Excerpts from the speech of H.E. President Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat to the Peoples’ Assembly
9th November 1977
You have heard me saying that we are not concerned about procedural means. I am saying it frankly in front of you; to the nation, to the Arab World and to the whole world: We are ready to go to Geneva and sit [to negotiate] for the cause of peace, regardless of the procedures. Israel is using these procedures as a pretexts to unnerve us out of attending, while it appears before the world as the real peace loving country. Not at all. We approve any procedure. Why? Because when we finally go to Geneva, Israel will not be able to stop me from insisting to regain all the territories occupied in 1967 - the Arab land. Neither Israel nor any other force would be able to stop us from claiming the legitimate rights, the right of self-determination and the right to establish a state for the Palestinian People. This is what Israel wants to avoid by manipulating procedural matters, by adding a word or deleting another or by the Israeli cabinet issuing a statement to infuriate the Arab nation- as in the past- into refusing to attend. No, never. In front of you, of our nation and in front of the whole Arab nation I am declaring that I do not care about procedural matters, and let the hysteria be on the Israeli side. I am going to Geneva and no power, including Israel, can dissuade me from my demands: The Arab territories of 1967 and the rights of the Palestinian people including their right to statehood. As long as this is my resolve, the only party afraid of Geneva is Israel. No Arab should ever fear Geneva. Why? It is because, as I said, we have exported our splits, fear, defeatism and doubt to the Israeli society. Why should we restitute them? Never. I am ready to go to Geneva. Moreover, I keep it as no secret from you the representatives of the people, and it is for our nation and the Arab nation to hear: You have heard me saying I am ready to go to the end of the world if this would prevent the wounding, let alone the killing, of a soldier or an officer of my boys. I am really saying that I am ready to go to the end of this world and Israel will be surprised when it hears me that I wont refuse to go to their own home, to the Kenesset itself, to discuss it [peace] with them.
I thank God, O brothers and sisters members of the Peoples’ Assembly, we are never at a loss as long as the decision is in our hand. And no decision shall be taken except with the authorization of the people. And the people want us to go forward and compensate all that have eluded us. The people want us to work more than talk. The people want us to give all our sweat to build a new future, as there is no use of bickering over the past, or weeping over ruins that have accumulated and blocked the way. It is the will to work that is always capable of paving the way and of turning ruins back into construction.