There were several sections of agreements between Egypt and Israel as a result of Camp David, but the gist of the meetings became the lettters of understanding and framework for what would become the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. What is not as well-known is that the agreement also concluded that the United States would committ to several billion dollars in annual Foreign Aid toboth countries, which continues today as grants, aid packages, etc. that help Egypt continue to modernize and shore up Israeli defenses and economic development (See: Background Note: Egypt 2010; Benhorin 2007). – Several public consquenes, coupled with several private realities characterized the accords. It took until 1980 for the actual normalization of relations between Egypt and Israel, with the exchange of ambassadors beginning in February, 1980. That same month, trade began to develop, air travel resumed, and the boycott laws were repleaded by the Egyptian equivalent of Congress. Additionally, Egypt began selling crude oil to Israel. The public rammifications, though, were huge. For the first time, a respected leader in the Arab world went to the negotiating table with Israel, realigned with the United States, and broke the previous Arab Bloc against anything Jewish. Too, pscyhologically these agreements proved that negotiations were possible — difficult yes, but possible nontheless (Carter 2010).
OSLO ACCORDS – The Oslo Accords were an outgrowth of international pressure upon both Israel and the Arab world, in this case the Palestinian authority, to resolve their long-standing conflict. One of the major issues that continued to plague both nations was the lack of a means to hold a face-to-face set of meetings and negotiations that would set an overall framework for some sort of schemata designed to affect the peace process. Secret negotiations were held in Oslo, Norway, hosted by the Fafo Instituted, and completed in August 1993. In a public ceremony hosted by then president Bill Clinton, Yasser Arafat (representing the PLO) and Israli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed a document that would allow for future retlations between the two opposing organizations. The Accords allowed for the creation of a Palestinian National Authority, which would be responsible for thei administration of territoriy under its control and allow for Israel to withdraw some of its forces from the Gaza Strip and West Bank, both highly contested areas of concern (Freedman, ed., 1998).
LEGACY OF CAMP DAVID and CONCLUSIONS – Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981 by fundamentalists who disagreed with his views towards Israel and the West. Menachem Begin never again captured power and respect in the Israeli Knesset, many believed he conceeded too much to the Egyptians. Jimmy Carter continues to advocate for world peace, and has lectured and writen prodigiously about the subject of humanitarian aid and the peace process.
However, as we noted, tensions in the Middle East remain high. There are regular suicide bombers, missle attacks, and an Israeli policy that, at times, borders on the type of fascism they so disdain as a people. The Arab world remains divided on its views and response toward Israel, but U.S. dollars are clearly part of the governing currency in the area (In a Nutshell: Israeli Palestinian Conflict 2007). The three leaders; Carter, Sadat, and Begin, made history at Camp David, it remains to be seen whether their legacy will find one of peace, or continual conflict. Unfortunately, even the Oslo Accords, so optimistic and promising in their initial world acceptence, have become little more than cynical suspects in both Arab and Israeli minds. Even at the turn of the century, about 1/3 of both Arabs and Israelis surveyed believed that the Accords would help with the peace process. However, buy 2010 both sides have almost given up hope that they will have any effect on future issues (Sidman, 2011).
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