Begin’s Rosh Hashanah Message

Premier Menachem Begin, addressing world Jewry “from this city, eternal Yerushalayim” on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, expressed hope for “a year of a general comprehensive peace, a year of aliya to the land of our forefathers, of progress toward a solution of our economic difficulties and first and foremost of housing for the needy families.”

Begin observed that the signing of the peace treaty with Egypt, “which is being carried out in phases as stipulated in its various chapters,” is a great event of historic importance, “It is a turning point in the annals of the Middle East achieved, undeniably, through great sacrifices,” he said. Noting that the two countries were in a state of war for 31 years and that hostilities broke out between them five times since 1948, the Premier stated:

“Now, a momentous decision was made to terminate the state of war, to live in peace, to cooperate economically, to found common ventures, to exchange visits and promote tourism, to guarantee that the Suez Canal shall remain open to ships bearing the Israeli flag–to help each other. Thus it is that peace is becoming a living reality and there is hope that friendship will deepen not only between the representatives of the two countries but also between the Egyptian and Israeli peoples themselves who are coming to know each other more and more.”

Begin also said that he “will register a truth that is obvious to the Jewish people and deserving of the support of every woman and man of goodwill everywhere: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, an indivisible city with complete freedom of access to the holy shrines by members of all religions, guaranteed by law for all time.”

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