February 27, 1979 – Middle-East Summit: On Again/Off Again
February 27, 1979 – A day up in the air, as a proposed Middle-East peace summit went. When this day started, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin said no to a proposed Camp David summit between the U.S., Israel and Egypt. But by the end of the day the proposed summit was on again, but only between Begin and Jimmy Carter. Expressing regret at the Israeli decision not to send Prime Minister Begin to another Camp David Middle-East summit, President Carter revealed that he had telephone both Prime Minister Begin and President Sadat to issue an invitation for what he called “frank discussions”. He said Prime Minister Begin had accepted and was to arrive the upcoming Thursday. The President went on to speak of the urgency of completing a peace treaty. He said that, “if we had allowed that hope to vanish, then the judgement of history would rightly condemn us for an absence of concerted effort.”
President Carter went on to repudiate charges that his administration was weak in foreign affairs – asked who lost Iran, he said it was a waste of time to lay blame on the U.S. – on the subject of oil, Mr. Carter touched on several points – he labeled “incorrect” a report that the U.S. had proposed to station American troops in Saudi Arabia, to safeguard the flow of oil. He went on to indicate the fuel supply situation in the U.S. remained serious, but not critical. And he went on to say he had no plans to implement a gas rationing proposal. And President Carter had a few words to say about his infamous Brother Billy, who recently had been under attack for alleged anti-semitic remarks. He explained he and brother Billy had disassociated themselves from remarks that might be anti-semitic in nature. He went on to say Billy, who was suffering from Bronchitis, was seriously ill.
And along with an exhausting day at the Knesset over the Carter proposal, there was a lot more going on, this February 27, 1979 -but this was just a slice as presented by CBS Radio’s The World Tonight – and a commentary by Walter Cronkite. All in a day.