Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 49

Volume 4, Issue 49
September 16, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 437,533

30 Years Since Camp David

1978: Camp David Ends, Begin Reports to Knesset

After 12 days in Camp David, Maryland, near Washington, DC, Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Israel's team were at last fee to leave and complete their journey in the US and then return to Israel. At first, Mr. Begin thought that the whole process would take three to four days, but it was not to be. The discussion between the Prime Minister and President Anwar Sadat under the patronage of the American President continued, broke down, and were resumed until an agreement was reached.

After his return to Israel, the Prime Minister made a comprehensive statement to the Knesset in which he said:

"I bring to the Knesset, and through it to the nation, the message of the establishment of peace with the strongest and largest of the Arab states; and, in the course of time, inevitably, with all our neighbors."

And Mr. Begin thanked the members of his team:

"We worked in the spirit of a team regarding every meeting between ourselves and the American delegation or every conversation between one of our members and a member of the Egyptian delegation. We would meet - whether it was day or night - for joint consultation; and each member of the delegation, without difference of status or rank, expressed his opinion freely, and everyone tried to take into consideration the view of his fellow-delegation member. Of this team, I shall say, simply: Well done.

The critical importance of the agreement with Egypt lies in the fact that this time we undertook to sign a peace treaty. No more partial agreements. No more interim agreements - in which the state of war remains as it was. But a peace treaty, which, in line with the known international models, generally opens with the following sentence: "The state of war between the two countries has come to an end." This is the difference - one of major importance. It means complete normalization of relations, including the establishment of diplomatic relations, an end to econo mic boycott, free movement of people and goods.

Experts on security assert and confirm that we have attained sufficient and satisfactory security conditions for the State of Israel, by laying down demilitarized zones, areas of thinned out forces and early-warning facilities."

* * * * *

Major Interview in Yediot Ahronot

Four members of the Israel team at Camp David participated in a wide-ranging interview which the Yediot Ahronot (the largest Hebrew language daily newspaper) published in last Friday's edition. The participants were Judge Elyakim Rubinstein of Israel's Supreme Court, who was the assistant to Foreign Minister Dayan; Advocate Meir Rosenne, who was legal a dvisor to the Foreign Ministry; Gen. (ret.) Avraham "Abrasha" Tamir of the Ministry of Defense; and Mr. Dan Pattir, the Prime Minister's spokesman.

They all discussed the main issues at Camp David and cited some interesting and fascinating moments during the 12 days.

The main point stressed by Judge Rubenstein and endorsed by the others was that in the 60 years of Israel's existence, the first thirty years were characterized by war and bloodshed, especially with Egypt, and the second thirty year period, up to this time, was free of such major conflicts. "This represents a major change in Isr ael's status in the Middle East."

* * * * *

As reported last week, the Camp David meeting, discussions and break through will be the theme of the two-day symposium which the Menachem Begin Heritage Center is holding together with the Bar Ilan University on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 September.

The opening session, which will be at the Begin Center on Monday night, commences at 7:00pm. The following day there will be three discussion periods at the Bar Ilan University.

As seats are limited in both places, early reservations are strongly advised. Please call 02-565-2020 or email offices@begincenter.org.il.

60 Years Since IZL Entry into Army

A very unusual event will take place in the Begin Center on Tuesday evening, September 23, when the veterans of the Irgun Zvai Leumi will hold a ceremony to mark 60 years after the disbandment of the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the entry of its members, as units and individuals, into the army of Israel.

There are not many of these veterans left but those who are will receive an appropriate certificate to mark the occasion.

The ceremony will commence with greetings by Herzl Makov, Chairman of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and Dr. Ephraim Even, Chairman of the Irgun Veterans Organization.

Addresses will be given by veteran Irgun commander Yitzhak Avinoam and Prof. Yehuda Lapidot.

There will be appropriate songs during the evening. The event is organized by Yehoshua Lendner of the Irgun veterans in Jerusalem.

Mazal Tov

The wedding of Dorit, daughter of Orna and Herzl Makov, Chairman of the Begin Center, to Ariel, son of Michal and Yitzhak Gispan, took place on Sunday night at the Events Garden at Tel Gezer. It was a happy, warm occasion for family and guests.

We extend our hearty Mazal Tov to the young couple and to their families.
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