Israeli PM Menachem Begin and US President Carter  Meet for the First Time

In May 1977, Menachem Begin is unexpectedly elected as Israel’s first Prime Minister from the conservative Likud party. Following the election, he makes immediate plans to meet US President Carter. Despite tense meetings between Begin’s predecessor, Yitzhak Rabin and Carter two months prior, and Carter’s recent remarks publicly promoting a Palestinian homeland, Begin seeks to establish a positive rapport with the US president. At the meeting, Begin provides a limited negotiating platform that focuses on Sinai, an area he had little emotional feeling towards. Carter, however, insists on a comprehensive negotiating format that requires Israel to negotiate with multiple Arab states, as well as the PLO. While this initial meeting is cordial, each met the others’ stubbornness, a characteristic of their future relationship: respectful, yet tense. (source)