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.
Subjects: Refugee Issue
In a speech to the French fundraiser’s representatives, Begin stressed the importance of demilitarizing the Sinai Peninsula and sparing the settlements in the peace accord with Egypt, in order to maintain Israel’s national security. Later, He addressed the autonomy plan’s major principles, as well as the disagreement over Jerusalem’s division and Israel’s right to exist. Finally, he urged the audience to support Project Renewal.
Begin explains why there is a struggle for peace between Israel and its Arab neighboring countries. There is an argument that Israel is preventing peace because Israel insists to retain land gained from the Six-Day War. He then shares Mapam’s plan for peace, which includes the Gaza Strip. Regarding the Golan Heights, they will negotiate some land, but will not give it all up. Additionally, Israel must link Sharm-el-Sheikh to Eilat. Lastly, Jerusalem will be the capital for one country, Israel. Begin then explains how Egypt, Syria, and Jordan all refuse Mapam’s plan. Begin shifts to Yigal Allon’s plan for peace, specifically focusing on Judea and Samaria. He believes in annexing some of the land and linking Jordan with parts of the West Bank. Begin says though, that Hussein does not find this plan acceptable. Begin then shifts to the crux of his argument: Arabs will not accept a peace treaty that will ensure Israel’s security.
Begin mainly talks about foreign perspectives on Jewry and Israel. He provides examples of comments made by Helmut Sonnenfled, Jimmy Carter, and Bruno Kreisky. Begin then shares that there are Jews who believe that Sadat wants peace and is moderate. Begin goes into detail explaining that Sadat encourages a plan that would destroy Israel. Sadat believes Israel should retreat to the 1967 borders and that Palestinians still deserve their rights. This would lead to the destruction of Israel and with Arafat ruling over the land. Then Begin talks about how the word “dissident” has been used to describe both Zion haters and lovers. Lastly, he mentions Yitzchak Rabin’s statement that there are a group of Israelis wanting to harm the Israel- U.S. relationship, to which Begin argues subsequently harms Israel.
Begin argues against the claim that Zionism equals not only racism, but also extremism. He explains that Zionism is suddenly seems to be extreme because Zionists do not want to have Arafat in control of “the heart of Western Eretz Israel.” Then he shifts to talk about the error the Government has made with the new slogan of “if they recognize us, we’ll recognize them.” Additionally, when Israel argued that they would not participate in the UN Security Council sessions if the PLO participates, there was the claim that Israel’s reaction was emotional and extremist. However, Begin points out how the UN resolutions 212 and 194 are the formula for destroying Israel. Therefore, it should not be seen as extremism when wanting to protect Israel from destruction. Towards the end he mentions that it is self-destructive for Jews accepting the term Palestinian and believing that Arabs in Nazarath waving a Palestinian flag is merely self-expression.