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Featured Documents

Memorandum of Israeli Delegation Consultation with US Secretary of State 
Cyrus Vance at Camp David

August 13, 2018

This meeting between Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and the Israeli delegation exemplified the injection of US interests and the application of concerted diplomatic pressure on Israel. The Israeli delegation at Camp David repeatedly refused the Carter administration’s vigorous efforts to introduce new formulations that might ultimately result in a Palestinian state.

Memorandum of Conversation between the US and Egyptian Delegations at Camp David

August 6, 2018

Like all other US records of conversations from the Camp David negotiations, this conversation too was a summary of what was discussed and raised, and not a verbatim transcript. From this meeting we learn that when it came time for the Egyptians to respond to the Israeli ideas, President Anwar Sadat kept very tight control over the content of his advisers’ drafts.

Memorandum of Conversation between Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman with US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and 
US Secretary of Defense Harold Brown

July 30, 2018

At this early Camp David meeting, Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman presented cogent summaries of Israel’s willingness to resolve the 1967 refugee issue and Israel’s security needs in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Sinai.

Memorandum of Conversation between US President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and their Delegations

July 23, 2018

After a year in office, the Carter administration’s initiative to achieve a comprehensive Middle East peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors had stalled. At this White House meeting, Dayan reviewed Israel’s concerns about the West Bank and Brzezinski criticized Begin’s autonomy plan for the Palestinians. Begin and Carter’s mutual dislike over policy decisions continued to rise.

Memorandum of Conversation between US President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan

July 16, 2018

Common to both the Labor Party and to Begin’s government was a fear that the US would pressure Israel into unwanted concessions and deny Israel its right to sovereign decision-making. It was a concern that Dayan expressed in this October 1977 meeting, and one that he would articulate on several occasions during the Camp David negotiations.

Memorandum of Conversation between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and US President Jimmy Carter

July 9, 2018

Following his surprise electoral victory in May, Prime Minister Menachem Begin traveled to Washington in an effort to establish a positive rapport with President Carter. While this initial meeting was cordial, each met the others’ stubbornness, a characteristic that would keep their relationship respectful but acrid for years to come.

Minutes of a Policy Review Committee Meeting About the Middle East

July 2, 2018

When the Carter Administration entered office in 1977, an early foreign policy priority was to kick-start Middle East negotiations. In this Policy Review Committee Meeting, Carter’s staff proposed a negotiating outcome that would pass through a conference, including the withdrawal of Israel’s forces to almost the 1967 borders, bringing the PLO into talks as Palestinian representatives, all the while seeking to uphold Israel’s security requirements.

United States Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995

June 20, 2018

In 1995, Senators Robert Dole and Jon Kyl introduced the Jerusalem Embassy Act to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The bill was adopted by an overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress; it provided Presidential authorization to effectively delay the embassy move every six months, if deemed necessary for U.S. national security interests.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Bar-Ilan University, June 14, 2009

June 10, 2018

Forty years ago in the Camp David negotiations, Prime Minister Begin’s team was unalterably opposed to any considerations for a Palestinian state. Since then four Israeli prime ministers have proposed some variation of a demilitarized Palestinian state. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s June 2009 suggestions provide insightful context.

David Ben-Gurion’s “Vision and Redemption”

May 15, 2018

Ben-Gurion elegantly connects modern Israel from messianic redemption to Zionism, building the country through labor and immigration, with dual needs to remain actively linked to the Jewish diaspora and Jewish values through education.

Oslo Accords (Declaration of Principles on Interim Self- Government Agreements)

May 3, 2018

Negotiated through the Norwegians, the Accords call for limited Palestinian rule in some of the territories; it did not call for a Palestinian state or an end to settlements.

Reagan and Shamir on US-Israel cooperation

April 27, 2018

Areas of bi-lateral political and military cooperation are noted to fend off Soviet involvement in the the Middle East, to assist Israel in building the Lavi aircraft, to assure an independent Lebanon, and promote Arab-Israeli negotiations.