May 07, 1971

David Ben-Gurion on Anwar Sadat’s Wanting Peace in 1971: He Isn’t Convinced

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What happened was this: On May 14, 1948, Ben-Gurion proclaimed the independence of the State of Israel.  Thousands of Egyptian troops invaded the new nation the following day, and for the next thirty years, armistices and truces notwithstanding, the two neighbors were at war. During that time, the subject of peace with Egypt was omnipresent. Here Ben-Gurion discusses the prospects, seven years away yet from the Camp David Accords. 

Peace in the Middle East depends on Egypt and on Russia. Mr. Rogers arrived yesterday to Israel and he came to see me. He told me that Saadat wants to have peace. If this is a fact - than we will have peace. But I am not convinced yet that Saadat wants to have peace. A great deal depends on Russia. We have to wait and see.

The Soviet Union’s closest ally in the Mideast was Egypt, and it provided that state with military and economic aid – until, that is, the summer of 1972, when Sadat expelled the Russians. But it would take Sadat traveling to Jerusalem in November, 1977, to begin the peace process in earnest.

Autograph Letter Signed (“D. Ben-Gurion”), in English, 1 page, octavo, Sdeh Boker, May 7, 1971. To Kenneth Triem in Arizona.

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Transcript

Sdeh Boker, 7.5.71

Dear Mr. Kenneth Triem,

I have read your letter of April 19, with interest. Peace in the Middle East depends on Egypt and on Russia. Mr. Rogers arrived yesterday to Israel and he came to see me. He told me that Saadat wants to have peace. If this is a fact - then we will have peace. But I am not convinced yet that Saadat wants to have peace. A great deal depends on Russia. We have to wait and see.

Yours
D. BEN-GURION

To
Kenneth Triem
1300 Wheatridge Drive
Tucson, Arizona 83704
U.S.A