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Obama Commemorates Camp David Accords 30th Anniversary

By Scott Wilson
At a time when peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors appears in some ways more remote than ever, President Obama commemorated the 30th anniversary of the U.S.-brokered Camp David accords today with a nod to his theme of persistence.

The peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, which returned the Sinai peninsula to the Egyptians in exchange for recognition of the Jewish state, was signed at the White House after being mediated by Jimmy Carter. In the Arab world, only Jordan has followed Egypt's lead since then in recognizing Israel.

Obama noted in a statement today that the Camp David treaty "demonstrated that progress results from sustained efforts at communication and cooperation."

"While much work remains, we honor the courage and foresight of these leaders, who stood together in unity to change the course of our shared history," the president said in the statement. "Today, as we seek to expand the circle of peace among Arabs and Israelis, we take inspiration from what Israel and Egypt achieved three decades ago, knowing that the destination is worthy of the struggle."

Israel's prime minister in waiting is Binyamin Netanyahu, who comes from the same hawkish Likud party as Menachem Begin, the Israeli leader who signed the Camp David accords. Netanyahu has never embraced the creation of an independent state for Palestinians, a condition many Arab states say must be in place before they will recognize Israel.

Asked at his Tuesday evening news conference how the incoming Israeli government would affect peace efforts, Obama said "it's not easier than it was, but I think it's just as necessary." The next day Netanyahu pledged to pursue peace talks with the Palestinians.

The Palestinian national movement is also divided over how to approach peace talks with Israel. The armed Islamist movement Hamas rejects Israel's right to exist, yet controls the Gaza Strip and exerts some political influence in the West Bank. The rival Fatah party endorses a two-state solution with Israel, but is weak and unpopular in much of the Palestinian territories.

The Egyptian leader who signed the Camp David accords, Anwar Sadat, was killed two years later by Islamist gunmen. Only one Arab head of state attended his funeral, a sign of how the accords were received in the Arab world.

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 26, 2009; 2:25 PM ET
Categories:  Foggy Bottom  
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30's been that long.
and every president after carter tried for their "camp david moment".

Benjamin is back and I am glad.
Good allie for our President

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 27, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The Saint and I might agree on cutting off aid to both Israel and the Palestinians if the European Union and the United Nations cut off aid as well. It has been European and UN welfare money that took a temporary refugee problem and turned it into a welfare state. Funding perpetual refugee camps until they turn into cities - with no economy - created the breeding ground for resentment, bitterness, hatred and terrorism. Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran have not been feeding the Palestinians for 60 years; it has been Europe and the UN perpetuating the conflict. The "West" has been a pawn of Arab and Islamic policy in keeping the conflict alive. The Palestinians know they are pawns of Arab and Islamic powerplays - to be sacrificed in the symbolic battle against Israel and the West. If a general attack was launched against Israel the Palestinians would be the first to die. Let the US and Europe stop paying for Palestinian welfare and see how much the Arab world is really willing to pay.

Posted by: DrDan20001 | March 26, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

LOL Doc!

IF, Israel was to tear down the Wall separating the West Bank from Jordan, and the Gaza Strip from Egypt;

you would see the quickest Construction Project ever in those Countries RE-BUILDING THEM!

NO-ONE wants the Palestinians!

WE, should immediately STOP sending them, and Israel ANY more of OUR Money!

Cut that Umbilical Cord already!


Posted by: SAINT---The | March 26, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Messianic psychology is part of christianity, judaism, and islam. It is also part of psychotherapy but it is not often helpful in resolving conflicts. Egypt could become the protectorate for Gaza. Jordan could become the protectorate for the West Bank. But neither country is willing to take the responsibility for dealing the welfare state responsibilities and the law enforcement problems in Gaza and the West Bank. What President Obama can do is to give the larger arab and islamic world a choice between cooperative economic development or continued scapegoating and non-recognition of Israel. Suppose it was an either-or choice?

Posted by: DrDan20001 | March 26, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

LOL! :-D


Did the "Messiah" try to Co-Sign on that one too?

Posted by: SAINT---The | March 26, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is a realist. The two-state solution is a fantasy. What we have on the ground is a territory called Gaza and a territory called the West Bank. Neither separately nor together do they have the perquisites to be a nation state. As nation states they will go to war. What is needed is for someone - other than Israel - to take responsibility for and manage the two territories of Gaza and the West Bank. The status of the territories will be discussed for a long time. BUt nation states they are not.

Posted by: DrDan20001 | March 26, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse



The Mideast can no longer be left in the hands of the advocates of "the long war" -- the saboteurs and Dr. Strangeloves who use such conflicts as a pretext for a strategy aimed at the establishment of a global and domestic autocracy.

It is time for Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton to abandon the "holdover" strategy...

...time to call on the services of the former supreme allied commander of NATO, Wes Clark...

...the man who turned Bill Clinton's potential Vietnam, Bosnia, into a humanitarian example of how intelligent military strategy and careful diplomacy can yield victory for the forces of freedom and democracy.

You must show the door to the saboteurs and Dr. Strangeloves who will bring down your administration if left unchallenged.


Why Team Obama must move immediately to dismantle the Bush-Cheney “extrajudicial punishment network”…

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 26, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

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