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Today in history: peace with Egypt

On this day in 1979, the Knesset approved the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

After three failed wars against Israel, the new president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, realized that the conflict with the Israelis was not worthwhile. His initial attempts to seek peace were unsuccessful, and the Egyptian public was not ready for it, so Sadat went for the Yom Kippur War together with Syria in 1973. The war shook Israel and restored the lost honor of the Arab world, and in 1975 Israel and Egypt reached a series of interim agreements that dismantled the canal area and paved the way for peace negotiations. The change of government in Israel and the rise of Menachem Begin to power in 1977 convinced Sadat to move forward, and he expressed willingness to visit Israel. Begin accepted the offer and Sadat came to give a speech in the Knesset in November, and peace negotiations began immediately afterwards. Negotiations were faltering at certain stages, but in the end an agreement was reached with help from President Jimmy Carter, in which Israel agreed to withdraw from Sinai and open negotiations with the Palestinians in return for peace. Begin and Sadat received the Nobel Peace Prize, and an official signing ceremony was performed on March 26, 1979, on the White House lawn. Israel withdrew from Sinai until the end of 1982, evacuating residents, and Egypt was boycotted by the Arab world for a decade. The agreement had a huge local and geopolitical influence, and its implications are evident today.

Photo Source: Wikipedia

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