Jimmy Carter photo

Democratic Fundraising Dinner Remarks by Videotape to the Dinner in Los Angeles, California.

February 28, 1979

Good evening.
I'm very sorry that I can't be with you tonight. Nothing would have kept me away but the most urgent concerns of our country. And there is no concern more important to our Nation and, I know, to you and to me than our search for a lasting peace in the Middle East.

It was a Democratic President, Harry Truman, who first recognized 'the newly created State of Israel in the first minutes of its birth. Today, we carry on that legacy as we seek a secure and a peaceful future for Israel.

In my 2 years as President, I've devoted more time and invested more personal effort in the Middle East peace negotiations than in any other international problem. During the last 6 months, we have bridged chasms of suspicion and mistrust that have built for generations.

We've now come within inches of reaching a final agreement between Israel and Egypt. I'm determined to carry on this effort.

Prime Minister Begin and I are meeting now to discuss our goal of a lasting peace agreement. I need your prayers and your support. Throughout the peace process, one constant remains—America's unshakable commitment to the security of Israel will always be assured.

For 30 years, the people of Israel and Egypt have known suffering and war. Now the time has come for peace. As president, I will spare no effort and will continue to pursue every possible avenue to bring peace in the Middle East.

The problems of the Middle East are a symbol of our times—difficult, deep-rooted, and complex. Around the world and here at home, we face new and unprecedented challenges as we begin our third century as a nation. We face a challenge of controlling inflation, of resolving an energy crisis, of revitalizing our Government, and restoring the public's trust. And we face the daily, awesome challenge of ensuring peace for future generations in a dangerous nuclear age.

The challenges of our times cannot be solved overnight by quick fixes or miracle cures. They demand from each of us our perseverance, our commitment, and our sense of common purpose.

We have no illusions that the world has become a safe or easy or manageable place to live. But today, after years of drift, we see an America standing up to face the difficult domestic challenges. And around the world we see an America not at war, but using its vast influence and strength for arms control and for peace. And we see a nation that has regained its special place of leadership in the struggle for basic human rights.

Together we are meeting the challenges of our time. For more than 2 years, you've given me and our party your encouragement, your counsel, and your support. I'm grateful for the support you've shown tonight. And I especially want to thank my good friend Lew Wasserman and all those who worked so hard to make this dinner a success.

I envy you all tonight. You get to hear two great American voices—Diana Ross and Fritz Mondale. My warmest, best wishes are with you all.
Good night, and enjoy your evening.

Note: The President's remarks were videotaped in the Map Room at the White House for use at the dinner on March 2.

In his remarks, the President referred to Lew R. Wasserman, president of Music Corporation of America, Inc., and entertainer Diana Ross.

The transcript of the remarks was released on March 2.

Jimmy Carter, Democratic Fundraising Dinner Remarks by Videotape to the Dinner in Los Angeles, California. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/249051

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