Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

Statement to the Knesset by Prime Minister Meir. (June 9, 1971)

Two major events took place in the Middle East in May 1971. Secretary of State Rogers visited the region, and a Soviet-Egyptian treaty was signed in Cairo on 27 May. In the talks he held in Jerusalem, Secretary Rogers discussed again the idea of a separate agreement for the re-opening of the Suez Canal and its linkage to a general Israel-Egypt peace agreement. In her foreign policy statement the Prime Minister commented on both events:

Since my policy statement in the Knesset on 9 February, and my address from this rostrum on 16 March, events of considerable importance, which are likely to have a far-reaching influence on our military and political position and on the efforts to achieve peace, have taken place in our region. I refer to the visit to the area by the US Secretary of State, Mr. Rogers, and Assistant Secretary Sisco, to internal developments in Egypt, and, most recently, to the new, unprecedented agreement between Egypt and the Soviet Union of 27 May.

The Government of Israel was glad of the opportunity to exchange views with the US Secretary of State, who was paying his first visit to our country. Mr. Rogers is the Secretary of State of a friendly country, the Government of which manifests a profound interest in and a special responsibility for the fate of the Middle East, and which has made and is making many efforts to achieve peace in this troubled region. That Government has clung to two fundamental principles with regard to the Middle East: the preservation of the balance of forces and the principle of no withdrawal without a contractual and binding peace.

The United States of America, its people and Government, have followed the establishment and development of Israel with feelings of friendship and assisted in its consolidation, its struggle for its rights, and the strengthening of its defensive capacity.

It is only natural that Secretary of State Rogers and his entourage should have been welcomed in Israel with genuine feelings of friendship. Their visit provided an appropriate opportunity for us, the Government of Israel, to discuss all the subjects common to our Governments, with a view to consolidating what we have in common, clarifying whatever needs clarification, and bridging differences of opinion as far as possible.

Two principal subjects were discussed in the course of the talks. One was the joint aspiration of both our Governments to achieve a comprehensive contractual and binding peace agreement between Israel and its neighbours. The second was clarification of proposals for a special agreement between Israel and Egypt on the opening of the Suez Canal.

Insofar as the subject of a comprehensive peace is concerned, the Secretary of State stresses his Government's interest in the prevention of a new outbreak of fire, and the renewal of the Jarring talks in order to promote peace.

We, for our part, made it clear once more to the United States representatives that Israel did not interrupt the talks under the auspices of Ambassador Jarring and we have not gone back on our readiness to hold such talks in all seriousness and with the utmost effort to achieve the declared aim of these discussions. At the same time, we made it clear that we are convinced that these talks will fail in their objective to the extent that we are called upon by any factor whatsoever to give prior commitments on the subjects to be clarified. We stressed repeatedly that Israel has declared its readiness to discuss all subjects relating to peace, including the territorial issue, without prior conditions.

Had the talks under the auspices of Ambassador Jarring continued and been conducted without conditions and without any demand for prior commitments, then Israel would also have submitted its detailed proposals on the subject of peace boundaries and would have presented its detailed demands for defensible borders and the changes required in the lines of the fourth of June, in order to safeguard the existence and security of Israel within the framework of a lasting peace.

I have not the slightest doubt about the constructive intentions of the Government of the United States. However, regrettably, its representatives did not put forward proposals that could, in our opinion, bring nearer the aspired peace. We then went on to discuss the special agreement on the opening of the Suez canal.

Members of the Knesset,

It is worth while to recall once more some of the stages in the evolution of this subject:

On 4 February President Sadat raised his proposal on clearing the Canal and opening it to international shipping. On 9 February I said in the Knesset (and I quote): "Our position on the opening of the Canal has not changed. We are in favour of the opening of the Suez Canal to free navigation and would even willingly discuss proposals aimed at leading to normalization of civilian life in that area, and mutual de-escalation of the military confrontation. But does the President of Egypt believe that it is possible to carry out the work of clearing the Canal while the threat to renew the war is still in force? At any rate, Israel in ready today, as in the past, to hold discussions with Egypt on arrangements for opening the Canal, even as a separate issue from other provisions."

This reaction of ours was transmitted to the Government of Egypt through the American Government. President Sadat did not show any readiness for a direct discussion with us on this subject.

On 19 April we submitted to the United States Government, in response to its request, in orderly and lucid form, a series of principles and considerations on the subject of the special arrangement.

In its reaction, the United States Government explained to us that since its purpose was -to offer its good offices with the aim of reaching agreement, it intended to refrain from assuming a position of identification with the proposals of one side or the other. At the same time, the State Department spokesman said: "We believe they (Israel's conditions) offer a basis for further negotiations on the interim arrangements to reopen the canal."

In our talks with Mr. Rogers during his visit to Israel, we held a practical and detailed clarification of each clause in the principles we had submitted. The Secretary of State and his assistant wanted to promote agreement between the parties by narrowing the gap between their positions as far as possible.

In the course of these discussions, I repeatedly emphasized that we were in the stage of clarification with the United States Government on an agreement between ourselves and the Government of Egypt on the opening of the Suez Canal, pursuant to the initiative of the Egyptian President of 4 February, and my own statement, approved by the Knesset, of 9 February. If indeed it becomes evident that conditions have been created for such a special arrangement, which can be recommended by the Government, the issue will be submitted for debate and approval by the Knesset. The Government of Israel will accept no commitment, nor will it create any facts, prior to debate and decision by the legislature.

The principles that we enunciated in our discussions with the United States Government are the fruit of our conviction and our policy that we must work untiringly for an end to the fighting and a permanent cease-fire on the way to a lasting peace within defensible borders.

Members of the Knesset,

At the conclusion of our discussions with the Secretary of State on an arrangement for the opening of the Canal, I summed up our position in its principal outlines, following on the principles which we submitted to the American Administration, in my meetings with Ambassador Barbour in Israel and through Ambassador Rabin in the United States: the arrangement for the reopening of the canal that would be agreed upon by Israel and Egypt would be a special and separate agreement not linked to the course of the Jarring talks, or to the Security Council, or to the Four-Power talks. As part of this special agreement Israel would be prepared to consider some pullback of its forces from the water line, in accordance with the following principles:

The fighting would not be renewed. Egypt would clear and operate the Suez Canal. No Egyptian and/or other armed forces would cross to the eastern side of the Canal. There would be free passage for shipping in the Canal, including Israeli ships and cargoes. Effective and agreed supervision procedures would be established. Means of deterrence against the danger of violation of the agreement would be assured. Removal of IDF forces from the water line would not be a stage leading to a further withdrawal before peace. Maintenance of the arrangement would not be dependent upon the Jarring talks, but it would also not be incompatible with the holding, furtherance and aim of these talks. The new line to be held be the IDF forces would not be considered the permanent boundary. The permanent boundary between Israel and Egypt would be determined in the peace treaty to be concluded between us and Egypt, and Israel would withdraw to it.

We did not authorize the representatives of the United States Government to convey a document to the Egyptian Government, but at the end of the discussions the US representatives were able to acquaint the Egyptian Government with our views, and they did so.

It should be made clear, for the information of the House, that our position, including the clauses that I have not mentioned here, and our requests to the United States in that context, were determined by the Israel Government at the end of March 1971, that is, before the new Soviet-Egyptian agreement was concluded. The Government did not see fit to decide at this stage on the distance to which our forces would pull back from the water line on the conclusion of an agreement, since the conditions that we had defined for ourselves as justifying a decision on this subject had not yet been created.

To prevent incorrect reports, I must make it clear that the Minister of Defence, in his conversation with the Assistant Secretary of State, did not mention a distance of 35 km., or any other distance, as the extent of the IDF's withdrawal. These reports have already been denied by my office and by the Minister of Defence, and I feel it advisable to repeat and emphasize the validity of this denial. To conclude what I have to say on this subject, I hereby repeat and emphasize: No undertaking on a change in the deployment of forces on the cease-fire lines has been given or will be given until the Government has recommended it and received the approval of the Knesset.

I am happy to note that the talks were intensive and frank, as is appropriate between friendly States. The two sides tried to achieve the utmost clarity on the subjects discussed. The Secretary of State also held a frank talk with the Knesset Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee.

Upon his departure from Israel, Mr. Rogers said that there had been "a very busy two days" and that the visit had been "most worthwhile". He said he thought there had been "some narrowing of the gap" between the positions of Israel and Egypt, but, he went on to say, "there are considerable areas of difference that remain." In view of the talks in Israel, he had asked Mr. Sisco to return to Cairo "to provide the Egyptian officials with certain clarifications we have been able to find here."

The Secretary of State explained that his assistant's trip to Cairo had been arranged in advance with the Egyptian President.

Mr. Sisco left for Cairo on 9 May and met with President Sadat and other officials. As far as we have been able to gather from these talks - from Sadat's speeches and from other diplomatic statements made thereafter up to this date - it transpires that Egypt's position concerning the arrangement on the Canal has become more intransigent.

In his address on I May, the Egyptian President had detailed his conditions for opening the Canal. Among them he stated that a partial withdrawal by Israel from the Suez Canal must be the first stage in a total withdrawal from all the Arab lands. Egypt would agree to extend the cease-fire for a determined period, during which Ambassador Jarring would set a timetable for the implementation of the Security Council Resolution, in which the first clause would be total withdrawal by Israel from all Arab lands in Syria, Jordan, Gaza and Sinai. Egyptian armed forces would cross the Canal eastwards. Should there be no tangible progress by the termination of the cease-fire period, the Egyptian armed forces would reserve the right to take military action to totally liberate all occupied Arab Iands.

Throughout this period, both President Sadat and Foreign Minister Riad made public speeches and statements of a provocative and negative nature. On 20 May, after the visit of Mr. Rogers, and after Mr. Sisco's second trip to Cairo, President Sadat repeated the above conditions for the opening of the Canal. In all public statements, Sadat presented conditions which were in the nature of dictation, and not a basis for agreement.

It is obvious that these public statements are harmful to the possibility of arriving at an agreement on the Canal, if they do in fact express Egypt's official position on this issue. It cannot be seriously expected that Israel will be prepared to withdraw from the water line in order to grant its enemies decisive strategic advantages for the renewal of the fighting, to enable the Egyptian and perhaps the Soviet Army to cross the Canal, and all this as the first stage in a total withdrawal from all the territories.

The Government of Israel is still hopeful that the Egyptian Government's last word on this matter has not yet been heard. The Egyptian Government will undertake a heavy responsibility to its people and to the interest of peace if it closes the door on the chance of arriving at a special agreement on the opening of the Canal.

Members of the Knesset,

While Israel was still waiting for progress in the discussions on an arrangement for the opening of the Canal, President Sadat informed his people on 14 May of the discovery of a plot against him that had been fomented by various circles in the Egyptian leadership with the purpose of undermining his rule and regime. All the signs indicate that the arrests, imprisonments and purges which followed this affair were intended first and foremost to consolidate Sadat's position and to remove the factors that had endangered his rule. These developments including attacks on leaders belonging to the left wing of the Egyptian hierarchy aroused hope among various circles in the West that Sadat wished or was able to free himself from Soviet influence. Sadat himself did not hesitate to encourage a whispering campaign for Western ears that Western, particularly American pressure on Israel to accept Egyptian terms for a comprehensive or special settlement would bring about the freeing of Egypt from Soviet influence. To our regret, certain circles showed a tendency to interpret developments in Egypt in accordance with wishes that had no basis in reality. Insufficient attention was paid to the factor of the personal struggle between the ousted group and Sadat. They ignored the dependency which binds Egypt to the Soviet Union - a dependency which has constantly increased since 1955, when the first agreement to supply Egypt with arms was drawn up, until it reached the proportions of a new form of colonial servitude.

It would appear that the Russians were extremely worried by the internal developments in Egypt and by the uncertainty as to the stability of the Cairo regime. Egypt's gestures towards America also increased Soviet fears that the undermining of the Soviet position in Egypt might have begun.

A high-ranking Soviet delegation, headed by Soviet President Podgorny, rushed to Egypt to save the situation. The delegation included the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, the Soviet Foreign Minister, the Deputy Defence Minister and Commander of the Soviet Union's Ground Forces, and the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Foreign Economic Relations, as well as many aides and advisers. The despatch of a delegation on this level, only ten days following the purges, reflected Russia's determination to ensure the stability of the status of the Soviet Union in Egypt both from the standpoint of its strategic presence and from that of Egypt's international orientation. On 27 May, after only two days' stay by the Soviet delegation, the Soviet-Egyptian treaty was concluded - to the surprise of Western political circles.

Members of the Knesset,

The conclusion of this treaty between the Soviet Union and Egypt is an unprecedented step in the, relations of the Soviet Union with any country outside the Communist camp and far from its borders. This pact was defined by the Russians (and I quote) as an historic document which raises the relations between the two countries to a higher plane and to a new qualitative stage".

And indeed, the Soviet-Egyptian pact may be regarded as a contractual framework that creates a new dimension in the process of Soviet entrenchment in the Middle East. The articles of the treaty recall the bilateral treaties between the Soviet Union and the nations of the Communist bloc.

The articles of the treaty express both local and international commitments and are calculated to bind Egypt to the Soviet doctrine.

The treaty covers every vital sphere of political and social life: the infrastructure of the economy, social, political and cultural life, relations between the Communist Party and the Arab Socialist Union, foreign and defence policy, and cooperation and military aid. The treaty also contains operative clauses which bind the two countries by unprecedented mutual commitments.

As to the security implications, attention should be paid to article 7. In addition to the stress placed on the importance of "concertedness of action in the international arena-, it is stated that (and I quote), "The high contracting parties will, for this purpose, regularly consult each other at different levels on all important questions affecting the interests of both States. In the event of development of situations creating in the opinion of both sides, a danger to peace or violation of peace, they will contact each other without delay in order to concert their positions with a view to removing the threat that has arisen or re-establishing peace."

I shall read article 8 in full: "In the interests of strengthening the defence capacity of the United Arab Republic, the high contracting parties will continue to develop cooperation in the military field on the basis of appropriate agreements between them. Such cooperation will provide specifically for assistance in the training of the UAR military personnel, in mastering the armaments and equipment supplied to the United Arab Republic with a view to strengthening its capacity to eliminate the consequences of aggression as well as increasing its ability to stand up to aggression in general."

There is no doubt that behind these contractual definitions there stands an Egyptian commitment to the strategic presence of the Soviet Union on Egyptian territory and a Soviet military commitment towards Egypt, which was not publicly spelled out for obvious reasons. Of far-reaching importance is the fact that the Soviet commitments have been given for a long term (fifteen years) with a possibility of extension in the future. Under article 8, the Soviet Union undertakes to help the Egyptian Army to achieve offensive power by training the armed forces and preparing them to wield the weapons supplied them. This means that over and above the terms of the treaty, the Russians agreed to accelerate the rearmament of Egypt, and possibly even to supply modern and sophisticated weapons.

Under article 8, Soviet military aid to Egypt is promised not only in connection with the conflict with Israel, but to improve the capacity of the Egyptian army to face aggression in general, and Soviet flexibility on the interpretation of the term "aggression" is well known. This special treaty will certainly encourage the Egyptian rulers in their conviction that the military connection with the Soviet Union will still continue after what they call "the liquidation of the aggression of '67."

The Soviet military commitment in this article of the treaty was defined by President Sadat to the People's Council as a new and fundamental matter which induced him to sign the pact.

In his address of 2 June to the National Council, Sadat said that the treaty "adds to our struggle new guarantees hitherto unfixed." Later he explained that there was a new and fundamental element in this treaty, which induced him to sign it without hesitation, and he is convinced that this element was expressed in article 8.

The President of Egypt suggested that every word and point in this article should be studied and he read it out, in full, word for word. After reading the article he repeated: "This is the new element and this is what we want and cling to in the faith that the battle will be forced upon us, that the last word in the struggle will be said on the battlefield."

The Soviet-Egyptian treaty possesses a significance extending beyond the sphere of Israel-Egyptian relations. Egypt has undertaken to coordinate with the Soviet Union its moves and positions in the world political arena. The Soviet Union has gained control of Egypt's policy. The treaty is a framework permitting intervention in the life and actions of Egypt to the extent that this is necessary to the Great-Power interests of the Soviets. It is impossible not to perceive the global political significance of this alliance, the gravity of which cannot be ignored by any nation that believes in independence, particularly the peoples of Europe and Africa, insofar as they are alert to the fate of the peace and independence of nations.

Members of the Knesset,

The signing of the Egyptian-Soviet treaty is not the outcome of the Arab-Israel conflict, but the result of the consistent Soviet policy of turning Egypt into a principal base in the Mediterranean and North Africa, with the aim of expanding Soviet penetration west of these shores and south to Africa and the Indian Ocean, as well as of creating a threat to the southern flank of Europe. At the same time, there can be no doubt that Egypt will try to use this new treaty as a lever to threaten Israel and as a means of exerting political pressure on the West, first and foremost on the United States, to extort concessions from Israel.

In the meantime, the Egyptian propaganda organs have, for camouflage purposes, opened a tranquillizing campaign aimed at minimizing the importance of the treaty in the eyes of the West, and President Sadat himself has taken up this task. There was a time when Egypt took pains to proclaim and to emphasize that it was a "neutralist" and "non-aligned" State. President Nasser was active in organizing the neutralist bloc and the "third world". We ourselves never took seriously the neutralist mask that the Egyptian propagandists were wont to assume in their appearances in the new African States and at the United Nations. I believe that Egypt can now no longer present itself as "non-aligned", as it has declined to the status of a long-term satellite for the sake of short-term benefits. Regrettably, this situation in Egypt will hamper its healthy, free and sovereign development.

Members of the Knesset,

In February of this year Sadat expressed himself as to Egypt's readiness, under certain conditions, to enter into a peace agreement with Israel. We were not unaware of these conditions, which were enough to put to nought the readiness he proclaimed, but we took a favourable view of the very fact that he expressed readiness to enter into a peace agreement with us, since such readiness, provided it is sincere, is a primary condition for the achievement of peace.

Since then one disappointing move has followed another, parallelling the internal upsets and the adoption of the alliance between Egypt and the Soviet Union. Once again allegiance has been sworn in Egypt to the doctrine of stages, which aims at pushing Israel back to the 4 June lines as a first step and, as the second stage, at the complete liquidation of the Jewish State.

In the agreement on the federation between Egypt, Syria and Libya of 17 April this year, it is stated that: "It has been decided to adopt these principles: no peace, no negotiations with Israel, and no yielding of a single inch of conquered Arab territory, and also no concessions and no bargaining on the Palestine problem."

In a speech to the Palestinian National Council on 28 February 1971, Sadat said: "We oppose the narrow view that wishes to see the Palestinian revolution as a reaction to the year 1967. We insist on the rights of the Palestinian people as accepted in resolutions of the UN in 1947 and up to the present."

The Arabs have always made it clear that when they speak about the rights of the Palestinian people, they in fact mean destruction of Israel.

Recently, in his speech to the National Council on 2 June 1971, Sadat said, inter alia: "The Zionist occupation which besets us will not be solved by the restoration of the occupied territories: this is a new crusade, which will continue in our generation and in generations to come."

Members of the Knesset,

There are some who, yearning for peace, obscure the cruel reality. I have mentioned these negative pronouncements so that no one may ignore the reality in which we are placed, but not in order to despair of peace or to give up our efforts to attain peace.

To my sorrow, I am aware that these statements by the Egyptian rulers are not abstract phrases, but expressions of practical policy. Nevertheless, this will not lead us to abandon our desire for peace. Our policy will continue to be persistent preparedness for self-defence and a persistent policy of peace.

Members of the Knesset,

Continual effort for the arming of the Israel Defence Forces and the building up of their strength continue to be the first of the Government's priorities. The preservation of Israel's defensive and deterrent strength is the most important factor in preventing a renewal of fire, and it alone facilitates the continuation of political efforts for the advancement of peace without military or political coercive conditions. This effort is vital tenfold in the light of the fact that the Egyptian rulers, actively helped by the Soviet Union, are continually striving to undermine the arms balance in order that Israel may be exposed to military threats and political blackmail.

Egypt's central political objective is the blocking of Israel's sources of armaments.

President Nasser said on 1 May 1970: "We demand one thing that the United States can do: to refrain from further aid to Israel, so long as it is in occupation of Arab lands. The United States must refrain from all aid - political, military or economic."

And President Sadat, speaking to the National Council on 20 May 1971, addressed the United States as follows: "I do not agree that you say 'we are persuading Israel'; I do not even agree that you apply pressure to Israel .... I officially call on President Nixon to squeeze Israel hard, if it is peace that we are talking about."

I note with appreciation the fact that during the past year the United States has expressed in deeds its understanding of the need to maintain the military balance between Israel and the Arab States. President Nixon made this quite clear in his report to congress on 25 February 1971 and in other statements.

Members of the Knesset,

The problem of preserving the military balance is not static, especially when Soviet arms shipments to Egypt are on the increase, and so is the involvement of the Soviet Union. We look forward, therefore, to the meeting of Israel's demands for the rectification of the balance that has been upset.

Even before the Soviet-Egyptian treaty was signed, Russia provided Egypt by airlift with modern and up-to-date types of missiles, aircraft and other weapons. After the agreement was signed, the violation of the balance was aggravated even more, both by the creation of new and binding contractual frameworks and by Soviet military commitments which Sadat described as "a new element" in the Egyptian struggle against Israel.

The quantities and types of Soviet arms supplied to Egypt so far and the supply envisaged in the clauses of the new agreement - these already constitute an even graver violation of the military balance. Israel looks forward to continued understanding of its vital claims to arms supplies from the United States Government required for its defence, particularly in the air, and hopes that its requests will be met without delay. Any failure to recognize the deep significance of the violation of the arms balance in the region, as a result of the supply of Soviet weapons to Egypt and the intensification of Soviet involvement, may be a temptation to aggression and a great danger to peace.

Members of the Knesset,

A week ago I returned from a tour of some of the Scandinavian countries and participation in the Conference of the Socialist International in Helsinki.

The resolution adopted in Helsinki, which was supported by all the members of the International, with only Finland voting against part of its provisions and Sweden abstaining, constitutes an important recognition and support of Israel's principal contentions, namely:

- The cease-fire must be unlimited, as decided by the Security Council in June 1967.

- Anxiety with regard to the arms shipments to Egypt and Syria and a call to preserve the balance of armaments between Israel and its neighbours.

- Peace must be based on negotiation and agreement between the parties without being imposed from the outside.

- Negotiations under the auspices of Ambassador Jarring should be conducted without prior conditions, in order to sign a contractual and binding peace agreement.

I was also glad to have the opportunity of meeting a number of Heads of Government and leaders attending the conference in order to hold conversations on subjects of central interest.

I should like, from this platform, to thank the Prime Ministers of Denmark, Sweden and Norway for the hospitality accorded to me in their capitals, and for the opportunity afforded me, in lengthy and thorough conversations, to clarify our approach and exchange views on the principal topics under discussion.

The meetings I held were also attended by other Ministers and I had the opportunity to meet members of Parliament and Socialist Party and Trade Union leaders. In every country I visited, without exception, I was greeted by waves of sympathy and understanding for Israel on the part of the public as a whole and the communications media. I regret that due to my tight schedule I was unable to accept the invitation of the Prime Minister of Iceland to visit his country, and I thank him for his invitation.

I drew great encouragement and inspiration from my meetings with the Jewish communities in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway. From my visit to the Jewish School in Helsinki, which is the northernmost Jewish school in the world, to my moving meeting with Jewish youth and the assembly at the Great Synagogue in Stockholm, I was inspired anew with faith in the unity and destiny of the Jewish people and its firm ties with Israel. These Jews look to us as the source of the inspiration which gives meaning to their lives, and we see in them a source of strength and encouragement in our joint struggle for peace and security.

Members of the Knesset:

Four years have passed since the Six-Day War. Now, as we cross the threshold of the fifth year, we remember not only the victory, but also the days of May and early June - the tension, the danger, the encirclement and isolation, the military might that was arrayed to attack us, the roars for battle, the boasting, the sabre-rattling visit of Nasser and Amer to Bir Gafgafa, the impotence of the United Nations, the blockade against shipping, and the promises that were not kept.

We remember the armistice lines of those days, which were a constant temptation to the aggressor, and our memories of all these strengthen our determination not to return to the circumstances and the situation of those days, but to stand firm on the cease-fire lines until the achievement of peace within defensible borders. Victory has not diminished in the slightest our conviction of the vital importance of peace. In our conviction, it is time that the experience of the developments in the Middle East since the founding of the State of Israel should convince the Arab States that in war against Israel they will achieve nothing. War multiplies death and destruction, squanders resources, delays social development and causes dependence on Foreign Powers which endangers independence.

The one way to peace is to abandon the aspiration to destroy Israel and to enter into talks without prior conditions.

We are prepared and our heart is open for a change in the relations between the peoples and countries in the region, for the opening of a new page, but as long as this way is blocked because of hostility and false hopes, we have no alternative but to be constantly prepared to defend ourselves with all our strength, to unite in every effort to ensure that if the Arab rulers do, in fact, decide that the Six-Day War was not the last war, then their military defeat in that war will not be their last defeat.


Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs