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“Statement to the Knesset”. Date of Speech: 20 November 1977 Composer of Speech: Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt. C ontext. Personal Context An Egyptian president from 1970 until his assassination on 6 October 1981

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“Statement to the Knesset”

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statement to the knesset

“Statement to the Knesset”

Date of Speech: 20 November 1977

Composer of Speech: Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt

c ontext
  • Personal Context
    • An Egyptian president from 1970 until his assassination on 6 October 1981
    • A radical leader who opened the door to private and foreign investment in Egypt, returned the country to a political system based on multiple parties, and succeeded in signing a peace treaty with Israel
    • He earned a noble peace price but it made him enormously unpopular with Islamists, such that Egypt was expelled from the Arab League
    • Sadat’s assassination was highly organised and carried out under a fatwah which occurred during the annual ‘victory’ parade in Cairo
    • Eleven others were killed in the attack, including some foreign dignitaries
c ontext1
  • Speech Context
    • The “statement to the Knesset” (the Israeli ‘Parliament’) is highly charged with the context of the events about Sadat’s life
    • He’s on a mission to establish peace with Israel and achieve a recognition by each of other’s territorial boundaries
    • Speech was success in that the agreement with Israel was reached and a treaty signed in 1979, leading to his assassination two years later
    • Speech was translated from Hebrew so it may well seem ‘stilted’, even somewhat ‘awkward, to the ear of a native English speaker
a rguments
    • Draws on wider international appeal to move away from the telescopic focus of the arab-israeli conflict. Thus, appeals to the audience
    • He focuses on the commonalities to unite them rather than focusing on regional and cultural differences
    • He’s trying to break the divide down
    • Anwar Sadat is a prophet of peace and beacon of knowledge. He presents himself as someone trustworthy to give an opinion on land issues by showing his neutrality
a rguments1
    • Sadat doesn’t speak as a humble supplicant, or from a “position of weakness or hesitation” but as an equal, a foe to be reckoned with- As stressed by him warning his audience not to presume that certain things are negotiable; alerts his audience that he is promoting real change
    • Anwar’s shock value of taking initiative “while we are still in the state of war” is partly why his mission has such a diplomatic impact. He stresses that this is the real solution for lasting peace, rather than a temporary ceasefire. Peace must be based on justice and frank exchange
v alues
  • Belief that all humanity is entitled to a homeland  Religious belief (or uniting concern) that you should fight for your land
  • Seeking a commonality for peaceful resolution(as Ghandi was seen as a symbol of peace)
  • Peace is universal
  • Value of equality
  • He appeals to our basic human rights  humanity
  • Value of life
v alues1
  • Unity
  • It appeals to human needs of love (care and compassion)from our filial relationships  Universal  Concern that was is destructive
  • Justice is the foundation of peace
s tructure
  • Introduction: Beings speech by acknowledging God as “the Gracious and Merciful” and then “Peace and Mercy of God Almighty be upon you and may peace be for us all, God Willing”. Therefore positions himself as an equal who searches for peace and is an utter subject to the will of God.
  • Body: Arguments for purpose of the speech which is to convince the Knesset that a peace based on mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and boundaries is both possible and desirable.
  • Towards the ending of the body, he uses Rhetoric very constantly as he uses the rhetoric technique of repetition to really convince and draw his audience to the idea of peace and happiness. Furthermore also repeating “permanent peace based on justice” for further emphasis to his ideas on peace.
  • Conclusion: He ends the speech as he begins in terms of being an utter subject to God’s will.
o ther speeches
Other Speeches
  • The speech links to Faith Bandler’s speech, ‘Faith, Hope and Reconciliation’ as both speeches address that they wish to see a change in society. As Sadat wishes to see the change of the countries becoming peaceful with each other, while Bandler wishes to see the change in society of Aboriginal people gaining land rights.
  • In Aung San SuuKyi’s speech links are shown through, both speeches being about bringing similar but different people together in peace rather than through arguments and force, as well as everyone being treated properly by all.
o ther speeches1
Other Speeches
  • Sadat’s speech also links in with these speeches as they try to inspire the audience to do something about the issue and not to let things continue in the way they have before, as the speakers feel that there is a great concern for how people are going about the particular issues.
c ritical commentary
Critical Commentary
  • Around the time Anwar Sadat said his speech there were some who where a little hesitant and others who were opposed to Sadat’s stance on the matter and when it came to believing what his motive entailed, as they struggled to see how there could be such a try for peace in a time filled so much of hatred.
  • However as time as gone on Sadat’s speech is seen to have more of an effect on the issue of bringing peace to the countries, some people even seeing Sadat as a martyr for taking on the task and risk of giving this speech during such a time.
c ritical commentary1
Critical Commentary
  • As well as the speech still maintains its relevance as it still is able to relate to the continuing strained relations of Middle Eastern countries and their struggle for peace.