147. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation1


  • President Carter
  • Prime Minister Begin

Begin: Good to hear your voice. How is your mother? Give my regards to your family.

I am proud to inform you that President Sadat is arriving on Saturday2 at 7:30 p.m. The next morning he will pray at the Mosque of the Dome. I will invite him to go with me to Yad Vashem.3

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Carter: I will call President Sadat and urge him to go to Yad Vashem.

Begin: Thank you. On Sunday in the afternoon President Sadat will address the Knesset and Sunday evening he will be entertained at a State dinner. We will receive him with full military honors; one of our best units will be at the airport to greet him.

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done. Without you it could not have happened. I am sending you a cable which we will publish.4 The world should know of your contribution.

Carter: You must have observed Fahmy has resigned.5 There is the need for some tangible contribution for Sadat to take home. He has run high risks. There should be something tangible that he can take as a success.

Begin: Both US Ambassadors—the one here and the one in Cairo—have done much to make this possible. I will write you more fully on Tuesday.6

Carter: There has been a great response in this country to this initiative.

The conversation concludes with an exchange of salutations and best wishes.

  1. Source: Carter Library, President’s Plains File. Secret.
  2. November 19. On November 12 in Tel Aviv, Begin issed an invitation to Sadat to come to Jerusalem for talks. (“Begin Invites Sadat To Visit Jerusalem for Talks on Peace,” New York Times, November 13, 1977, p. 7)
  3. Yad Vashem is a Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.
  4. Not further identified.
  5. On November 15, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmy submitted his resignation, which was announced on November 17, in protest over Sadat’s decision to visit Jerusalem. In telegram 19286 from Cairo, November 18, Ambassador Eilts offered an extensive analysis of Fahmy’s resignation and its potential impact on Egyptian politics. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770434–0112)
  6. November 22.