“Peace in the Making: The Menachem Begin Anwar Sadat Personal Correspondence” edited by Harry Hurwitz and Yisrael Medad is the complete correspondence between the Israeli prime minister and the Egyptian president during the historic peace making efforts. The book covers the correspondence between June 1977 and October 1981.
- 384 pages
- Publisher: Gefen Publishing House
- Language: English
- ISBN: 965229456X
My rating for Peace in the Making – 4
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On this day, March 26, 1979 the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt was signed.
“Peace in the Making: The Menachem Begin Anwar Sadat Personal Correspondence” edited by Harry Hurwitz and Yisrael Medad is a collection of speeches, press conferences, interviews, official correspondence, personal correspondence and letters. This is an amazing compilation which gives us insight into the mind of two ambitious men who are striving towards a goal no-one thought possible.
The editors have included a short introduction before each section, which puts the correspondence within a certain context. This is important; for me it made all the difference and the book worthwhile and much more understandable. Given the context the anthology is much more understandable and the insight is much greater.
While this book is certainly not an exciting adventure story, it is an excellent reference to anyone who is studying, or interested in, the Middle East, the peace process, diplomatic clashes and history of the region. The difference between the letters is striking, while Begin wrote most of his own correspondence, Sadat’s letters were drafted by a committee of advisors. Begin invoked philosophy and legalities while Sadat invoked philosophy and religion. Either way, the end product is interesting and enlightening.
The book is not dry reprints of speeches, official documents and political maneuvering, but also reveals the personal relationship the two leaders built. That relationship was an important part of the treaty they have signed.
The most interesting part of the correspondence to me was how Sadat tried to solve the Palestine issue as well as bring peace between the two nations. However, President Sadat was at a unique disadvantage of not being able to speak for the Palestinians and had to drop the issue. Both Begin and Sadat sincerely believe that once they cement a deal, Jordan, Syria and the rest of the Middle East will also follow their footsteps.
From the beginning the authors tell us of the book’s weaknesses. It is an Israeli product, and while the editors did not change the context or wording of any document (except the understandable decision to sync names of places and people to the same spelling) there is no Egyptian participation of academia and government. That is too bad.
The book covers the period from June 1977 to October 1981 – a day before Sadat was assassinated. The behind the scenes glimpse into this historic even is both mesmerizing and captivating.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free
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- One very good reason most Israelis are wary of further territorial concessions (cifwatch.com)
- The peace will hold, says Anwar Sadat’s widow (thejc.com)
- Egypt and Israel: An odd couple at risk? (charlespaolino.wordpress.com)
- Ex-President Carter Congratulates Egyptians (cbsnews.com)
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