Menu JTA Search

Begin: Israel Won’t Be at Autonomy Talks if the PLO is Present

Premier Menachem Begin told the 30th anniversary Israel Bond Organization conference that Israel would not attend talks on the West Bank autonomy if the Palestine Liberation Organization was included in the negotiations.

Addressing the final festive dinner of the conference, he told the 600 delegates from the United States, Canada and Western Europe last night “If that murderous, neo-Nazi organization” is included in the autonomy talks, “the chair reserved for Israel will be empty.”

Begin said he rejected Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s proposal that the United States recognize the PLO, despite his feelings for “my dear friend Anwar.” He added in Yiddish: “Let them talk among themselves.”

Referring to the downing of two Libyan aircraft by American Navy jets about 60 miles from the Libyan coast after being fired on by one of the Libyan aircraft yesterday, Begin said it had been an act of self-defense, as had been Israel’s raids on the nuclear reactor near Baghdad last June and the terrorist installation in Beirut last month.