Yesterday marked 42 years since Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the “Camp David Accords” on September 17, 1978 which led to the normalization of diplomatic relations between Egypt and israel in 1979.
Viewing Egypt as a key regional outpost for US imperialist interests by 1978, President Jimmy Carter promised Sadat $1 billion a year in military aid if he accepted the terms of “peace” with israel. Today, Egypt receives $1.3 billion in US military aid a year, second only to israel as per the terms of Camp David. As explained by the US State Department, the relationship between the US and Egypt is “built primarily on sustaining the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.”
While the signing of the accords was hailed as a watershed moment in diplomatic history, in reality it represented a dramatic escalation in US military expansionism in the region in the name of new weapons sales and economic trade agreements. Further, one of the central takeaways from Camp David was how the US leveraged military aid and weapons sales to Egypt as a means of pushing normalization with the occupation, much like the US is doing today in real time with the UAE and Bahrain.
Crucially, Camp David also served to whitewash israel’s genocidal founding that took place just thirty years prior and its ongoing occupation of Palestine. In the spring of 1948, in his role as one of the leaders of the Irgun zionist terrorist militia, Menachem Begin led the forces that carried out the Deir Yassin massacre on April 9, 1948, where more than two hundred and fifty Palestinian men, women and children were slaughtered in cold blood.
Reflecting on how terrorism was used by zionist forces to ethnically cleanse Palestine in the spring of 1948, Begin later wrote in 1983, “Without what was done at Deir Yassin there would not have been a state of Israel.” The same year that Begin and Sadat signed the Camp David Accords, they were both awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.