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The CAMP DAVID ACCORDS were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on 17 September 1978, following twelve days of secret negotiations at Camp David
Camp David
. The two framework agreements were signed at the White House
White House
, and were witnessed by United States
United States
President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
. The second of these frameworks (_A Framework for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty between Egypt
Egypt
and Israel_) led directly to the 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty . Due to the agreement, Sadat and Begin received the shared 1978 Nobel Peace Prize . The first framework (_A Framework for Peace in the Middle East_), which dealt with the Palestinian territories , was written without participation of the Palestinians and was condemned by the United Nations.

CONTENTS

* 1 Preceding diplomacy

* 1.1 Carter Initiative * 1.2 Participating parties * 1.3 Begin Initiative * 1.4 Sadat Initiative

* 2 Egyptian–Israeli talks

* 3 Partial agreements

* 3.1 Framework for Peace in the Middle East
Middle East

* 3.1.1 Key points of the West Bank and Gaza section * 3.1.2 UN Rejection of the Middle East
Middle East
Framework

* 3.2 Framework Peace Treaty Egypt
Egypt
and Israel
Israel

* 4 Consequences * 5 Public support * 6 Criticism of the Accords * 7 Arab–Israeli peace diplomacy and treaties * 8 See also * 9 References * 10 Further reading * 11 External links

PRECEDING DIPLOMACY

CARTER INITIATIVE

Carter's and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance 's exploratory meetings gave a basic plan for reinvigorating the peace process based on a Geneva Peace Conference and had presented three main objectives for Arab–Israeli peace: Arab
Arab
recognition of Israel's right to exist in peace, Israel's withdrawal from occupied territories gained in the Six-Day War through negotiating efforts with neighboring Arab
Arab
nations to ensure that Israel's security would not be threatened and securing an undivided Jerusalem.

The Camp David
Camp David
Accords were the result of 14 months of diplomatic efforts by Egypt, Israel, and the United States
United States
that began after Jimmy Carter became President. The efforts initially focused on a comprehensive resolution of disputes between Israel
Israel
and the Arab countries, gradually evolving into a search for a bilateral agreement between Israel
Israel
and Egypt.

Upon assuming office on January 20, 1977, President Carter moved to rejuvenate the Middle East
Middle East
peace process that had stalled throughout the 1976 presidential campaign in the United States
United States
. Following the advice of a Brookings Institution report, Carter opted to replace the incremental, bilateral peace talks which had characterized Henry Kissinger 's shuttle diplomacy following the 1973 Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
with a comprehensive, multilateral approach. The Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
further complicated efforts to achieve the objectives written in United Nations Security Council
Security Council
Resolution 242 .

Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and his successor, Menachem Begin , were both skeptical of an international conference. While Begin, who took office in May 1977, officially favored the reconvening of the conference, perhaps even more vocally than Rabin, and even accepted the Palestinian presence, in actuality the Israelis and the Egyptians were secretly formulating a framework for bilateral talks. Even earlier, Begin had not been opposed to returning the Sinai , but a major future obstacle was his firm refusal to consider relinquishing control over the West Bank .

PARTICIPATING PARTIES

Territory held by Israel: before the Six-Day War after the war

Carter visited the heads of state on whom he would have to rely to make any peace agreement feasible. By the end of his first year in office, he had already met with Anwar El Sadat of Egypt
Egypt
, King Hussein of Jordan
Jordan
, Hafez al-Assad of Syria
Syria
, and Yitzhak Rabin of Israel
Israel
. Despite the fact that he supported Sadat's peace initiative, King Hussein refused to take part in the peace talks; Begin offered Jordan little to gain and Hussein also feared he would isolate Jordan
Jordan
from the Arab
Arab
world and provoke Syria
Syria
and the PLO if he engaged in the peace talks as well. Hafez al-Assad, who had no particular interest in negotiating peace with Israel, also refused to come to the United States and only agreed to meet with Carter in Geneva.

BEGIN INITIATIVE

The key to an arrangement between Begin and Sadat took place on Sunday, 6 August 1978, as a result of a telephone call made that morning to the Israeli Prime Minister's office by a United States citizen who had an "idea for peace." The Prime Minister had not yet arrived at his office and the caller spoke to Mr. Yechiel Kadishai, a Begin staff head. Kadishai said that "no one was speaking with anyone and we expect a war in October." He also told the caller that if any high level talks were to occur the caller could be assured that they would be using his approach. Begin arrived, was informed of the plan, and contacted Sadat who agreed to the plan on that day. On the next day, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance traveled to the Middle East
Middle East
to obtain firsthand confirmation of the agreement between Israel
Israel
and Egypt. The following day, Tuesday, 8 August, the Camp David
Camp David
meeting was scheduled to take place in exactly 4 weeks time; on 5 September 1978. The plan was that Israel
Israel
agreed on 6 August to return the land to Egypt. Sadat’s then waning popularity would be greatly enhanced as a result of such an achievement. Israel's security was insured by the specific activities to take place during the "transition period." Those activities also were included in the "idea for peace" communicated to Begin's office on 6 August.

SADAT INITIATIVE

Menachem Begin , Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
and Anwar Sadat at Camp David
Camp David
, 1978

President Anwar El Sadat came to feel that the Geneva track peace process was more show than substance, and was not progressing, partly due to disagreements with his Arab
Arab
(mainly Syria
Syria
, Libya
Libya
, and Iraq
Iraq
) and his communist allies. He also lacked confidence in the Western powers to pressure Israel
Israel
after a meeting with the Western leaders. His frustration boiled over, and after clandestine preparatory meetings between Egyptian and Israeli officials, unknown even to the NATO countries, in November 1977, Sadat became the first Arab
Arab
leader to visit Israel.

On 9 November 1977, President Sadat startled the world by announcing to parliament his intention to go to Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and speak before the Knesset . Shortly afterward, the Israeli government cordially invited him to address the Knesset in a message passed to Sadat via the US ambassador to Egypt. Ten days after his speech, Sadat arrived for the groundbreaking three-day visit, which launched the first peace process between Israel
Israel
and an Arab
Arab
state. As would be the case with later Israeli– Arab
Arab
peace initiatives, Washington was taken by surprise; the White House
White House
and State Department were particularly concerned that Sadat was merely reaching out to reacquire Sinai as quickly as possible, putting aside the Palestinian problem. Considered as a man with strong political convictions who kept his eye on the main objective, Sadat had no ideological base, which made him politically inconsistent. The Sadat visit came about after he delivered a speech in Egypt
Egypt
stating that he would travel anywhere, "even Jerusalem," to discuss peace. That speech led the Begin government to declare that, if Israel
Israel
thought that Sadat would accept an invitation, Israel
Israel
would invite him. In Sadat's Knesset speech he talked about his views on peace, the status of Israel\'s occupied territories , and the Palestinian refugee problem. This tactic went against the intentions of both the West and the East, which were to revive the Geneva Conference .

The gesture stemmed from an eagerness to enlist the help of the NATO countries in improving the ailing Egyptian economy, a belief that Egypt
Egypt
should begin to focus more on its own interests than on the interests of the Arab
Arab
world, and a hope that an agreement with Israel would catalyze similar agreements between Israel
Israel
and her other Arab neighbors and help solve the Palestinian problem. Prime Minister Begin's response to Sadat's initiative, though not what Sadat or Carter had hoped, demonstrated a willingness to engage the Egyptian leader. Like Sadat, Begin also saw many reasons why bilateral talks would be in his country's best interests. It would afford Israel
Israel
the opportunity to negotiate only with Egypt
Egypt
instead of with a larger Arab delegation that might try to use its size to make unwelcome or unacceptable demands. Israel
Israel
felt Egypt
Egypt
could help protect Israel
Israel
from other Arabs and Eastern communists. In addition, the commencement of direct negotiations between leaders – summit diplomacy – would distinguish Egypt
Egypt
from her Arab
Arab
neighbors. Carter's people apparently had no inkling of the secret talks in Morocco between Dayan and Sadat's representative, Hassan Tuhami, that paved the way for Sadat's initiative. Indeed, in a sense Egypt
Egypt
and Israel
Israel
were ganging up to push Carter off his Geneva track. The basic message of Sadat's speech at the Knesset were the request for the implementation of Resolutions 242 and 338 . Sadat's visit was the first step to negotiations such as the preliminary Cairo Conference in December 1977.

EGYPTIAN–ISRAELI TALKS

Begin and Brzezinski playing chess at Camp David
Camp David
A meeting at Camp David
Camp David
with (l-r) Aharon Barak , Menachem Begin , Anwar Sadat , and Ezer Weizman , 1978

A mechanism had yet to be created for Israel
Israel
and Egypt
Egypt
to pursue the talks begun by Sadat and Begin in Jerusalem. The Egyptian president suggested to Begin that Israel
Israel
place a secret representative in the American embassy in Cairo. With American "cover," the true identity of the Israeli, who would liaise between the Egyptian and Israeli leaders, would be known only to the American ambassador in Cairo.

Sadat's liaison initiative spoke volumes about his reasons for wanting to make peace with Israel. He wanted an alliance with the American superpower and he wanted to kill Carter's Geneva initiative. His trip to Jerusalem
Jerusalem
signaled a major reorientation of Cairo's place in the global scheme of things, from the Soviet to the American camp. Carter's acceptance of the proposed liaison scheme would have signaled American backing for Sadat's unprecedented peace initiative. But Carter said no. However, Carter could not thwart the Israeli-Egyptian peace push. Within days Israeli journalists were allowed into Cairo, breaking a symbolic barrier, and from there the peace process quickly gained momentum. An Israeli-Egyptian working summit was scheduled for 25 December in Ismailiya, near the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
.

Accompanied by their capable negotiating teams and with their respective interests in mind, both leaders converged on Camp David
Camp David
for 13 days of tense and dramatic negotiations from 5 to 17 September 1978. By all accounts, Carter's relentless drive to achieve peace and his reluctance to allow the two men to leave without reaching an agreement are what played the decisive role in the success of the talks.

Carter's advisers insisted on the establishment of an Egyptian-Israeli agreement which would lead to an eventual solution to the Palestine
Palestine
issue. They believed in a short, loose, and overt linkage between the two countries amplified by the establishment of a coherent basis for a settlement. However, Carter felt they were not "aiming high enough" and was interested in the establishment of a written "land for peace" agreement with Israel
Israel
returning the Sinai Peninsula and West Bank . Numerous times both the Egyptian and Israeli leaders wanted to scrap negotiations, only to be lured back into the process by personal appeals from Carter. Considered as an excellent mediator who arbitrated concessions with confidence, he played a tireless commitment to find formulas, definitions, and solutions to the many intricate variables, regardless of perceived or real political limitations, and was capable of soothing fears and anxieties, always with the goal of keeping the negotiations going. He gradually understood the importance historical events had upon determining personal ideology, but he would not allow it to constrain his political options, and he did not want them to limit the options of those with whom he was negotiating.

Begin and Sadat had such mutual antipathy toward one another that they only seldom had direct contact; thus Carter had to conduct his own microcosmic form of shuttle diplomacy by holding one-on-one meetings with either Sadat or Begin in one cabin, then returning to the cabin of the third party to relay the substance of his discussions. Begin and Sadat were "literally not on speaking terms," and "claustrophobia was setting in." President Carter, National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski , and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance at Camp David
Camp David

A particularly difficult situation arose on the tenth stalemated day of the talks. The issues of Israeli settlement withdrawal from the Sinai and the status of the West Bank created what seemed to be an impasse. In response, Carter had the choice of trying to salvage the agreement by conceding the issue of the West Bank to Begin, while advocating Sadat's less controversial position on the removal of all settlements from the Sinai Peninsula. Or he could have refused to continue the talks, reported the reasons for their failure, and allowed Begin to bear the brunt of the blame.

Carter chose to continue and for three more days negotiated. During this time, Carter even took the two leaders to the nearby Gettysburg National Military Park in the hopes of using the American Civil War as a simile to their own struggle.

Consequently, the 13 days marking the Camp David
Camp David
Accords were considered a success. Partly due to Carter's determination in obtaining an Israeli-Egyptian agreement, a full two-week pledge to a singular international problem. Additionally, Carter was beneficiary to a fully pledged American foreign team. Likewise, the Israeli delegation had a stable of excellent talent in Ministers Dayan and Weizman and legal experts Dr. Meir Rosenne and Aharon Barak . Furthermore, the absence of the media contributed to the Accord's successes: there were no possibilities provided to either leader to reassure his political body or be driven to conclusions by members of his opposition. An eventual scrap of negotiations by either leader would have proven disastrous, resulting in taking the blame for the summit's failure as well as a disassociation from the White House. Ultimately, neither Begin nor Sadat was willing to risk those eventualities. Both of them had invested enormous amounts of political capital and time to reach an agreement.

PARTIAL AGREEMENTS

_ Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin acknowledge applause during a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., during which President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
announced the results of the Camp David
Camp David
Accords, 18 September 1978.

"Remarks on the Signing of the Camp David
Camp David
Accords"

* Georgia gubernatorial election, 1966 * 1970 * Democratic presidential primaries, 1976 * 1980 * Democratic National Convention, 1972 * 1976 * 1980 * United States
United States
presidential election, 1976 * 1980

BOOKS

* (Complete bibliography ) * _The Hornet\'s Nest_ (2003 novel) * _Our Endangered Values_ (2006) * _Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid_ (2006) * (reaction and commentary) * _Beyond the White House_ (2007) * _We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land_ (2009) * _ White House
White House
Diary_ (2010) * _A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power_ (2014) * _A Full Life: Reflections at 90_ (2015)

HONORS

* (Complete list ) * Nobel Peace Prize * Presidential Medal of Freedom * Freedom of the City * Silver Buffalo Award * Philadelphia Liberty Medal * United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights * Hoover Medal * Christopher Award * Grammy Award

LEGACY

* _Man from Plains_ (2007 documentary) * USS _Jimmy Carter_

RELATED

* Mary Prince (nanny)

FAMILY

* Rosalynn Carter (wife) * Jack Carter (son) * Amy Carter (daughter) * James Earl Carter, Sr. (father) * Lillian Gordy Carter (mother) * Gloria Carter Spann (sister) * Ruth Carter Stapleton (sister) * Billy Carter
Billy Carter
(brother) * Jason Carter (grandson) * James Carter IV (grandson) * Emily Dolvin (maternal aunt) * Hugh Carter (paternal first cousin)

* ← GERALD FORD * RONALD REAGAN →

* CATEGORY

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