Flashback to 2000: I published this then at the time of the Clinton-Arafat-Barak Camp David Summit: http://www.middleeast.org/archives/7-00-15.htm
HISTORY REVISITED – CAMP DAVID I REVISITED
By Mark Bruzonsky*
MID-EAST REALITIES – http://www.MiddleEast.Org – Washington – 7/19/00:
At Camp David some 22 years ago the President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, was tricked. Weary after such a long time isolated at the mountain retreat, and relying on the word of then American President Jimmy Carter, Sadat reluctantly took the fatal steps that have gone down in history synonymous with “Camp David”.
Rather than pack his bags and leave with his delegation as he was about to do the day before the “deal” was made (he had actually called for the helicopter to come and take them away), instead Jimmy Carter took Sadat for a “walk in the woods”. He promised him the Israelis would recognize the “legitimate national rights of the Palestinians”, would freeze all further settlement building, would give Egypt billions in aid, would provide CIA help for his regime, and that when reelected to his second term as President the U.S. would fully endorse Resolution 242 and recognize a real Palestinian State (hardly what has now come about).
In the end of course it is Sadat who bears the historic responsibility for allowing himself to be so deceived and manipulated. All of his key advisers, including his friend of some 40 years, Mohamed Ibrahim Kamel, then Foreign Minister, urged Sadat not to agree to what was being presented to him and not, in fact, to rely on the promises of Jimmy Carter. Kamel indeed resigned the night Sadat told him what he would be doing the next morning.
Very instructive lessons indeed.
What ensued was hardly real “peace”. Rather history now records the subsequent assassination of Sadat during a military parade by soldiers in his own army. And Camp David I then lead to Israel’s war on Lebanon, further dangerous divisions within the Arab world, the destruction of Iraq, the Intifada, much more Israeli settlement building especially in the Jerusalem area, the Oslo capitulation agreement (which caused the head of the Palestinian negotiating team to resign), and now to Camp David II.
For those who want to understand much better this crucial Camp David history that has led to things today in the Middle East and today’s Camp David II summit, the following are recommended:
1) Exclusive Interview with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Kamel who resigned at Camp David, by Mark Bruzonsky, THE MIDDLE EAST JOURNAL, Vol. 38, No.1, Winter 1984.
2) “The Second Defeat of Palestine”, by Mark Bruzonsky, JOURNAL OF PALESTINE STUDIES, Vol XV, No 3, Spring 1986.
* The author, now publisher of “Mid-East Realities”, can be reached at
MAB@MiddleEast.Org, 202 362-5266. Bio information can be found at