Friday, November 30, 2012

The President and the Fatal Trilateral Logic of US, Egyptian and Israeli Relations
The spirit (whatever that originally meant) of Camp David was quashed from its early days when two consecutive bombing raids were conducted by the Israeli airforce, one on an Iraqi nuclear reactor in early June 1981, and the other in mid-July on Beirut in which hundreds of civilians were killed. Both incidents happened within 48 hours of face-to-face meetings between Sadat and Israeli leader Menachim Begin. Most observers argued the timing of both events were intended either to make the Egyptian leader look complicit in the bombings or like a fool. Yet the Sadat regime's unwillingness to respond in any meaningful way set a dangerous precedent that was swiftly digested by elite actors, foreign and domestic, and taken for permanent Egyptian acquiescence. Sadat did not want to do anything to jeopardise the return of the Sinai, yet such aloofness had longer term consequences. The paradox of Camp David

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