Anwar Sadat Historic Visit to Jerusalem 40 Years Ago Remembered

There is a joke that they tell

that really has much truth to it:

Israelis endure stresses and wars

and still carry on, but when it rains,

that’s a whole other story.

Finally,

Knesset building on cloudy rainy day

the first much-needed winter rain came down yesterday.

  The Jerusalem skies were grey and streets were wet.

I was happy to be dry and inside the Knesset.

There have been ‘100-years’ celebrations,

50-year’ celebrations,

and this week a ’40-year’ celebration.

Photo of Begin, Sadat and Shamir in Knesset for 40 events

Forty years ago Egyptian President Anwar Sadat

made his historic trip to Jerusalem and spoke in the Knesset.

Panel Moshe Arens and Eil Rubenstein in Knesset auditorium

Panels with distinguished Israelis,

like former Defense Minister Moshe Arens and

recently-retired Deputy President of  the Supreme Court Elyakim Rubenstein,

talked about events and memories of forty years ago.

Knesset Auditorium stage for panel on Sadat 40 year

This event took place in the Knesset Auditorium

and was open to the public.

Panel on durability of peace agreement with Efraim INbar and Zvi Mazel

At another panel former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt

Zvi Mazel talked about the peace agreement.

Following the next panel, on looking forward,

with MK Yisrael Katz and Dore Gold,

former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

the Prime Minister spoke at a special Knesset session.

The turnout was disappointing;

Knesset plenary for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech

I think there were more photographers present

in the plenum than members of Knesset.

As Benjamin Netenyahu gave his address,

MK Yisrael Katz sat alone in the center of the room.

Night view of Knesset flags and lights.

It was dark and wet when I left,

but at least this weather is good for photos of the flags.

Then in the morning,

 more rain and another event,

Beit Hanasi in the rain, outside wet

this time at at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence.

Umbrellas were piled up high and

 the newly renovated floors were hard to keep clean

as international diplomats gathered.

Historic photos were again on display,

Photo of first ladies.

like this one of the First Ladies, Aliza Begin and Jihan Sadat.

German Ambassador shaking hands with African representative

Ambassadors exchanged greetings,

Ceremony at Israeli President's Residence for 40 years Sadat visit to Jerusalem

before sitting down to see a slide presentation

and speeches highlighting moments from 40 years ago.

Hazem Khairat at Beit Hanasi for Sadat 40 year event

Cordial and friendly smiles today

contrast with situation over 40 years ago.

Hazem Khairat speaking at Beit Hanasi for 40 years Sadat visit to Jerusalem

Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Hazem Khairat

was the last speaker of the day.

Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin in photo at Beit Hanasi for 40 ceremony

Sadat and Begin did the unimaginable

forty years ago.

It was said at the time

that the peace treaty would be worthwhile

if there would be no wars for even 15 years.

Flags of Egypt and Israel at Beit Hanasi

So today,

Egypt and Israel

came together again to celebrate,

and hope for continued peace in the future.

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