Menachem Begin and the Israel-Egypt Peace Process
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178 pages
English

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Description

Focusing on the character and personality of Menachem Begin, Gerald Steinberg and Ziv Rubinovitz offer a new look into the peace negotiations between Israel and Egypt in the 1970s. Begin's role as a peace negotiator has often been marginalized, but this sympathetic and critical portrait restores him to the center of the diplomatic process. Beginning with the events of 1967, Steinberg and Rubinovitz look at Begin's statements on foreign policy, including relations with Egypt, and his role as Prime Minister and chief signer of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. While Begin did not leave personal memoirs or diaries of the peace process, Steinberg and Rubinovitz have tapped into newly released Israeli archives and information housed at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and the Begin Heritage Center. The analysis illuminates the complexities that Menachem Begin faced in navigating between ideology and political realism in the negotiations towards a peace treaty that remains a unique diplomatic achievement.


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Publié par
Date de parution 27 février 2019
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253039538
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0062€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

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MENACHEM BEGIN AND THE ISRAEL-EGYPT PEACE PROCESS
PERSPECTIVES ON ISRAEL STUDIES
S. Ilan Troen, Natan Aridan, Donna Divine, David Ellenson, and Arieh Saposnik, editors
Sponsored by the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies of Brandeis University
MENACHEM BEGIN AND THE ISRAEL-EGYPT PEACE PROCESS
Between Ideology and Political Realism
Gerald M. Steinberg and Ziv Rubinovitz
Indiana University Press
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press
Office of Scholarly Publishing
Herman B Wells Library 350
1320 East 10th Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
iupress.indiana.edu
2019 by Gerald M. Steinberg and Ziv Rubinovitz
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Steinberg, Gerald M., author. | Rubinovitz, Ziv, author.
Title: Menachem Begin and the Israel-Egypt peace process : between ideology and political realism / Gerald M. Steinberg and Ziv Rubinovitz.
Description: Bloomington, Indiana : Indiana University Press, [2019] | Series: Perspectives on Israel studies | Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2018049713 (print) | LCCN 2018050671 (ebook) | ISBN 9780253039552 (e-book) | ISBN 9780253039521 (cl : alk. paper)
Subjects: LCSH: Begin, Menachem, 1913-1992 | Prime ministers-Israel-Biography. | Israel-Foreign relations-Egypt. | Egypt-Foreign relations-Israel. | Arab-Israeli conflict-1973-1993-Diplomatic history.
Classification: LCC DS126.6.B33 (ebook) | LCC DS126.6.B33 S74 2019 (print) | DDC 956.04-dc23
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018049713
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Citizens of Israel, when you hear these words, it will be morning. It will be an early hour and the sun will rise on the land of our Forefathers and Sons.
Will we be able to come to you within a few days and sing along, We have brought peace unto you ?
This I can tell you: As we have made every possible human effort to bring it, we will continue so that every one of us can say, Peace has come to our people and our land, not only for the current generation but also for generations to come.
With God s help, together we will accomplish this goal and will be blessed with good days of construction, brotherhood, and understanding. May this be God s will.
Prime Minister Menachem Begin, speaking in Hebrew to the citizens of Israel, at the signing ceremony of the Camp David Accords at the White House, September 17, 1978
Contents
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 The Six-Day War and the Emergence of Begin s Approach to Peace: 1967-70
2 Return to Opposition: 1970-77
3 Setting the Stage: May-November 1977
4 From Jerusalem to Camp David: December 1977-August 1978
5 Camp David-Between Psychology and Political Realism: September 1978
6 The Domestic Political Struggle over the Camp David Accords: September 1978
7 From a Framework to a Peace Treaty: October 1978-March 1979
8 Implementation: A Glass Half Full
9 Analysis and Implications
Bibliography
Index
Preface
T HE SUCCESSFUL NEGOTIATION of a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt and the fact that this treaty has held for four decades are remarkable achievements in the realm of diplomacy and international relations. While many other attempts to negotiate viable peace agreements have sought to emulate this success, including for the unresolved parts of the Arab-Israel conflict, most have failed. The central question that we and many other authors who have examined the negotiations between Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat have sought to answer is: Why? What were the key factors that led to success, and how can these be repeated in other cases?
Although the story of these negotiations has been told many times, a central part has largely been missing-specifically, the perspectives and strategies of Prime Minister Begin. In this volume, we reexamine and reassess these events-from the initial secret meetings leading to Sadat s dramatic arrival in Jerusalem and through the pivotal Camp David summit and the final signatures on the treaty.
To understand Begin s views and policies as prime minister and the story of the negotiations with Egypt, we need to go back and trace their evolution. Thus, after providing some background on Begin s early years and as leader of the Irgun underground, we begin our study with the May-June crisis preceding the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, during which Begin joined the National Unity Government under Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. Begin s participation in the events and debates beginning before the war, and continuing in its aftermath, particularly regarding the future of the occupied territories, were central in the formation of his policies during the crucial peace negotiations with Egypt.
Our analysis primarily focuses on Begin, who did not write memoirs or grant many interviews after leaving office. And while many of the other players, including senior Israeli ministers, published their versions, these were mostly personal accounts in which Begin s role as chief negotiator and decision maker was diminished, whether by design or oversight.
In any political or social process as complex as peace negotiations between two longtime enemies, the histories that are written are likely to reflect particular perspectives while neglecting others. In addition to the Israeli memoirs, the American participants, including President Jimmy Carter, have published extensively on these events, particularly regarding the Camp David summit of September 1978. The interpretation of central issues, including the relationship between Begin and Carter, has been largely shaped by the latter s extensive diaries and public statements, as well as the memoirs of Carter s aides.
While this practice is understandable, it leaves the historical record incomplete and inaccurate. One of the major differences concerns the emphasis regarding the two central strands in the negotiations-one focusing on Egyptian-Israeli bilateral issues, summarized as land for peace, and the other on the Palestinian dimension, which was ultimately dealt with through an agreement to negotiate a nonterritorial form of autonomy. The Israeli histories tend to focus on the Egyptian-Israeli strand, while the American histories and analyses give more attention to the difficult negotiations on autonomy between Begin and Carter. In some ways, these two sets of emphasis present quite different versions of the events. In addition, for both groups, the image of Begin was secondhand, meaning that they relied on what other actors-Carter, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, and Defense Minister Ezer Weizman-said about the Israeli prime minister s goals, priorities, and strategies.
As a result, our first objective in undertaking the research that led to this publication was to fill the major gap in the historical record and to compare the existing accounts from Americans, Israelis, Egyptians, and others with the evidence that presents Begin s point of view. Of course, we do not pretend to be able to write a memoir or diary in place of the ones that Begin never wrote, but we are able to raise questions and provide some answers based on a very detailed and comprehensive analysis of Begin s own words and actions during this period.
In this process, we have benefited from numerous Israeli and American government documents and records that have become available in recent years, almost four decades after the events themselves. Begin s powerful and eloquent voice is now accessible through protocols and other documents that record and summarize the meetings, negotiation sessions, and internal debates, and we have given it the attention we believe it deserves. The full texts of the relevant documents are available on the dedicated website created to accompany this publication, at this link: https://www.begincenter.org.il/menachem-begin-israel-egypt-peace-process-ideology-political-realism/ .

In filling in the missing history and in reviewing and comparing the documents to the existing accounts and analyses, we expected to find many instances where we could corroborate the established narratives, as well as point out and perhaps even settle significant contradictions. With a negligible portion of the material at the Israel State Archives that remains classified-official American documentation from the Camp David summit is sparse-the presentation in this volume is an important and necessary correction to the existing histories and scholarship. 1 Similarly, by reexamining the events of forty years ago in the light of the new archival material, we are able to reconsider the main conclusions that have been drawn regarding the factors that led to the successful outcome.
The main arguments concerning Israeli policies and Begin s role, as found in the existing histories and analyses of the Egyptian-Israeli peace negotiations, and not internally consistent, can be summarized as follows:
1. Menachem Begin was an inflexible negotiator whose personality, based on personal history and experience, and obsessively focu

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