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November 19, 1982 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-11-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, November 19, 1982 3

Jimmy Carter Battles With Jewish Spokesmen in His Memoirs

(Continued from Page 72)
King had interrupted his
vacation in Majorca, cancel-
ing the visit with Sadat, and
was returning to Amman.
"When I reached him
by telephone, I dis-
covered that he was
under pressure from
some of the other Arabs
to reject any role in the
forthcoming negotiations
to implement the terms of
our agreements. I ex-
plained the advantages
to him and to the Palesti-
nians of the accords we
had signed, and ,he prom-
ised, somewhat reluc-
tantly, not to make any
public comment or deci-
sion until we had in-

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formed_him thoroughly
about the documents.
"I then asked Secretary
Vance to go to Jordan and
Saudi Arabia as soon as
possible to brief the leaders
there. When I contacted
Crown Prince Fand, he told
me that he would welcome
the visit, and suggested that
Vance stop in Syria to give
President Assad the same
information. Surprisingly,
Assad also seemed eager for
the briefing.
"I spent most of Monday
afternoon working on my
address to Congress about
the Camp David negotia-
tions. Begin was out mak-
ing speeches, but I had Fritz
go over to ask Sadat if he
had any suggestions for
statements or phrases that
might help us with the
Palestinians or other Arabs.
Sadat's only advice was,
`Just do not aggravate the
Israelis, some of whom are
quite excitable and unpre-
dictable people.'
"That same afternoon, we
heard reports that Prime
Minister Begin was making
negative statements to
Jewish audiences concern-
ing the arrangements for
Jerusalem, withdrawal
from the West Bank, new
settlements in the occupied
territories, Palestinian ref-
ugees, and future relation-
ships with Israel's other
neighbors. When we were
together at the Capitol for
my report to Congress, I dis-
cussed with Sadat and
Begin what a serious prob-
lem this was.
"Begin's statements
were certain to alienate
the moderate Arabs and
the Palestinian leaders,
and to impede any
further progress on the
Palestinian and West
Bank issues. It seemed
that suspicions at Camp
David were proving well
founded. Begin wanted to
keep two things: the
peace with Egypt
and
the West Bank.
"When my report to Con-
gress was delivered,
President Sadat and Prime
Minister Begin were in the
balcony of the House



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Chamber. It was a warm
and enthusiastic session,
even emotional at times. I
had had to prepare a speech
hurriedly, and in the car on
the way to the Capitol, I had
decided to add a Bible verse
from the Sermon on the
Mount:
" 'Blessed
are
the
peacemakers: for—?' I could
not remember whether
`they shall be called the
children of God' or 'Tli.eirs is
the kingom of heaven.' Luc-
kily, I guessed right, and
made them God's children.
That quote got most of the
headlines.

Had a meeting of key
Jewish leaders, along with
Fritz and others. We re-
minisced about the extreme
strain between,them and me
and the rest of the Jews in
the United States. I pointed
out in a nice way that the
controversies that I had put
on the table that caused the
strain had been the source of
ultimate success, and hoped
that they would not only
work to repair the political
damage, but to restrain Be-
gin, who is acting in a com-
pletely irresponsible way. —

Diary, Sept. 19, 1978.
"This meeting was de-
lightful, full of fun and good
cheer, and we welcomed it
because it was so rare. All of
us were happy about the
Cainp David accords. But
the respite was to be quite
brief, because Begin con-
tinued to disavow the basic
principles of the accords re-
lating to Israel's withdra-
wal of its armed forces and
military government from
the West Bank, negotia-
tions on an equal basis with
the Palestinians and other
Arabs, and the granting of
full autonomy to the resi-
dents of the occupied areas.
"His statements, which
were in sharp contrast to
those of the American and
Egyptian delegations, soon
created understandable
confusion among those who
were intensely interested in
the Middle East.
"When Prime Minister
Begin came by my office
before leaving Washing-
ton, I gave him a sign
reading, 'Shalom Y'all,'
which had been sent up
by some of my ,Georgia
friends.
"After everyone else left, I
talked to him privately
about the good prospects for
cooperation from some of
the other Arab leaders, and
warned that his remarks
were making it almost im-
possible for them to join in
any future discussions.
"His reply was evasive
and non-committal, and I
had a feeling that he really
did not want any early talks
involving the Palestinians
and other Arabs. The next
day in New York, Begin
continued his disruptive
comments. We considered
sending the Vice President
to talk to him again, but de-
cided that the damage had
already been done. We
would just have to salvage
what we could.
"Despite Begin's provoca-
tions, Camp David was _
viewed as a tremendous

.

success by the American
public. I was flooded with
requests to take different
groups to Camp David . .
In Washington on Nov.
10, while autographing his
book, President Carter had
this additional comment on
Begin:
"I hope President Reagan
and Secretary of State
Shultz are firm and forceful
with him on the issue of the
Israeli settlements on the
West Bank. I know Begin
well, and if a proposition is
put to him in an embiguous
way or with loopholes, he'll
take advantage of those
loopholes."
Such are the recon-
structed stories of the Car-

ter role in the Camp David
negotiations, the American
Jewish involvements as
they are judged by the
former President, the per-
sonalities and the dislikes.
"Keeping Faith" is both
drama and history. It is a
challenging work. It sheds
light on many issues,

George
Ohrenstein

domestic and foreign. It is a
recorded history, in
memoirs, that will be re-
ferred to for many years to
come.
—P.S.

4 ,2

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