Premier Menachem Begin of Israel and President Anwar Sadat of Egypt received the Family of Man Award for their efforts on behalf of peace, given by the Council of Churches of the City of New York. The presentation of the awards was made during a dinner last Thursday night at the New York Hilton here attended by some 1000 Jewish, Moslem and Christian community and religious leaders. While Begin arrived in person to receive the award, Sadat was represented by Egypt’s former Premier, Mamdouh Salem, now an assistant to Sadat.
As Begin started to deliver his address, a few hecklers, seated among the guests, began to shout: “Sinai is Jewish,” “Begin is a traitor,” “Begin is a Chamberlain.” They were promptly ejected from the hall by the guards. Begin, to a standing ovation, addressed the gathering. The hecklers were not identified.
Begin predicted that the peace treaty with Egypt will be signed “very soon.” But at the same time he said that there are still hurdles to overcome and problems to solve. Declaring that he hoped that when peace is established, Israel and Egypt will work together “to turn the desert into a blossoming garden,” Begin urged the American people to “come and invest in Egypt and Israel.”
The Israeli Premier emphasized that “Jerusalem is one city, indivisible, the eternal capital of Israel.” He said that while peace with Egypt is imminent, Israel is threatened “by evil forces” of Syria and Iraq. “We do not take lightly those words of hatred” from Baghdad, Begin said.
SADAT: PALESTINIANS CANNOT BE FORGOTTEN
Sadat, in a statement read by Salem, declared that “a just peace in the area (the Mideast) should not fail to address itself to the problem of the Palestinian people in all its aspects.” Continuing, Sadat said: “We cannot think of the well-being of all people and forget one group (the Palestinians). We cannot strive to spare every nation.”
Sadat said he hoped an agreement can be reached in Washington “which would put the Palestinians and Israelis on the road to reconciliation and co-existence in peace, as they must put the Israelis and all their Arab neighbors on the same happy road.”
“I feel that my destiny is peace,” Sadat declared, adding: “I dedicate the rest of my life to the service and maintenance of peace.”Begin and Sadat are also the recipients of the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize, to be presented Dec. 10 in Oslo, Norway.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.