Israel's separation of forces agreement with Egypt was approved by a majority of more than two to one in the Knesset -- Israel's Parliament -- on Tuesday (22 January).
GV INT. Knesset with Begin at rostrum
SV Mrs. Meir listening
SV Mr. Dayan
SV Two pan members seated
GV and pan members seated
CU Begin being interviewed in English
QUESTION: "Do you think there's peace now? Do you regard this agreement, this ceasefire as peace?"
BEGIN; "Oh no, on the contrary, Egypt proclaims after all that the state of war with Israel continues, and so with the other Arab countries. No, no, it's not peace. For the time being it's only a ceasefire. We hope in the future peace will come."
QUESTION: "But not under these conditions that have been accepted now?"
BEGIN: "Well, of course, if the enemy says it is in a state of war, what will our words help to change it. (indistinct). I suppose the Geneva talks will now be postpone, perhaps for two months,and then if they are renewed, we shall see. The opening (indistinct) was not a ground for making peace because our enemies called us invaders, they just wanted to turn us out of this country. But I believe that in time peace will come if of course there is a steadfast attitude of Israel."
Initials SC/2312 SC/2323
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Background: Israel's separation of forces agreement with Egypt was approved by a majority of more than two to one in the Knesset -- Israel's Parliament -- on Tuesday (22 January). The vote endorsing the agreement negotiated by the Prime Minster, Mrs. Golda Meir's caretaker government came after a seven hour debate.
Only the right-of-centre opposition Likud party refused to endorse the agreement. It's leader, Mr. Menahem Begin, spearheaded the attack on Mrs. Meir's government challenging her authority to make the agreement and accusing her government of heaping disaster on Israel.
Later, reporter Keith Graves asked Mr. Begin if he thought the agreement meant peace.
Mrs. Meir defended the agreement in the Knesset, saying the alternative was the renewal of war. She also stressed that the line to which Israeli forces are to withdraw "does not constitute a permanent border for times of peace." It was, she said, a first step towards peace.