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The Israeli Government and President Sadat's Journey to Jerusalem, November 1977
List of Documents and Summaries
President Sadat attending the service at the El-Aksa mosque, 20 November 1977
Photograph: Miki Tzarfati, Government Press Office


A. The peace policy of the new
Israeli govenment

1. Statement by Prime Minister Menachem Begin to the Knesset upon the presentation of his government; Jerusalem, 20 June 1977

Divrei HaKnesset (Knesset Reports), Vol. 80, pp. 14-17
The connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, their right to the Land. Begin hopes to strengthen ties with the US  and France, and to renew ties with  the USSR; a call to the Arab rulers to meet him to discuss peace, the basic guidelines of the government.

Partial English translation: Israel  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

B. Talks with the Americans on the Geneva Conference

2. Principles for Peace Negotiations with the Arabs (The Geneva Conference) [sent by Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan to Prime Minister Menachem Begin, 24 June 1977]
ISA/MFA/6861/8
Dayan's practical suggestions for progress towards peace in stages; Israel's future borders and the solution to the refugee problem. Suggestions for an interim solution for the West Bank and Gaza, based on Israeli control, Palestinian self rule and a link with Jordan.

3. The Framework for the Peace-Making Process between Israel and its Neighbours; Jerusalem, 7 June 1977 (in Hebrew and English)
ISA/A/4313/1
Israel's participation in the Geneva Conference or other talks on peace treaties with the Arab states; its territorial proposals, as presented to President Carter on 19 July 1977.

4. Extracts from Prime Minister Menachem Begin's Statement at the Government Meeting; Jerusalem, 13 July 1977
ISA/A/4269/5
Analysis of the government's peace plan to be presented to President Carter. The importance of formal peace treaties and US recognition of this principle.

5. Hanan Bar On, Israel Minister in Washington, to Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, Jerusalem; 20 July 1977
ISA/A/4349/4
The main points of President Carter's private conversation with Prime Minister Begin: they agreed to disagree on certain issues. Carter asks for a freeze on settlements until the Geneva conference.

6. Yehuda Avner, the Prime Minister's Adviser on Diaspora Affairs and Hanan Bar On, Israel Minister in Washington, to Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, Jerusalem; 21 July 1977 (in English)
ISA/A/4349/4
Minute of the second meeting between President Carter and Prime Minister Begin on 20 July 1977.

7. Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, Jerusalem, to US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Washington, 2 September 1977 (in English)
ISA/A/4313/3
A covering letter for Israel's draft peace plan with Egypt.

8. Simha Dinitz, Israel Ambassador in Washington, and Meir Rosenne, Legal Adviser of the Foreign Ministry, to Yehiel Kadishai, Director of the Prime Minister's Bureau, for Menachem Begin, Jerusalem; 5 October 1977
ISA/A/4337/7
Israel's achievements as a result of Dayan's talks with Carter. Improvements in the text of the working paper for the Geneva conference, including references to UN Resolutions 242 and 338 and to the problem of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands, and restriction of the role of the Palestinians.
Appendix 1: The joint communiqué after Dayan's talks with President Carter and Secretary Vance in New York, 5 October 1977 (in Hebrew and English)
ISA/MFA/6862/5
Appendix 2. Text of the "Working Paper", 5 October 1977 (in Hebrew and English)
ISA/MFA/6862/6

9. Lecture by Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan to the Editor's Committee; Tel Aviv, 14 October 1977
ISA/MFA/6911/2
Dayan denies that he made concessions in the talks in New York on the issue of PLO participation at Geneva. If Israel genuinely wants a settlement the Palestinians cannot be ignored. Their participation in a joint Arab delegation is the best solution.

C. Israel's secret contacts with Egypt

10. Stenographic Record of the Government Meeting; Jerusalem, 4 September 1977
ISA/A/4269/6
The draft of a proposed peace treaty to be sent to Washington; a report by Prime Minister Begin on his visit to Washington and conversation with President Nicolae Ceausescu; a message from Sadat agreeing to a meeting of Egyptian and Israeli representatives.

11. Note by Elyakim Rubinstein, Director of the Foreign Minister's Bureau; Jerusalem, 9 September 1977
ISA/MFA/6911/2
The Egyptians have agreed to a meeting with an Israeli representative as soon as possible. They propose a meeting between President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin, or between Dayan and the vice president. Dayan decided to bring the proposal before the prime minister.

12. Main Points from the Meeting of Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan with Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister Hassan Tuhami in Rabat; 17 September 1977 (in English)
ISA/A/4313/4
Tuhami said that Sadat sees the present Israeli government as strong and has confidence in it. He has agreed to talks but will meet Begin only after the latter agrees to the principle of evacuation of Arab occupied territories. Proposal to exchange draft peace treaties and fix another meeting.

12A.  Report by the Mossad (Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations) on the Meeting of Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan with Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister Hassan Tuhami in Rabat on 16 September; 18 October 1977
ISA/A/4313/4
Further details about the meeting.

13. Meeting Between Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, and US Ambassador Samuel Lewis; Jerusalem, 3 November 1977
ISA/A/4337/10
The arrival of a Romanian envoy to arrange a meeting between Israeli and Egyptian representatives in Bucharest. The reaction of the Arab states to the working paper on Geneva. US policy towards the PLO. The question of appointing chairmen at the Geneva conference.

14. Simha Dinitz, Israel Ambassador in Washington, to Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, Jerusalem; 4 November 1977 
ISA/A/4337/10
His conversation with Kissinger (code named "Hezekiah") on President Sadat's plan for a meeting of the Security Council and the parties, including Yasser Arafat. Dinitz' reaction. Kissinger sees the Romanian role in secret contacts with Egypt as problematic.

15. Points for Prime Minister Menachem Begin's Speech to the Egyptian People; Jerusalem, 4 November 1977
ISA/A/4329/6
"The state of war between Israel and Egypt is an unnatural one". The two peoples have a great shared history and a role to play in developing the Middle East. Quotations from the Koran on Islam's attitude to the Jewish people and their connection with the Land of Israel.

16. Ephraim Evron, Director-General of the Foreign Ministry, Jerusalem, to Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, Jerusalem; 6 November 1977
ISA/MFA/6911/2
His meeting with the Romanian envoy. Plans for a visit by Dayan to Bucharest to meet the Egyptian deputy prime minister [Tuhami].

D. Sadat's plan to speak in the Knesset and Israel's response

17. Survey by the Centre for Research and Policy Planning in the Foreign Ministry of Sadat's Speech to the Egyptian People's Assembly; Jerusalem, 10 November 1977
ISA/A/4172/13
The section on foreign policy in Sadat's speech on 9 November; his praise for President Carter's attempts to convene the Geneva Conference; his attitude to the joint Soviet-American declaration on the Middle East and the working paper. Sadat's declaration that procedural issues do not interest him; he is willing to go to the ends of the earth to seek peace and even to the Knesset to discuss it with the Israelis.

18. Press Release: Prime Minister Menachem Begin's Response to President Sadat's Speech; Jerusalem, 10 November 1977
ISA/A/4313/5
If Sadat decides to come to Jerusalem, he will be received with the honours due to a president; Israel is ready for negotiations with no preconditions.

19. Broadcast by Prime Minister Menachem Begin to the People of Egypt; Jerusalem, 11 November 1977
ISA/A/4172/13
A call for peace between the peoples of Israel and of Egypt.

20. Yekutiel Federman, Haifa, to Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Jerusalem; 15 November 1977
ISA/A/7367/1
The owner of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem proposes that Sadat should stay there, in view of the hotel's role in the history of the struggle against the British Mandate and the fact that many major figures were guests there, including Kissinger.

21. Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Jerusalem, to President Muhamed Anwar el-Sadat, Cairo, with a Covering Letter to US President Jimmy Carter, Washington, 15 November 1977 (in Hebrew and English)
ISA/A/4155/5
A formal invitation to President Sadat to visit Jerusalem, to address the Knesset and to meet with Begin.

22. Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan's Meeting with US Ambassador Samuel Lewis on 17 November, with Director-General Ephraim Evron Present; Jerusalem [dated 24 November 1977]
ISA/MFA/6911/2
Delivery of the prime minister's letter of invitation to Sadat; the president's plan to arrive on 19 November, the arrival of an Egyptian advance party.

23. Meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee; Jerusalem, 18 November 1977
ISA/A/240/1
The prime minister explains the plans for President Sadat's visit to Israel. Questions and suggestions from committee members about the programme, about Israel's reply to Sadat's demands and the possibilty of serious political talks.

E. "Operation Gate": preparations for Sadat's visit to Israel

24. Moshe Sharon, Prime Minister's Adviser on Arab Affairs, Jerusalem to Eliahu Ben Elissar, Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office, Jerusalem; 18 November 1977
ISA/A/7367/1
Fears for the safety of President Sadat during the services in the El-Aksa Mosque; proposes limiting the number of worshippers.

25. Simha Dinitz, Israel Ambassador in Washington to Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and Ephraim Evron, Director-General of the Foreign Ministry, Jerusalem; 18 November 1977
ISA/A/4337/11
Kissinger's views on Sadat's visit to Jerusalem; his conversations with Brzezinski and Sadat; his criticism of the Administration.

26. President Muhamed Anwar el-Sadat, Cairo, to Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Jerusalem; 19 November 1977 (in English)
ISA/A/4313/5
Sadat accepts the invitation to come to Jerusalem and hopes for a positive response from Israel. He will arrive on 19 November.
Appendix: Covering letter from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv

F. Sadat's visit to Jerusalem

27. Stenographic Record of the Government Meeting; Jerusalem, 20 November 1977

ISA/A/4270/1
First talks with Sadat and plans for further meetings; the probable content of his speech in the Knesset;  Begin's proposed reply and comments by the ministers; Dayan suggests some additions.

28. Note of the Report by Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan on the Lunchtime Meeting with President Anwar el-Sadat and the Egyptian Delegation; Jerusalem 20 November 1977 (with typed version)
ISA/MFA/6911/2
Dayan asked the Egyptians what their expectations from the visit were and how to make progress in the talks; Sadat's reply; proposals for a hot line to prevent unnecessary tension between the states.

29. Prime Minister Menachem Begin's Toast at a Dinner in Honour of President Sadat and President Anwar el-Sadat's Reply; Jerusalem, 20 November 1977 (in English)
ISA/A/4172/14
Begin congratulates Sadat on his speech in the Knesset; some progress has been made in the talks; Sadat's toast to Begin.

29A. Draft of Agreed Communiqué to be issued at the Conclusion of the Visit to Israel of President Sadat; Jerusalem, 20-21 November, 1977 (in English) 
Received from Mr. Yehuda Avner
Draft of the agreed communiqué prepared by Tuhami with Yadin's comments in Hebrew and corrections by Yehuda Avner

30. President Anwar el-Sadat's Statement at a Meeting with Members of the Coalition in the Knesset; Jerusalem, 21 November 1977(in English)
ISA/A/4172/14
The main issues are security and how to prevent another war.

31. Note of the Report by Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan on his Conversation with Prime Minister Menachem Begin; Jerusalem. 21 November 1977 (with typed version)
ISA/MFA/6911/2
Begin's impressions of his private talk with Sadat; plans for future meetings; first discussions on withdrawal from the Sinai and security arrangements.

32. Message to the Policeman: Operation Gate; Jerusalem, 21 November 1977
ISA/L/4255/17
Inspector-General Chaim Tavori thanks the policemen and women who took part in the operation to guard President Sadat, to direct traffic and to keep order. 'Three days of excitement and elation accompanied by continual tension" have ended and despite some logistical problems, the police did a fine job.

G. After the visit: impressions and plans for further talks

33. Note of the Report by Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan on his Conversation with Egyptian Foreign Minister Boutros Ghali on 21 November; Jerusalem, 22 November 1977
ISA/MFA/6911/2
Their conversation on the way to the airport; plans for further meetings –  bilateral relations or the Geneva conference?

34. Meeting of Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan with US Ambassador Samuel Lewis; Jerusalem, 23 November 1977 (in English)
ISA/A/4350/3
A report on Begins' impressions of Sadat and the prospects for further talks.

35. Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Jerusalem, to US President Jimmy Carter, Washington, 23 November 1977 (in English)
ISA/A/4313/5
The results of the visit.

36. Stenographic Record of a Government Meeting; Jerusalem, 24 November 1977
ISA/A/4270/1
The impressions of Begin, Yadin, Weizmann and Dayan of their meetings with the Egyptian delegation: their impression is that the Egyptians genuinely want an agreement with Israel; comments by other ministers; plans for continuing the dialogue.

37. Chaim Herzog, Israel Ambassador to the UN, New York, to Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, Bonn, and Ephraim Evron, Director-General of the Foreign Ministry, Jerusalem, 27 November 1977
ISA/4318/11
Herzog's meeting with the Egyptian ambassador to the UN, Abd el-Megid, who gave him an invitation to Israel to take part in a preparatory conference for Geneva in Cairo. They discussed the chances of success for the conference and their personal relations.

37A. Report by the Mossad (Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations) on the Meeting of Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan with Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister Hassan Tuhami on 2–3 December: 6 December 1977
ISA/A/4082/3
Another meeting with King Hassan of Morocco and Tuhami: Israel's proposals for withdrawal and security arrangements in the Sinai and the Golan Heights; the fate of the Israeli settlements in the Sinai; Sadat's demand that the Palestinian issue be discussed; the level of future meetings

Appendix: More documents on the negotiations to convene the Geneva conference

38. David Turgeman, Counsellor in the Israel Embassy in Washington, to Ephraim Evron, Director-General of the Foreign Ministry and the Centre for Research and Policy Planning, Jerusalem; 29 June 1977
ISA/MFA/6861/8
Turgeman's conversation with William Quandt of the National Security Council on expectations and possible difficulties in Prime Minister Begin's talks in Washington.

39. Exchange of Telegrams between US President Jimmy Carter, Washington, and Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Jerusalem; 15-16 August 1977 (in English)
ISA/A/4337/4; ISA/MFA/6862/3
Secretary Vance's visit to the Israel and the Arab states; plans to convene the Geneva conference; the US request to Israel not to intervene in South Lebanon.

40. David Turgeman, Counsellor in the Israel Embassy in Washington, to Ephraim Evron, Director-General of the Foreign Ministry and Moshe Sasson, Director of the Centre for Research and Policy Planning, Jerusalem; 19 August 1977
ISA/A/4337/4
The reactions of the Arab states to American efforts to restart the peace negotiations; Egypt shows signs of flexibility.

41. Exchange of Telegrams Between Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and Prime Minister Menachem Begin on the "Working Paper", 19 September 1977, 28 September 1977
ISA/A/4337/5; ISA/A/4337/6
President Carter's proposal for a joint Arab delegation, including Palestinians who are not PLO members, at the opening of the Geneva conference. Dayan recommends that Israel accept it. Begin's concerns about this formula and about the proposed joint US-Soviet declaration on the Middle East.
Appendix: Moshe Dayan's talks with Secretary Vance on 26 September 1977 (in English)  
ISA/MFA/6862/5

42. Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, New York, to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, New York; 5 October 1977
ISA/4313/1
The understanding between Israel and the US on the screening of Palestinian representatives to the Geneva conference.



US President Jimmy Carter with National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski at his side shakes hands with Prime Minister Menachem Begin after their second meeting at the White House, 20 July 1977
Photograph: Ya'acov Sa'ar, Government Press Office



A Special Joint Publication by the Israel State Archives and the Center for Educational Technology (CET)