In the conventional telling of the origins of the 1979 Camp David accords, President Jimmy Carter and his foreign-policy team dragged a reluctant Anwar Sadat and an even more reluctant Menachem Begin to the negotiating table and coaxed them into coming to an agreement. This story primarily emerges, write Gerald Steinberg and Ziv Rubinovitz, from the memoirs of several American officials. But recently declassified Israeli documents paint a very different picture of events, showing among other things that Begin supported peace with Egypt as far back as 1967:
Israel and Egypt Made Peace in 1979 because Their Leaders Wanted to
Joe Biden Can’t Overturn His Predecessor’s Middle East Policy—Even If He Wants To
Over the weekend, the incoming national security advisor Jake Sullivan spoke by phone with his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat, and—according to a White House statement—expressed his commitment to “building on the success” of the Abraham Accords. This and other pronouncements suggest that, when it comes to foreign policy, the Biden administration won’t attempt to reverse everything done in the past four years. Yet the appointment to key positions of Obama-administration alumni responsible for the Iran deal, and the policy of creating “daylight” with Israel, is not reassuring.