Declaring that "the peace making process will go on," Prime Minister Menachem Begin announced yesterday that he would recommend to his Cabinet the resumption of the Israeli-Egyptian military negotiations in Cargo.
He expressed the hope that Defense Minister Ezer Weizman and his staff would return to Cairo early next week. The Cabinet was to act on his recommendation at its regular session today.
But Begin called upon President Anwar Sadat of Egypt "to order his military staff to fulfill the pledge he gave me in Jerusalem and let us agree on a demilitarized Sinai."
"We shall not agree on a remilitarized Sinai," the Prime Minister declared.
Begin's announcement came after plans were disclosed in Washington and Cairo for Sadat to arrive in the United States Friday for talks with President Carter.
A resumption of the military discussions in Cairo would at the minimum mean that direct negotiations were once again taking the place between Israel and Egypt. But informed sources here emphasized that the military talks are in no way a substitute for the political talks that Sadat ordered broken off ten days ago.
The political talks may well resume at a later stage in some altered form, but this is not expected to occur until after Sadat's visit to Washington.
While making no direct mention of Sadat's planned journey to the United States. Begin said last night that "now a propaganda offenisve is being launched" against Israel. But, he added, this offensive "will not succeed."
The Israeli leader said his decision to recommend the resumption of the Cairo military talks was prompted by assation of what he termed anti-Semitic remarks in the Egyptian press.
Obviously still smarting from the recent attacks. Begin told a North American Israeli bond group here last night that the Egyptian press had, in the latter half of this week, "ceased to call me by my new name," Shylock, which the Cairo newspapers had used a week ago.
He said that he did not mind personal attacks. "That goes with the office," he said. But he said he bitterly resented the anti-semitic remarks, and assuming that these remarks would not be repeated. Begin said he would recommend to the cabinet that direct negotiations resume.
The tone of his speech was markedly less aggressive than his speech to a similar fund raising group last week. But except for the tone, last night's speech was almost a carbon copy of his previous remarks.
He complained again that Sadat had promised him in Jerusalem that when peace was signed the Egyptian army would not advance beyond the strategically important Gidi and Mitla passes where the present disengagement lines are now drawn - some 110 to 120 miles from the Israeli border.
As before, Begin complained that despite this presidential pledge, Weizman had been presented with a different plan when the military talks began. The Egyptian military plan envisioned a zone of demilitarization only 24 miles from the Israeli border.
Begin spoke again of the justice of his peace plan and how it had beeen approved by the British and the Americans. he repeated, however, his reluctance to offer self determination to the citizens of the West Bank and Gaza saying that his plan for self rule gave them more local autonomy than any other occupying power had ever given them.
Begin said that although he was prepared to let the peace process begin again, "a lesson should be drawn from the experience of the last ten days." He said he had heard a great deal about Arab pride but "what about Jewish dignity."
Recalling the long persecution of the Jewish people, the "holocaust" of Nazi Europe in his now familiar rhetorical style, Begin said that the Jewish people would not stand for any slurs against them.
Meanwhile, Moshe Arens, head of the Israeli Parliament's powerful defense and security committee, was quoted on Israeli radio as saying he assumed that the military committee would take up where it left off with a discussion of "demilitarization, thinning out of forces in the region which our forces would thinned out, early warning stations that would be established in the Sinai."
The main impact, however, would be that the channels of communication to the Egyptians would be left open, he said, and that political talk could be resumed in one form or another.
Arens said that the importance of the Israeli settlement in the Sinai's Rafiah Salient, to which the Egyptians violently object, was that Israel has an important air base there.
In terms of Israelis security concerns as well as of location, range and the proximity to Arab air bases, the Rafiah Salient, to which the Egyptians said. Arens is a recognized expert on aircraft and air power.
Second, Arens said, the Rafiah salient separated the Gaza Strip from the rest of the Sinai which Israel has offered to return to Egypt. He said that prior to the 1956 war and the 1967 war the Egyptians actively armed the population of Gaza and encouraged it to attack Israel.
Asked to comment on reports that the United States had asked Defense Minister Weizman to postpone his trip to Washington, Arens said that he did not know the reason but he hoped it was not an attempt to put pressure on Israel by connecting its defense needs with its negotiating position.
As for the proposal that the United States sell 60 F-15 fighter bombers to Saudi Arabia, Arens said that he could not think of anything more "destabilizing" to the chances of peace in the Middle East.
He called the F-15 the best fighter bomber in the world and he said that giving so many planes to Saudi Arabia - more than Israel has now or will have - was very dangerous. He indirectly contradicted the U.S. position that Saudi Arabia was threatened by the Soviet build up in Iraq and perhaps Ethiopia and said that the planes would more likely be used against Israel in any future war.