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January 27, 1978 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-01-27

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2 Friday, January 27, 1978


Purely Commentary

Menahem Begin's Role in the Disrupted —Negotiations
for an Uncertain Peace ... It Wasn't an Unsociable
Israeli Prime
Toast... Full

By Philip

Name-Calling in International Disputes and the Menahem Begin Approaches to Crises

It looked like another incurable crisis in the, Middle East when Egypt's President
Anwar Sadat unexpectedly recalled his Foreign Minister Mohammed Kaamel and his
negotiating delegation from Jerusalem. It was arr occasion once again to make Israel's
Prime Minister Menahem Begin the target for attacks. It was he, they said, who spoke
politics at a special social function at which the Egyptians were to be greeted kindly.
The facts? They are primarily imbedded in the Begin speech, the text of which, made
available by the Israel Foreign Ministry, is reproduced on this page. It happened to be a
toast that was couched in scholarly referrals to historical Jewish experiences.
Not to be forgotten is the fact that Egyptian Foreign Minister Kaamel had introduced
himself with political asseverations and the Begin speech was a reply. Both had spoken
politics and when Jews begin to panic, as some have over the development, there is the
obligation to set the record straight.
-A Washington Post report on the near-critical occurrence which may yet be healed
gave this partial introduction to a background in the controversy:
Begin disclosed that during his private talks with Sadat in Jerusalem in November,
he told Sadat that if Israel were to give back sovereignty over the Sinai, Egypt would
have to agree to a demilitarized buffer zone east of the strategic passes. Begin said
that Sadat agreed to that, but when the idea was presented formally to the Egyptian
negotiators, they challenged it.
Begin also read from the minutes of his meeting with Sadat in Egypt on Christmas
Day to prove that he had not misled the Egyptian president about Israel's intention to
retain Jewish settlements in the Sinai, and protect them with the Israeli army. He
spoke of how the settlers had made the desert bloom, and said: "We are not going to
destroy the fruit of the labor of our men at the whim of the Egyptian government."
This report proceeded to quote several of the Begin comments and they merit repeating
for a fuller knowledge of what had transpired. Begin said, inter alia:
"Can a notable contribution become otherwise in four weeks?" Begin asked. "Can
a constructive approach become a negative approach in one month? Can a great deal
of flexibility turn into inflexibility? Can a long step forward turn into a long step
backwards all in a few weeks? It is absolutely inconceivable . . ."
The Prime Minister defended his tough dinner speech ... which so offended

Begin's Jerusalem Toast

Ladies and gentlemen, Egypt and Israel have differences
of opinion, and with the knowledge of the existence of the
differences we work hard to overcome the difficulties,
reach an agreement and in God's good time sign peace
treaties. Our dear and honored guest, the foreign minister
of Egypt, told us upon arrival on which circumstances
peace cannot be established.
I will not repeat his speech. I will only say that if I
followed suit and used the negative term, then I would say
on behalf , of Israel that peace cannot be established should
Israel restore or agree to restore the fragile, breakable,
aggression-provoking and bloodshed-causing lines preced-
ing the 5th of June 1967, and to this there is almost an
absolute national consensus in this country.
For peace cannot be established with the redivision of
Jerusalem, the capital city not only of the state of Israel
but traditionally and culturally of the Jewish people since
the days of King David. And why should it be redivisioned?
London and Paris are one city, Moscow and Washington are
one city. Cairo and Damascus are one city. Can anyone
envisage barbed wire dividing this city? Just impossible,
However, I prefer the positive relations to the negative
and therefore I will say under what circumstances peace is
reachable and will be established, and I will say only one
sentence on this very important subject. Peace will be
reached, established when we respect mutually our prin-
ciples, and although we have the feeling of urgency, we also
have patience. There will be peace.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, permit me to dwell on the
one thesis and to sing the praise of a • great human concept
given to us by one of the greatest minds ever born in
humanity — Woodrow Wilson.
The concept is of self-determination. Woodrow Wilson
proclaimed the right of self-determination to the world,
near the end of the First World War, and on the basis of
that right a committee appointed by him concerning the
Middle East reported to the effect, I quote: "It is just that
Palestine should become a*Jewish state."
All nations subjugated, enslaved, oppressed, base their
struggle for liberation on that concept of Woodrow Wilson.
We too, because in those days every intellignet woman and
man understood that the right of self-determination of the
Jewish dispersed, persecuted, humiliated, ultimately phys-
ically destroyed Jewish people is returning to the land of
their forefathers and re-establishing or reconstituting their
own state.
Now may I say, ladies and gentlemen, that I sing the
praise of sell-determination in relation to the great Arab
I learned from my master and teacher Zeev Jabotinsky to
have deep respect for the great Arab people and to pay
tribute to their invaluable contribution to human civ-
ilization, especially during the time when our own eagle,
The Rambam (Maimonides) wrote his most important
books in Arabic:Out of respect for the great Arab people
we not only recognize, we rejoice in the expression of their
right for self-determination. They have self-determination
expressed in the existence of 21 sovereign Arab states,

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kaamel. Begin bitterly criticized the Egyptian
for having landed at Ben-Gurion Airport and immediately saying that peace was
impossible unless Israel gave up East Jerusalem.
Although the Egyptian foreign minister's remarks differed only slightly from what
Sadat had said in Jerusalem, Begin called the foreign minister's remarks "the most
preposterous statement ever made by a guest." Begin said that "in classical French,
it means chutzpah." It was not only "our right but our duty to answer that statement
as I did," he added. What's more, Begin said he would do it again. -
Begin also fiercely attacked the notion that Israel should make concessions since
Egypt had recognized Israel's right to exist.
"We never asked your president or your government or any other president or
general to recognize our right to exist ..." he said.
Sadat offered not just recognition of Israel's right to exist, but Egyptian
acceptance of Israel as a legitimate neighbor in the Middle East — something all
Israeli governments have been seeking for 30 years.

Trying to assess what had gone wrong, Israeli officials noted that the Egyptian
press has been something less than friendly the past weeks in sharp contrast to he
"soft line of the first month of the honeymoon."
Begin himself complained of having been called a shylock in the Egyptian press,
calling it "an old anti-Semitic expression."

When branding villains it is important, therefore, that all aspects of the situation be
known. There is a compulsion to seek fairness by judging both sides equally. If Kaamel
could speak politics, why couldn't Begin? But if Sadat keeps speaking in anger it won't
justify Israelis losing their tempers. Sadat's latest demands are not new: they have been
heard before. Israel's aim on the other hand, is to keep demanding a peace based on the
right to resist the threats still emanating from Beirut and Damascus, with echoes from
Saudi Arabia and Iraq, which would mean destruction. Sadat can fume, he has 21 Arab
states as his backers; Israel, with only the U.S. as a backer, can not afford to lose its
temper nor delimiting the basics as they are outlined by Menahem Begin, that there can
be no concessions leading to suicide.

whereas they lived in the 20's, certainly earlier, in
Israel, our democratic parliament which you saw today, in
subjugation to foreign rules since time of the Turkish rule
action, and the government, have deep respect and friend-
and later under the British, under the French, under the
ship for your President, and appreciate his decision, his
historic decision to come to Jerusalem.
We do not begrudge them that wonderful, perhaps
We of course received him as I promised in my letter to
unprecedented, use of the right to self-determination. In an
him, with respect and cordiality and he felt it. All members
area stretching from the Persian Gulf up to the shores of
of the Egyptian delegation who followed and accompanied
the Atlantic Ocean, 12 million square kilometers, 21
President Sadat will bear me out that the reception was
sovereign Arab states.
respectful and cordial as befits that hospitality which both
The Egyptian foreign minister is a young man, but the
peoples inherited from our common father old Abraham. So
foreign secretary (Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance ) and I
convey this message of respect, friendship and good will.
belong to the same generation — excuse me — and our
Now, ladies and gentlemen, this is an evening of
generation, Mr. Secretary, remembers that wonderful
friendship, of understanding, of good will. May I say it is no
concept of self-determination was misused in the 30's.
secret that we have differences of opinion. We have. As any
In the late 30's as the result of the misuse of that concept
one of you who studies history, we do know that all
disaster was - brought on Europe, upon the world, which
negotiations to establish peace and to sign peace treaties
extracted itself from their disaster almost miraculously.
after war started from differences of opinion. Ultimately an
And therefore out of deep respect for the great Arab
agreement was reached and peace was established. So I do
people and rejoicing and not begrudging their right of self-
believe this is going to be the case with the Egyptian-Israeli
determination, may I state that never again (will) that
concept be misused because we'll remember the 30's, the
Ladies and gentlemen, I raise my glass to peace between
late 30's and the result of that misuse.
the great Arab people and the state of Israel, to cooperation
Mr. Foreign Minister, when you go back home soon — , between the great Egyptian people and the people of Israel,
and then come back soon, we would , like your presence in
to the traditional lasting, everlasting friendship between the
Jerusalem — Ezer (Weizman) likes his presence in Cairo
United States and the state of Israel — and with God's help
from time to time — convey to the President our respect
we shall leave the blessings of peace to our children and
and our friendship. You should know that the people of
children's children. Lechairn.

Jewish Group Helps Protect NY Elderly


(Copyright 078, JTA, Inc.)

Elderly New York Jews
are being helped to protect
themsleves from increased
criminal attacks through an
intensified program devel-
oped by the Jewish Associ-
ation for Services to the
Aged (JASA).
Bernard Warach, JASA
executive director, said that
in addition to long-term pro-
grams of crime prevention,
education and assistance to
victims, many specific in-
cidents of crime against the
elderly have prompted spe-
cific activities. Two crimes
in the vicinity of the JASA
Queens Service Center in
Forest Hills led to a work-
shop on crime prevention in
the home and on the block
for about 75 elderly resi-
dents arranged by Sarah Le-
derman, JASA Queens dis-
trict director. Two
detectives counseled the 75

residents and distributed
materials on crime pre-
vention techniques.
Another mugging of a
member of JASA's East
Concourse Luncheon Club in
the Tremont area of the
Bronx led Mae Monton, a
program assistant at the
club, to devise a method of
avoiding "push-in mug-
gings." These are assaults
in which the elderly victim
is pushed into the hall of his
or her apartment and then
attacked with no one on the
the street outside able to see
the assault and perhaps help
the victim or call police.
Ms. Moton questioned sev-
eral mugging victims and
discovered they did not
know their neighbors. She
then arranged a system in
each of eight buildings in
which the tenants meet
their floor neighbors and ex-
change daily time sched-
ules. As each tenant enters
the building, he or she rings

all the bells on the floor.
Each belled neighbor then
opens his or her door to
watch the tenant enter his
or her apartment in safety.
Barry Lee Coyne, a social
worker at JASA's Rochdale
Village Service Center in
Jamaica, Queens, has
worked extensively on as-
sistance to crime victims.
He has established strong
ties between JASA and the
local police precinct and the
court victims assistance

Local police refer to the
Rochdale Village JASA of-
fice older victims who need
help. A letter from Warach
has encouraged each New
York City police precinct to
follow this practice. JASA's
four community aides at
Rochdale Village escort
crime victims to court pro-

Another group which
JASA helped to initiate, the

Fast Bronx Council of Aging
Task Force on Crimes
Against the Elderly, is com-
prised of professionals and
elderly volunteers, many of
them connected with JASA.
This group assists victims
to overcome the problem
resulting from crimes a
to follow through with coil,.

Warach said that the
JASA re-location program
helps Jewish elderly to
move out of decaying neigh-
borhoods to safer areas.

"It is a strong preventive
measure. Unfortunately,
many of the persons who
request re-location do so
after being victimized.

The spokesperson told the
JTA that during the past
three years, nearly 500
elderly Jews had been re-
located in the JASA

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