Begin addressed his upcoming trip to Cairo in a speech given shortly after the peace treaty with Egypt was signed. “It is not time to rest on our laurels,” he said, calling for Palestinian Arab autonomy as well as ensuring Israel’s security from all sides. He then called for a campaign in the United States to ensure Israel’s security, as well as for Jewish communities in the United States to stand by Israel. Later, Begin discussed Israel’s poverty problem, referred to the Bonds’ role in helping Israel’s economy, and urged the audience to donate to Project Renewal.
Subjects: Yasser Arafat
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 a TV interview, Begin discusses his relationship with Jimmy Carter and Anwar Sadat, specifically regarding peace in the Middle East. First, Begin talks about his successful visit with Carter. Then Begin talks about how he does not want peace with only Egypt, he wants Israel to be at peace with all of its neighbors. In regards to Jews living in Judea and Samaria, Begin said that they have a right to live there, just how Arabs from Judea and Samaria have a right to live in Israel. Begin talks about the consistent contact with Sadat. Begin states that Jerusalem will not be divided and will remain the Capital City for Israel. Then Begin talks about security and says that Israel will only rely on itself, not any international guarantees. Additionally, Begin says that regarding land, “We always said that everything is negotiable, except the destruction of Israel. Everything is negotiable.” Begin closes saying that meeting in Cairo is a great step towards peace.
A television interview for ABC News. After he is elected but before he assumes office Begin already faces disagreements with the Carter Administration, with Clark and Seamans asking about those disagreements and his commitment to peace. Carter says Israel should withdraw from nearly all of the territories captured in 1967 while Begin says Judea and Samaria are integral and permanent part of Israel and there is existential danger in giving them up. Begin insists he is willing to negotiate peace with all Arab countries but not the PLO. When challenged over possibly losing American economic and military aid Begin counters that the relationship with America is mutually beneficial. Israel is keeping Communism out of the Middle East, Begin says.
Begin criticizes anyone who wishes to give back the territories of Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. He claims that Israel losing these territories would be detrimental to Israeli national security. He believes that the Soviet Union would use these territories to create a place for themselves in the Middle East, which would threaten national security greatly. Begin states his displeasure with Arafat, the Palestinians, and the PLO, calling them a murder organization.