This week, Israelis and Egyptians commemorate the signing 40 years ago of the Camp David Accords, the agreement that led to the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab state. Through this peace deal, Egypt secured the return of the Sinai Peninsula, which it had lost in the 1967 War, and Israel neutralized its military threat from the southwest while gaining crucial recognition in the Middle East.
Americans will no doubt take pride in this anniversary, recalling their role in mediating the negotiations that led to the accords, which are still regarded as the leading diplomatic achievement of Jimmy Carter’s presidency.… Seguir leyendo »
Historians try not to audibly gasp in the reading rooms of official archives, but there are times when the written record retains a capacity to shock. In 2012, while working at the Israel State Archives in Jerusalem, I came across highly classified material from Israel’s 1982 War in Lebanon that had just been opened to researchers. This access was in line with the thirty-year rule of declassification governing the release of documents in Israel. Sifting through Foreign Ministry files, I stumbled upon the minutes of a September 17 meeting between Israeli and American officials that took place in the midst of the Sabra and Shatila massacre.… Seguir leyendo »
On the night of Sept. 16, 1982, the Israeli military allowed a right-wing Lebanese militia to enter two Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut. In the ensuing three-day rampage, the militia, linked to the Maronite Christian Phalange Party, raped, killed and dismembered at least 800 civilians, while Israeli flares illuminated the camps’ narrow and darkened alleyways. Nearly all of the dead were women, children and elderly men.
Thirty years later, the massacre at the Sabra and Shatila camps is remembered as a notorious chapter in modern Middle Eastern history, clouding the tortured relationships among Israel, the United States, Lebanon and the Palestinians.… Seguir leyendo »