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Begin Raps Europeans for Secret Document That One Day Would Make It Possible to Wipe out Israel

March 5, 1981
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— Premier Menachem Begin sharply attacked today what he called a secret West European document reportedly calling for Israel’s complete return to the pre-1967 borders in exchange for normal ties with the Arab states.

“This is a plan of making it possible one day to wipe out Israel, to change our national security situation completely, to bring the greatest damage to our country,” he told a group of French former paratroopers.

Begin condemned the Venice Declaration by the European Economic Community adopted last June calling for the inclusion of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Arab-Israeli peace negotiations. He then turned to the secret document in which the Europeans reportedly call for Israel’s complete withdrawal within two years and promise foreign security guarantees to Israel.

“I speak about it more in regret than in anger,” Begin said, “that Europe, in which we lived for more than a thousand years, in which we suffered so much–France, which we have loved so much–should contemplate such a possibility that we should again become, as we were in the Middle Ages, protected Jews.” But, Begin declared, “No, We shall never ask any foreign soldiers to fight for us.”


The existence of a secret EEC plan for the Arab-Israeli conflict was denied this week in Amsterdam by Dutch Foreign Minister Christopher van der Klaauw, chairman of the EEC’s Council of Ministers, in a meeting with representatives of Jewish groups from the 10 EEC countries. But foreign press reports received here claim that the EEC governments have been presented with a secret working paper containing the proposal for Israeli withdrawal.

Begin told the French paratroopers that the Jewish people had recently been forced to change their view of France upon which they had looked with admiration for generations. “In deep pain, I must say that lately the official policy toward Israel of several European countries, including France, to our great regret, is absolutely negative, and sometimes incomprehensible,” the Premier said. He urged the French visitors to seek a reversal of this trend when they returned home.

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