Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – CLXIII. A Country in Turmoil (5 of 7)

The Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1978

It took many impossible events, and larger-than-life leaders, to come together to make the impossible possible.

The 1973 war has restored Egypt’s pride. There was no longer any need to look upon Israel as invincible.

Anwar El Sadat, one of the most extraordinary leader Egypt has known, went into the lion’s den and with his head held high made a peace overture.

Menahem Begin (Israel’s Prime Minister at the time), who was once the Commander-in-Chief of the Irgun Tzvai Leoumi (a Right- Wing underground movement who acted independently from the Haganah – the Jewish Defense Army before the state was founded), left his past behind and acted as the peacemaker.

Jimmy Carter, one of the great (and unfortunately unappreciated) President used his extraordinary skills to get the old enemies to kiss and make up. (President Carter is considered by contemporary historians as a second rate President. This is due to the fact that our society is still too primitive to appreciate a President of his stature. Future generations will recognize him for the brilliant President he really was).

Through diplomatic means, Anwar El Sadat made it known that he was willing to pay a visit to Israel and address the Israeli Knesset (Parliament). The object of his visit was to make peace with his long-time enemy. I cannot begin to imagine the surprise of the Israeli administration; and needless to say, Sadat was apprised that he would be welcome. And so it was that Sadat landed on Israeli soil and was received with great fanfare. His address to the Knesset was unambiguous: I have an olive branch to offer you, are you willing to accept it? His speech made it clear that there were conditions; as well it included some hostile comments for the benefit of what we call today “the Arab street.”

There was a state dinner and Golda Meir (who was no longer a part of the government) was invited at the insistence of Anwar; it quickly became clear why, he teased her on various past events, and Golda was more than pleased to respond in kind!

Repeatedly, during his visit, Sadat proclaimed: “No More Wars.”

Menahem Begin reciprocated by visiting Ismailieh in Egypt.

A bemused world watched these extraordinary events unfold.

But there was still a lot of work before the dream would become a reality.

In September 1978, at Camp David, over 12 days, Sadat, Begin, and Carter conducted secret and intensive negotiations. After a lot of cajoling and arm-twisting, the parties were able to find common grounds.

On September 17, 1978, at the White House, a peace agreement, witnessed by President Carter, was signed by Anwar El Sadat and Menahem Begin.

The “CAMP DAVID ACCORDS;” and “The Framework for Peace in the Middle East;” were born. As you can see, there were in effect two accords.

The first dealt with the future of the Sinai and peace between Egypt and Israel to be concluded within three months. And indeed, Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt, and diplomatic relations were established. Of even more importance than that was the fact that Egypt no longer had get into more wars with Israel; Sadat was now free to turn his attention to the myriad of problems besetting Egypt.

The second was a framework agreement dealing with future negotiations for the establishment of an autonomous government in the West Bank and Gaza. There were interpretation problems with that accord. And, as we all know, the matter of an independent Palestinian State has yet to be settled.

The above highly summarize the aforementioned agreements. If you’re a history buff, feel free to go on the internet to obtain and read the full text of those agreements.

No more wars became a reality. Egypt and Israel have been at peace for decades now. However, it’s a cold peace. Egyptians have not been rushing en masse across the border to embrace their Israeli cousins! Many Israelis, on the other hand, have visited Egypt, and indeed provided it with a reliable source of tourism revenue.

Sadat did not enjoy the fruits of his labor for long. As you’ve been apprised, he was assassinated in 1981. His Vice- President Hosni Mubarak replaced him and ruled Egypt for some 30 years. Thus a revolution that started in 1952, was inherited by an outsider in 1981.

Other Arab countries? Except for Jordan which signed a peace accord with Israel in 1994, other Arab countries are still at war with Israel.

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