"I don't want to take part in antisemitic operations or those that negate Israel's right to exist in the region. I see Israel as a liberal, modern state with a religious character. Israelis have a right to defend themselves.
"Take the war on Gaza...Hamas started it...They refused to speak to Israel, fired rockets at it and caused it to defend itself."
Three decades after Israel’s independence and 22 years after the Suez Crisis Egypt became the first Arab country to recognise its right to exist.
After 12 days of secret and intensive negotiations overseen by US president Jimmy Carter at the Maryland estate, an agreement was reached between Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat giving Egypt control of the Sinai Peninsula.
The events of September 1978 ultimately became the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, signed in March 1979. Mr Begin and Mr Sadat later shared the Nobel Peace Prize and by 1982 Israel had completely left the Sinai area.
Six decades of failed peace efforts have left most Israelis (and Palestinians) deeply skeptical about the prospects for success.
The pattern is familiar - a new American president, faced with major difficulties at home and abroad, hopes that a Middle East peace breakthrough will help solve many of these problems. He squeezes the leaders of both sides, and as neither wants the label of "spoiler", they go along with the charade.
But the efforts fail, as core differences over history, religion (particularly in Jerusalem), borders and sovereignty remain insurmountable.
An unprecedented show of support for Israel has come from a group of almost entirely non-Jewish European and American politicians, statesmen and women and theologians.
Led by former Spanish prime minister José Maria Aznar, they have formed the Friends of Israel Initiative, to oppose the rising tide of criticism and delegitimisation that has questioned Israel's right to exist and act in self-defence.
Rumours that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is dying have caused concern in Israel over the future of the Israeli-Egyptian relationship.
Over the past three decades, Mr Mubarak has gained admirers in Israel for sticking to the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty through wars and intifadas. But the "cold peace" does not depend on him personally and is still likely to persist in a post-Mubarak era, analysts say.