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.
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,
and this week a ’40-year’ celebration.
Forty years ago Egyptian President Anwar Sadat
made his historic trip to Jerusalem and spoke in the Knesset.
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.
This event took place in the Knesset Auditorium
and was open to the public.
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;
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.
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,
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,
like this one of the First Ladies, Aliza Begin and Jihan Sadat.
Ambassadors exchanged greetings,
before sitting down to see a slide presentation
and speeches highlighting moments from 40 years ago.
Cordial and friendly smiles today
contrast with situation over 40 years ago.
Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Hazem Khairat
was the last speaker of the day.
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.
Egypt and Israel
came together again to celebrate,
and hope for continued peace in the future.