk about Israeli settlements and how they strengthen Israel’s national security. Then Begin questions the U.S.’s change in opinion about Israel’s peace proposal. He mentions the strong relationship he has with Sadat and then hints of anti-Semitism were published. He closes with still having hopes for peace.
Begin discussed the obstacles in the peace process, as well as the autonomy proposal, at a press conference at Blair House, Washington. He then spoke about the security situation in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, citing the Coastal Road massacre two weeks prior to the briefing and the Yom Kippur War as examples. He later addressed the Operation Litani’s casualties in Lebanon, the implementation of Resolution 242, and his resignation from the cabinet in 1970.