Throughout time the decisions made by an individual or a group, such as President Anwar Sadat and his decision to make peace with Israel has dramatically changed the course of history. Every leader in history has made a decision that has affected the world, or just his nation in some way. After many years of struggling to keep peace among the Jews and Arabs, President Anwar Sadat, finally decided to make peace with Israel. Peace between Israel and Egypt would mean great changes were going to take place. This momentous decision would be a large step up for the two nations and would lead to them better lives, in peace.
Before the Egyptian Israeli Peace Pact was signed in 1978, Palestine and Israel were enemies with each other in every way possible. They were nowhere near being on good terms with one another. One war constantly followed another, and it was impossible for them to live in peace. Neither side saw even a slight possibility of this happening. Since Arab nations refused to accept the fact that Israel could be a Jewish state, all the Arabs had on their minds was the destruction of the country. Anwar Sadat was prepared to sacrifice one million soldiers in the destruction of Israel (Bard, http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/History/73_War.html).
The Suez War(1956), which followed the Israeli War of Independence, the British, French, and the US agreed not to supply the Israeli or Arabs with any needed weapons. Since they could not get weapons from those countries, Egypt made an arms deal with Czechoslovakia. Now, with their weapons, Egypt was able to invade Israel constantly. Egyptian President Nassar nationalized the Suez Canal, and did not allow Israel, or the French and British to use it, since they were supplying Israel with armaments. The three nations, Britain, France, and Israel attacked Egypt, and immediately defeated the Egyptians. The French and British protected The next war fought was the Six Day War(1967), which was fought between Israel and three other countries. In the south, Israel fought the Egyptians. In the central region, they fought Jordan, and in the north, they fought Syria. Israel managed to defeat all three countries without any trouble, and gain significant territory that would serve as its buffers in future years (Gilbert, pg. 67-68).
On October 6, 1973, the Jews celebrated their holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur. This was the only war that the Israelis were not prepared for. The Egyptians and Syrians planned this surprise attack on Israel, knowing that they weren’t expecting the invasion. They didn’t think that the Arabs would have the nerve to attack on the holiest day. Since it is a fast day, that made it worse, since the soldiers were considerably weaker on that day. Nine Arab states helped along with the Egyptian-Syrian war effort. The Yom Kippur War ended as a tie. A tie didn’t look good for Israel, since they had won all of the previous wars, however it looked better In 1978, the Camp David Accords were signed between Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, and Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat, in Maryland at Camp David along with US President Jimmy Carter as a witness. The Camp David Accords first began when President Sadat took a trip to Jerusalem to discuss the topic of peace between Egypt and Israel with Prime Minister Begin. This visit started talks between the two countries and had them developing peace negotiations. In the midst of creating peace, there was a period where nothing else was being done. Since there was a deadlock, President Carter invited both Sadat and Begin to Camp David to work out a permanent peace agreement.
The Camp David Accords were signed in September, 1978. In March 1979, the peace treaty, better known as the Egyptian Israeli Peace Pact, was completely finished and was finally The Egyptian Israeli Peace Pact was signed in 1979 in Washington. The treaty has nine articles. The treaty has a military annex, an annex dealing with the relation between the parties, agreed minutes interpreting the main articles of the treaty, the withdrawal schedule, exchange of ambassadors, security arrangements, and the agreement relating to the autonomy talks. The point of the treaty was to, not only create peace between Israel and Egypt, but also between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The desired result of the treaty was to bring the war atmosphere to an end, and to establish peace where everyone can live safely (RosenWasser, pg. 36). The treaty asks that Israel withdraws from Arab lands, under the circumstances that the Arab population accepts the existence of Israel. Egypt and Israel were almost positive that the treaty would resolve all of their problems relating to order.
People have come to believe that Sadat decided to make peace with Israel because of a visit to Morocco before his visit to Israel (Segal, http://www.virtual.co.il/news/jta/nov97/19-sada.html). During that meeting, supposedly, the Foreign Prime Minister Moshe Dayan and a senior Egyptian official had a discussion on Israel’s intentions of giving the Sinai Peninsula back to Egypt, under the conditions that Egypt makes peace with Israel. Sadat planned on taking the Sinai Peninsula back if the Israeli’s continued refusing making peace with Egypt. The Israeli’s would not make peace with Israel, therefore Sadat and his army ended up crossing the Suez back, and forcing the Israeli army into the desert. This attack developed a new momentum for peace in Egypt as well as in Israel. By making the first step towards peace in Israel, Sadat risked a lot, including his nation’s respect. Egypt’s minister of foreign affairs, Boutros-Ghali believes that Sadat’s decision to make peace with Israel was “one of the most important historical events of this century”. Even though the rest of the world thought that this was a great decision made, other Arab leaders did not agree. Sadat was killed for his peace process attempts. You would think that the person who made these attempts would be praised forever. This shows you how much hate there actually was between the Arabs and Jews. Sadat decided that the only way the Arab people and Israeli people could survive was to find a way to live together. Sadat was the visionary among the Arab people, however for being the visionary, he was killed by his own We know that Egypt was not very much thrilled with Sadat’s choice to make peace with Israel. There was a great deal of tension between the Arab countries because of the peace situation.
Egypt was considered to be betrayed by the Arab nations and today, Egypt is still not on good terms with them. The hatred between Jews and Arabs goes all the way back to Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem in 1872 BC. Sadat was assassinated by his own people that opposed the signing of the treaty. However, this treaty meant that Israel and Egypt no longer had to concentrate military forces on fighting each other. They could now “relax” in that area and concentrate on other matters. Stability and peace was brought to many in the involved Sadat’s decision to create peace with Israel is considered to be a momentous decision. It was one of the most important decisions made in history. Israel and Egypt were never on good terms. Sadat’s effort to make peace was the first effort to make peace in the Middle East that both nations actually agreed on. The Middle East would not be the same ever again. Sadat’s willingness to get along with Israel was a complete surprise to the world. Israel was absolutely astonished at his choice to do so. He made great efforts to come through with peace agreements. Sadat was willing to do anything to live in peace with Israel. Years before the Egyptian Israeli Peace Treaty was signed, this wasn’t so. Sadat went from being willing to do anything to bring down Israel to doing anything that would keep Israel on good terms with Egypt. People were suspicious about Sadat’s different actions or feelings towards Israel. Before Sadat traveled to Israel to make his speech concerning peace, Israel and Egypt highly doubted being able to live among each other without constantly attacking one another. Conflicts between the two nations definitely would not have come to an end, if it weren’t for Sadat’s brave and courageous effort.
Therefore, President Anwar Sadat was very confident to go into Israel to establish peace. His decision was one of the greatest in time. Due to his courage and efforts, the Middle East, today is still affected by this momentous decision. The constant wars were finally put to an end, and now the nations of the Middle East could live in peace, without any worries.
- Bard, Mitchell. Cozic, Charles P. Israel; Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1994.
- Gilbert, Martin. “Atlas of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” (pg. 67-68)
- Kimche, David. The Last Option. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991.
- Mansfield, Peter. A History of the Middle East. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.
- Mendelsohn, Everett. A Compassionate Peace. A Future for Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East. New York: Farrar, Strau & Giroux, 1989.
- Rosenwasser, Penny. Voices From a ‘Promised Land’. Connecticut: Curbstone Press, 1992.
- Schiff, Ze’ev and Ehud Ya’ari. Intifada. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989.