chapter  8
11 Pages

The Peacemakers

WithMelvin A. Friedlander

Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin overcame formidable challenges to their authority and political flexibility in negotiating the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty. Sadat used cronies and confidants to explore privately opportunities for peace with Israel. The Egyptian president could not ignore mounting opposition to peace with Israel among pan-Arabist members of the Egyptian elite or widespread disenchantment toward the regime's policies from a small but growing group of fundamentalists. Menachem Begin employed many of the same techniques as Sadat to counter internal dissent against the peace treaty with equal dexterity. While the peace process was incubating, Begin moved to expand his coalition and thus his political authority. Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin succeeded in March 1979 to lay the cornerstone for peace in the Middle East. Sadat and Begin had all three political will, courage, and determination and used it to bring peace to the area.