Israeli Cabinet Communiqué
on President Reagan's Peace Proposal
Jerusalem, 2 September 1982
The Cabinet met in special session today and adopted the following resolution:
The positions conveyed to the Prime Minister of Israel on behalf of the President of the United States consist of partial quotations from the Camp David Agreement or are nowhere mentioned in the agreement or contradict it entirely.
The following are the major positions of the Government of the United States:
“Participation by the Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem in the election for the West Bank-Gaza Authority.”
No mention whatsoever is made in the Camp David agreement of such a voting right. The single meaning of such a vote is the repartition of Jerusalem into two authorities, the one – of the State of Israel, and the other – of the administrative council of the autonomy. Jerusalem is nowhere mentioned in the Camp David agreement. With respect to the capital of Israel letters were forwarded and attached to that agreement. In his letter to the President of the United States, Mr. Jimmy Carter, the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Menachem Begin, stated that “Jerusalem is one city, indivisible, the capital of the State of Israel.” Thus shall it remain for all generations to come.
“Progressive Palestinian responsibility for internal security based on capability and performance.”
In the Camp David agreement it is stated:
“A withdrawal of Israeli armed forces will take place and there will be a redeployment of the remaining Israel forces into specified security locations
“The agreement will also include arrangements for assuring internal and external security and public order.”
It is, therefore, clear that in the Camp David agreement no distinction is made between internal security and external security. There can be no doubt that, were internal security not to be the responsibility of Israel, the terrorist organization called PLO – even after its defeat by the IDF in Lebanon – would act to perpetrate constant bloodshed, shedding the blood of Jews and Arabs alike. For the citizens of Israel this is a question of life and death.
3. ‘A Real Settlement Freeze’
In the Camp David agreement no mention whatsoever is made of such a freeze. At Camp David the Prime Minister agreed that new settlements could not be established (though population would be added to existing ones) during the period of the negotiations for the signing of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel (three months being explicitly stated). This commitment was carried out in full. That three-month period terminated on Dec. 17, 1978. Since then many settlements have been established in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district without evicting a single person from his land, village or town. Such settlement is a Jewish inalienable right and an integral part of our national security. Therefore, there shall be no settlement freeze. We shall continue to establish them in accordance with our natural right. President Reagan announced at the time that the “settlements are not illegal.” A double negative makes a positive, meaning that the settlements are legal. We shall act, therefore, in accordance with our natural right and the law, and we shall not deviate from the principle that these vital settlements will not lead to any eviction.
4. The Definition of Full Autonomy
“The definition of full autonomy as giving the Palestinian inhabitants real authority over themselves, the land and its resources, subject to fair safeguards on water.”
Such a definition is nowhere mentioned in the Camp David agreement, which states:
“In order to provide full autonomy to the inhabitants (underlined, our emphasis), etc.”
In the lengthy discussion at Camp David it was made absolutely clear that the autonomy applies not to the territory (underlined) but to the inhabitants (underlined).
5. Ties With Jordan
“Economic, commercial and cultural ties between the West Bank, Gaza and Jordan.”
In all the clauses of the Camp David agreement there is no reference whatsoever to such ties.
6. Israeli Sovereignty
There is nothing in the Camp David agreement that precludes the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district following the transitional period which begins with the establishment and inauguration of the self-governing authority (administrative council). This was also stated by an official spokesman of the Government of the United States.
7. Palestinian State
“The Government of the United States commits itself not to support the establish- ment of a Palestinian State in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district.”
Regrettably, the visible reality proves this to be an illusion. Were the American plan to be implemented, there would be nothing to prevent King Hussein from inviting his newfound friend, Yasir Arafat, to come to Nablus and hand the rule over to him. Thus would come into being a Palestinian state which would conclude a pact with Soviet Russia and arm itself with every kind of modern weaponry. If the PLO could do this in Lebanon, establishing a state-within-a- state, how much more so will the terrorists do so ruling over Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district. Then, a joint front would be established of that "Palestinian State" with Jordan and Iraq behind her, Saudi Arabia to the south and Syria to the north. All these countries, together with other Arab states, would, after a while, launch an onslaught against Israel to destroy her. It is inconceivable that Israel will ever agree to such an “arrangement” whose consequences are inevitable.
Since the positions of the Government of the United States seriously deviate from the Camp David agreement, contradict it and could create a serious danger to Israel, its security and its future, the Government of Israel has resolved that on the basis of these positions it will not enter into any negotiations with any party.
The Government of Israel is ready to renew the autonomy negotiations forthwith with the Governments of the United States and Egypt, signatories to the Camp David agreement, and with other states and elements invited at Camp David to participate in the negotiations, with a view to reaching agreement on the establishment of full autonomy for the Arab inhabitants of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district, in total conformity with the Camp David accords.
Source: Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. xii, no 2, Winter 1983.