Breaking ground Due to the volatility of events in the Middle East, US presidents, from Truman to Nixon, have had to face a regional crisis during his tenure. With the Soviet Union as the main actor, every president had to face the possibility of a world war. The cycle of bombings and reprisals, border fighting, instability and general unease could at any time lead to a global military confrontation. President Carter wanted to avoid such a crisis instead of responding to it. He felt it was time to speak in person. He recognized in Prime Minister Bégin and President Sadat two men who were deeply religious and who had a sense of destiny over their lives. Carter called Sadat a „modern pharaoh“ and Bégin a leader „charged with the future of God`s chosen people.“ In an unprecedented move, he invited new Prime Minister Menachem Bégin and President Anwar Sadat to Camp David to meet with him in private, two leaders he believed could make crucial decisions. Discussions focused on a number of issues, including the future of Israeli settlements and airbases in the Sinai Peninsula, but it was Gaza and the West Bank that continued to be the main challenges. In particular, delegations were divided on the applicability of UN Security Council Resolution 242 to a long-term agreement in the territories as well as on the status of Israeli settlements in the planned negotiations on Palestinian autonomy that would follow a peace treaty. In the end, although the summit did not produce a formal peace agreement, it succeeded in laying the groundwork for an Israeli-Egyptian peace in the form of two „framework documents“ that set out the principles of a bilateral peace agreement and a formula for Palestinian autonomy in Gaza and the West Bank. After the British withdrawal from Palestine and the creation of the State of Israel, Bégin became the leader of the Herut Party, an opposition party to Israel`s Knesset.
In 1967, he joined the Government of National Unity. In 1970, he became joint chairman of the Likud coalition. Due to economic scandals and disagreements within the majority labor party, the Likud won an election victory in 1977 and Bégin became Israel`s sixth prime minister.