Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David by Lawrence Wright - review by Jonathan Mirsky

Jonathan Mirsky

Peace Powwow

Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David

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With the Middle East convulsed by immolations, beheadings, hangings and bombings, it is good to know that what happened for thirteen days in late 1978 at Camp David, the presidential summer retreat near Washington, DC, ensured a big thing: the lasting peace between Israel and Egypt. It is also good to be reminded of the characteristics of the three national leaders who met there, President Jimmy Carter, Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel and President Anwar Sadat of Egypt. It was an unusual event in international diplomacy: negotiations between states are typically conducted by foreign ministers.

Carter was a true believer in the words of the Bible and the holy significance of the land of Israel. The Carters read the Bible to each other – in Spanish – at bedtime. Begin was a veteran terrorist whose campaign of bombings and assassinations during the British Mandate in

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