November 29, 2000 Special Dispatch No. 158

Egyptian Columnist Praises Sadat for Making Peace With Israel

November 29, 2000
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 158

Egyptian columnist Salah Muntasir, who holds the late President Sadat in high regard, wrote an article entitled "Sadat was Right," in Al-Ahram , the leading newspaper in Egypt, on the anniversary of Sadat's visit to Jerusalem.

"23 years ago today, on November 19, 1977, the late President, Anwar Al-Sadat, made his extraordinary visit to Jerusalem, during which he gave an historic speech in the Knesset. In this speech, Sadat declared that Israel had become a fait accompli, recognized by the world, and that the two superpowers [the US and the USSR] were responsible for its protection... Sadat's recognition of Israel stemmed from realistic necessity and not from reliance on any sort of history or fairy tales."

"Sadat fought two great wars...the war of crossing [the Suez Canal]... and the war for peace that he took upon himself. Many of his aides abandoned him at the time, fearing the results of the war for peace."

"Perhaps Sadat's visit to Jerusalem in 1977 seemed like an ostentatious acrobatic leap, and his intentions as a way of attracting the spotlights and the television. Indeed, it was described by some as a televised visit. However, today any analyst can understand that what Sadat did in '77 was purely political, and based on a number of facts about which Sadat was right:

1. Israel is a precedent never repeated in world history. It was the first state in history established by a resolution of the international community. Therefore, a war against Israel is essentially a war against the world that authorized its establishment.
2. When the Arabs rejected the Partition Plan in 1947, they based their decision on the dream of destroying Israel. This dream turned out to be unrealistic given the balance of power between the world's superpowers. Likewise, it became clear to the Israelis that they would not be able to realize their dream of wiping out the Palestinian's existence.
3. All of the Arab nations import weapons. Additionally, none of the wars with Israel took place within the territory of Israel.
4. The U.S. is the central power managing the conflict, because it supports Israel politically, economically and militarily.
5. From the moment the Security Council passed Resolution 242, protecting the right of each nation in the region to live in peace within secure and recognized borders, there remained no escape from the path of negotiations with Israel.
6. If Israel had continued to occupy the Sinai, it would have increased its ability to add obstacles, such as additional settlements and various projects -- as indeed happened in the Golan.

The difference between Sadat and the others is that Sadat saw all of this way back in 1977, whereas the others have needed 20 years and more to see it."[1]

[1] Al-Ahram (Egypt), November 19, 2000

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