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Egyptian President Anwar Sadat speaks to the Knesset about peace Nov. 20, 1977.
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat speaks to the Knesset about peace Nov. 20, 1977. Photo by Ya’acov Sa’ar, Government Press Office

Sadat Addresses the Knesset

November 20, 1977

From the Center for Israel Education

One day after arriving from Egypt for his historic visit to Jerusalem, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat addresses a specially arranged sitting of the Knesset. The Egyptian President spent his morning reciting prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and visiting the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem. Before entering the Knesset to deliver his address, Sadat placed a wreath at a memorial for Israel’s fallen soldiers.

Yitzhak Shamir, then serving as Speaker of the Knesset, opened the session by quoting from the Prophet Isaiah and announcing President Sadat’s speech thusly, “I extend a warm welcome to our distinguished guest, the President of the Egyptian Arab Republic, Mr. Mohammed Anwar Sadat. With joy and admiration we accepted his offer to come to the Knesset and address us. We will listen to him eagerly and with hope in our hearts.”

Sadat opened his remarks by stating, “I come to you today on solid ground, to shape a new life, to establish peace. We all, on this land, the land of God; we all, Muslims, Christians and Jews, worship God and no one but God. God’s teachings and commandments are love, sincerity, purity and peace.”

The major focus of his speech was asking for “Peace with Justice.” Sadat emphasized that a peace agreement should be based on five principles: An end to the occupation of territories captured by Israel in 1967, achievement of the rights of the Palestinian people – including their rights of self-determination and to have their own state, the right of all states in the region to live in peace and with secure boundaries, a commitment of all states in the region to enter into normal relations in accordance with the United Nations, and an end to the state of belligerency in the region.

Israel’s Prime Minister Menachem Begin responded with Israel’s desire “for true peace with all of our neighbors to be expressed in treaties of peace.”

For Sadat’s speech in English: Click Here

For Begin’s speech in English: Click Here

Find more details at the Center for Israel Education

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