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One timeline of events

Reader comment on item: Rethinking the Egypt-Israel "Peace" Treaty
in response to reader comment: Iran and Egypt Peace

Submitted by Pat (United States), Nov 21, 2006 at 18:29

I think the Camp David Accords were signed in September, 1978 and the peace treaty was finalized in March, 1979. The American embassy was seized in November, 1979 and the Shah was long gone. He left in January, about ten months before the embassy was taken over by "students". Maybe the Iranian revolution occurred two months before the treaty was signed, but the terms that were finalized in the treaty had been agreed to months before the Shah was overthrown.

Carter was definitely looking for more support in the Middle East, but relations between the US and Egypt were on the upswing before he ever took office. The Egyptians had been allied with Russia until sometime in the mid-1970s. They then switched over to the American side while Nixon was still in office. During the Cold War, most Arab countries played us against the Russians. They were the puppetmasters.

In his book "Islamic Imperialism", Efraim Karsh suggests that Carter's negotiations succeeded only because Sadat and Begin wanted peace and they looked to the US for mediation, which Carter provided. They were the ones who provided the impetus, but that doesn't take away from Carter's achievement. He went wrong when he tried to include the Palestinians in peace negotiations. Yasser Arafat let the Carter administation envoy, Edward Said, know what he thought of this agreement:

"We want Palestine. We're not interested in bits of Palestine. We don't want to negotiate with the Israelis. We're going to fight."

The Arab reaction was strong, to say the least. The Egyptians were practically persona non grata for years after signing the treaty. The only conclusion has to be that if we wanted Arab allies, a peace with Israel was not the way to get them. So why do we still buy the idea that "solving" the Israeli-Palestinian problem will lead to anything constructive?

Submitting....

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