Speech to the Israeli Knesset by Anwar Sadat

Anwar Sadat

Anwar Sadat

This is a new speech for the 2009 syllabus for Module B: Critical Study of Texts – Speeches.

I, and my students, found this one the most difficult to go through. Firstly, because it requires an some understanding of the Arab, Jerusalem, Israel matter (which I myself knew little to nothing about before I did some quick research on this speech). Secondly, because it is the longest speech of the set and Sadat uses some complex references and vocabulary that students may not be able to grasp. Thirdly, many students find this speech boring.

Also, here are some things to consider:

  1. How its values and purpose similar to Kyi’s Keynote Address at the Beijing World Conference on Women?
  2. It is such a lengthy speech. Why is this? What is the structure of this speech?


  • Anwar Sadat was the President of Egypt from 1970 to 1981 (when he was assassinated).
  • Sadat was the first Arab leader to ever visit a Jewish state – against the advice of his fellow Arab nations.


  • The Knesset are the Israeli Parliament.
  • The speech was also broadcast live all over the world


  • There had been 4 wars, and continuous battles and terrorism between Israel and Egypt before this speech.
  • This was the beginning of Egyptian interest in reaching a diplomatic solution – later resulting in the Camp David peace agreement
  • Not everyone supported Sadat’s diplomacy though and there was violent opposition.

Techniques by Page

This speech is much longer than the others – I’ll simply go page by page, instead of paragraph by paragraph. The page numbers are as they are on the PDF of English Prescriptions: Advanced Speeches on the BOS website.

I won’t do your analysis for you, but here is a general guideline:

  1. Identify where the listed techniques are in the speech.
  2. Explain their effect/purpose.

Page 35:

  • Religious allusions
  • Formal address
  • Emotive language
  • Alliteration
  • Famous quotation
  • Direct address through “you”
  • Repetition
  • Inclusive language
  • Appeal to universal values
  • Colloquialism
  • Anecdote/quote
  • Dramatic emphasis – biggest Arab state, heaviest burden

Page 36:

  • Strong language – utter suspicion and absolute lack of confidence
  • Conversational
  • Religious allusion
  • Exaggeration
  • Formal address
  • Inspiring tone
  • Repetition

Page 37:

  • Reference to specific dates
  • Cultural/religion allusion
  • Repetition
  • Dramatic language – in the history of the world as a whole
  • Rhetorical question

Page 38:

  • Diction of “facts”
  • Listing of facts
  • Repetition
  • Reference to United Nations
  • Emotive metaphors
  • Listing through colons
  • Rebuttals
  • Metaphor (last paragraph on page)

Page 39:

  • Dramatic language – one single drop of blood
  • Rhetorical question
  • Emotive description
  • Directly engaging with audience
  • Conversational “yes”
  • Metaphor (8th paragraph on page)
  • Repetition
  • Repetition and extended metaphor

Page 40:

  • Repetition and extended metaphor
  • Percentage
  • Rhetorical questions and repetition
  • Religious quotes
  • 2nd person
  • Comparison (last paragraph on page)

Page 41:

  • Imperative tone
  • Emotive repetition – curse of humanity and the curse of history
  • Rhetorical questions
  • Conversational “yes”
  • Repetition – yes, declare, accept
  • Diction of “logic” and “facts”
  • Religious allusions

Page 42:

  • Repetition
  • Diction of “fact”
  • Alliteration (3rd paragraph)
  • Dramatic adjectives (3rd paragraph)
  • Direct language
  • 2nd person
  • Rhythm (6th paragraph)
  • Metaphor

Page 43:

  • Metaphors
  • Listing of points
  • Formal address
  • Repetition
  • Personal pronouns
  • Inclusive/universal language

Page 44:

  • Direct address to universal audience
  • Metaphors
  • Directive language – “Tell them…”, “Be the heralds…”
  • Direct address to audience
  • Exaggeration
  • Religious allusions
  • Repetition
  • Inclusive language “all and every citizen”

Page 45:

  • Religious quotations


27 comments for “Speech to the Israeli Knesset by Anwar Sadat

  1. aby
    July 17, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    whoa, people found this speech boring?
    i guess it’s because i love the values sadat speaks of. but i mean, in today’s world, how does one consider the prospect of permanent peace based on justice as something boring?

    also, these notes are helpful, a great starting point so thank you very much =]

    • tutortales
      July 17, 2009 at 8:50 pm

      No problem! It’s good to hear that someone likes this speech – I guess it just goes to show that each speech speaks to different people!


      • aby
        July 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm

        ain’t it true ^^

  2. kaz
    July 19, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    was just wondering if you could help by telling me which other speech is appropriate to compare Sadat’s speech to?
    I’m a bit afrid of choosing something like Deane where there is no real links only links to the rhetorics

    • tutortales
      July 20, 2009 at 6:28 pm

      My first thought would be Kyi’s speech, because both of them discuss the values of peace, whilst pushing a specific political agenda (Burma or Iraeli occupation of the Arab territories).

      • ali
        November 27, 2009 at 7:22 pm

        i was just wondering, do you think that noel pearson’s “an australian history for us all” is also valid enough in making a strong connection between his and sadat’s speech? if so, why or why not?

      • Bob
        December 1, 2009 at 1:37 pm

        Ali, I’m actually using both those speeches in my essay and I reckon there’s a really strong connection between those two speeches. Both speakers discuss various similar issues that they all feel passionate about (unity, justice, equality, responsibility) and how they relate to their communities/contexts.

  3. mariam
    July 24, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    hey, was jus lookin through and i like the notes that has been posted i am doing anwar sadat for my essay and wat i dnt understand is how it linnks with suu kyi’s speech???
    i linked answar sadat with sir william deane but im doing kyi speech as a third because we have to do 3 speeches and i didn’t know they linked and would like to link that also
    thank you (i hope i make sense)

    • tutortales
      July 25, 2009 at 11:18 pm

      You can link them by considering what values Kyi and Sadat both express in their speeches (eg. peace, tolerance), and the purpose of their speeches (both have underlying political agendas). You can also link them in terms of their rhetoric and style. Hope that helps.


  4. mariam
    July 26, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    thank you… =)

  5. holly
    August 16, 2009 at 11:54 am

    I do like this speech, and these notes are great but i was wondering what were the different receptions this speech faced?

  6. hollyd
    October 15, 2009 at 9:04 am

    hey, thanks for these great notes… however i have a few questions…
    is it important that the themes link between your speeches?
    how many speeches should you write about?
    and do you recommend learning all the speeches in case they ask for a specific speech (how likely is this)

    • tutortales
      October 16, 2009 at 8:59 am

      It is important in the sense that it will help your essay to synthesis and link together to form a solid thesis.

      I recommend writing about 2-3 speeches and I really can’t answer about the likelihood of the question asking for a specific speech (it is best to revise your knowledge of all of them, but focus on 2-3 main ones).


  7. Steven
    October 30, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    hey thnx for ur notes it helps alot
    just wondering for this speech
    how would u say Sadat have used rhetorical techniques to reveal memorable ideas and what were these major ideas ?

  8. ali
    November 27, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    i am currently doing an essay on sadat’s speech and personally i think that the speech which has the most connection towards sadat’s would probably be noel pearson’s “an australian history for us all”. mainly because the two share a common aspect of trying to encapsulate peace and justice and are both interested in recontextualising the conditions and acknowlegdment in whihc their community/people are recieving. i also thoroughly analysed all the speeches and relaised that sadat and pearson’s speeches are similar in the way that they both use similar rhetorical devices. these include the constant reference to religious aspects and the numerous occurences of quotations. they also primarily use allusions, repitition, inclusive language, formal address, emotive language and much much more. however, suu kyi’s speech is also a valid enough speech in formulating a connection with sadats.

  9. Jerry
    May 29, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    How would you relate this speech to Keating’s speech?

  10. Katrina
    June 15, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Are there strong enough links between Sadat’s and Bandler’s speech to write a genuine essay?
    Apart from both of them looking for compromise and a better future, what other themes are explored to achieve justice within an individual or community?

  11. Amogh
    May 23, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Thanks so much for your website! It has really helped me through these months.
    It must be such a privilege having you as a tutor!

  12. Smart Year 12 class
    September 2, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Once you learn the context of this speech it becomes much more engaging and accessible to the reader.

    Once you deconstruct the speech into its Basic elements, it becomes easier to analyise and draw conclusions about his comments on “Permanent Peace Based On Justice”.

    We found this speech to be a delightful ‘little’ read, And will continue to read it to our children in the years to come. Hopefully by reading this speech then they will learn the basic attributes it take to have “Permanent Peace Based On Justice”.

    Thanks for the great Read Anwar!

    *Notice our great use of Anaphora.

    Year 12 Class.

    • Jonny.
      September 4, 2011 at 11:57 am


      • Jen
        August 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm

        Weren’t they referring to their anaphora of “Once”?

  13. Swaglord
    November 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Atwood’s speech can also be compared to sadats

  14. Swaglord
    November 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Can someone help define what is meant by a permanent peace based on justice?

  15. Annabelle
    September 27, 2015 at 5:49 am

    Context: After Sadat invaded Israel on the feast of Yom Kippur while he was fully aware that all practicing Jews would be praying and resting (and therefore highly vulnerable)

    This man began a war (So did Hitler/Stalin/Mao)
    He advocated for Sharia law after he made this speech- a practice which blatantly contradicts multiple human rights sanctions(So did Hitler/Stalin/Mao)

    Main differences between latter and Sadat: The trio of evil actually meant what they said when they talked about their plans for their country and international relations. Sadat was just biding time until military strength was great enough for another attack.
    1. Churchill, Reagan, Khrushchev, Roosevelt, Lincoln,

    The BOS has, in its infinite wisdom (note the technique of heavy sarcasm- link it to the context) decided none of these are good enough for us, because whats important is talking happy-talk and the murder of 30 000 people (stats of Yom Kippur war) is irrelevant.

    Anti-Semites should not be supported- but if we MUST study them, at LEAST acknowledge their War Crimes

    • Me
      May 6, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      Look at both sides of the story.

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