PASADENA, December 25, 1978:
Just one week ago I was visiting with Arab friends in Bethlehem, Judea. Today, I read the headlines of my morning paper and they cry out: "Iranian Riots Extend Year of Holy War"; "Negotiations Shaky as Vance Returns Home"; "Christmas Eve Finds Hope and Fear Around the World." Yet other headlines proclaim: "Christmas Glows with the Spirit of Love"; "Pilgrims Flock to Christ's Birthplace"; "President Carter Thankful."
But unfortunately this day once again portends for mankind more fear than hope, more sadness than jubilation. Why must this be so? Why can we find no solution to the problems that have plagued mankind for the past 6,000 years? The answers are simple, but are neither discerned by the many nor heeded by the few who are fortunate enough to be privy to them.
Man has rejected God, God's way of life and His laws. And for 6,000 years man has tried to build his own civilization in accordance with his own ideas about right and wrong, with his own list of priorities and his own concepts of government, education, religion and law.
During our week in Israel, Herbert W. Armstrong and I discussed the progress of the peace negotiations between our Israeli and Egyptian friends - negotiations that were apparently all but concluded three months ago at Camp David; negotiations that followed in the wake of President Anwar Sadat's much-heralded visit to Jerusalem some 13 months ago; negotiations that were to be reduced to a final peace treaty on or before December 17, 1978 (the very day our official schedule in Jerusalem was to begin).
But it was not to be so. During the 90-day period following Camp David, problems between the two nations appeared-problems that the two Nobel Prize-winning leaders could not resolve, despite pressure from U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his secretary of state, Cyrus Vance.
Why? Because, as Mr. Armstrong told Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, leader of the opposition Labor Party Shimon Peres and others, man has been operating on a "get" rather than a "give" principle - a "get" principle that must surely lead to a breakdown of negotiations and to more violence, more conflict, more greed, more hatred and unhappiness, not only in Israel and in Cairo, but in the entire world.
What are the specific differences that have appeared since the Camp David accords - accords that led the Nobel prize committee to award jointly to President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin the Nobel Peace Prize for 1978? There are many specific differences, but all involve one major point: Does Egypt intend to enter into a real peace treaty with its neighbor Israel? Naturally, when the representatives of the two parties began to negotiate some months ago, they were justifiably concerned with the bona fide intentions of their counterparts. Many treaties between nations have been broken in a summary and unilateral fashion, and the resulting havoc has cost the lives of multiple millions.
Israel has been concerned from the beginning that any peace treaty must be entered into with the utmost good faith by the government of Egypt. Under no circumstances can Israel consent to giving up territories in the Suez and the West Bank (in addition to the Gaza Strip) unless the treaty with Egypt would have precedence over any prior obligations of the Egyptian government to neighboring states. Treaties do exist that call for Egyptian participation in the event other Arab states should enter into armed conflict with Israel.
The Israelis claim that the Egyptians have failed to make it apparent to all that a peace treaty with Israel would take precedence over all other existing treaties, limiting Egypt's obligations to its Arab neighbors under those treaties to situations where Israel is "the aggressor." But, the Israeli experience has been, and the world must remember, that Israel when attacked has been labeled by those attacking and others in the United Nations as the aggressor, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Israel knows that it cannot afford to lose its security in exchange for empty promises. Israel also knows that it cannot afford to lose even one war. Hence, all the more reason for the Israelis to be concerned that the Egyptians mean to enter into a real peace treaty, not a treaty of "non-peace...
We wonder how much, if at all, these various leaders of the beleaguered State of Israel, in their efforts to find a just, equitable and real peace with their neighbors, will heed Mr. Armstrong's warning that only the "give" principle will produce the results they so eagerly have anticipated for 31 years.
Only God's laws, laws based upon love of God and love of neighbor, will permit what all people of goodwill so avidly yearn for-peace and prosperity, health and happiness for people everywhere.