Focusing on the character and personality of Menachem Begin, Gerald Steinberg and Ziv Rubinovitz offer a new look into the peace negotiations between Israel and Egypt in the 1970s. Begin's role as a peace negotiator has often been marginalized, but this sympathetic and critical portrait restores him to the center of the diplomatic process. Beginning with the events of 1967, Steinberg and Rubinovitz look at Begin's statements on foreign policy, including relations with Egypt, and his role as Prime Minister and chief signer of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. While Begin did not leave personal memoirs or diaries of the peace process, Steinberg and Rubinovitz have tapped into newly released Israeli archives and information housed at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and the Begin Heritage Center. The analysis illuminates the complexities that Menachem Begin faced in navigating between ideology and political realism in the negotiations towards a peace treaty that remains a unique diplomatic achievement.
Gerald M. Steinberg is Professor of Political Science at Bar Ilan University, and founder of the Graduate Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation. He is author of Satellite Reconnaissance: The Role of Informal Bargaining and (with Anne Herzberg and Jordan Berman) of Best Practices for Human Rights and Humanitarian NGO Fact-Finding.
Ziv Rubinovitz is Israel Institute Teaching Fellow at Sonoma State University.