Thursday, September 11, 2008

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 48

Volume 4, Issue 48
September 11, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 436,631

30 Years Ago This Week: Israel and Egypt at Camp David

This week it is exactly 30 years after the historic Camp David meetings where Prime Minister Menachem Begin and President Anwar Sadat sat face to face to hammer out an agreement for the framework of Peace in the Middle East. The process began in the beginning of August 1978 when Secretary of State Cyrus Vance visited Jerusalem and Cairo to hand the heads of the governments the official invitations to come to the US for such talks. The talks began on 5 September 1978 and concluded on 17 September 1978.

At Ben-Gurion airport, just before boarding his plane, the Prime Minister expressed his hope that the Camp David process will be crowned with success for the sake of Israel and peace. He said:

The delegation – the Foreign Minister, the Defense Minister, myself, our friends and advisors – are leaving for the United States for the Camp David Conference on a mission of peace.

There is no people on earth that wants peace more than we do. Even as much as we do – and among our people there is no one who wants peace more than the present Government. To that end we will make every possible human effort so that the Camp David conference ends in an agreement which will enable the conducting of negotiations for the signing of peace treaties.

We the Israelis are particularly interested in the success of the three-way meeting. We are an integral part of the free world, which is under relentless attack on the part of the foes of human liberty – and it must defend itself. It has greatly shrunk and all those who are a part of it are interested in standing together.

For the sake of Israel and of peace, we are interesting in having the conference –in which representatives of the United States, Egypt and Israel will take part – end in success.

Mr. Begin was welcomed at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, DC by Vice President Mondale and Secretary of State Vance. Mr. Begin said:

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Secretary of State, Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends. Four times I visited the President of the United States in the interest of peace since we were elected by our peoples to conduct their affairs, to care for the future, and for the preservation of liberty and democracy in our countries and elsewhere.

Twice I met the President of Egypt in a spirit of understanding and good will and common striving for peace, in Jerusalem and Ismailiya. However, there is no doubt that this fifth meeting with President Carter and third with President Sadat is the most important, the most momentous of them all.

My friends and colleagues, the Foreign Minister, the Defense Minister and I and our friends and advisors will make all endeavors possible to reach an agreement so that the peace process can continue and ultimately be crowned with peace treaties.

[Please note that on Monday 22 September the Opening Event of the conference commemorating 30 years since Camp David will take place at the Begin Center and the following day, 23 September, the conference will continue at Bar Ilan University.]

Sukkot 2008: Please Reserve Your Place

Visitors to Jerusalem during Chol HaMoed Sukkot (the intermediary days of Sukkot) are advised to make reservations as soon as possible if they intend to visit the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and its museum. The experience of previous years shows that the visiting hours are fully taken up during such a holiday se ason, but there is still time now to assure admittance.

Those wishing to make reservations should call (02) 565-2011 or from abroad 972 (2) 565-2011; or email or


Two interesting groups visited the Begin Center in the last few days. The first was a UJC group from Chicago who were very interested in the museum and other features of the building. They were briefly addressed by Harry Hurwitz, the Founder of the Begin Memorial Project and the President of its Foundation. He responded to a numbe r of questions from members of the group.

On Tuesday afternoon, a UC-Irvine group visited, including a Vice-Chancellor of the University, a professor and multi-denominational students. They were given a lecture on the Peace Treaty by Harry Hurwitz and Yisrael Medad, Head of the Information Resources at the Begin Center, answered their questions on a variety of topics.

* * * * *

Mr. Steven Gross of Toronto visited the Begin Center last Friday. He was greatly impressed by the entire building and especially the museum. His late parents, Kenny and Gladys Gross, had been staunch supporters of Menachem Begin from the days of the Irgun until his premiership. They were early supporters of the program to establish the Menachem Begin Heritage Center.

* * * * *

Mr. and Mrs. Aizer of Johannesburg, South Africa, visited the Begin Center and were shown the Millicent Lavine Garden at the end of the Bronka Plaza. The late Millicint Lavine was a well-known gardener and donated much of the income from her work to projects connected with the Tel Hai Fund and later the Menachem Begin Heritage Center.

* * * * *

Bonnie Lipton, a former national president of the Hadassah organization, visited the Begin Center this week. She was greatly impressed by the building and the outline of wh at it contains. She regarded the museum as an outstanding portrayal of the man, his work and the achievements of the Zionist movement.
blog comments powered by Disqus