Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat was an Egyptian army officer and politician who remained the president of Egypt until his death on October 6, 1981. He was born on December 25, 1918. He was awarded Nobel Prize for his initiation of the peace negotiations with Israeli Premier Menachem Begin. Under their leadership, Egypt and Israel made peace with each other in 1979. Graduated from the Cairo Military Academy in 1938, Sadat was a politician from the very beginning. During World War II he conspired to exude the British from Egypt with the help of the Germans. The British jailed him in 1942, but he afterwards escaped.
By 1950 Sadat had joined Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Free Officers organization and participated in their armed coup against the Egyptian monarchy in 1952 and supported Nasser’s election to the presidency in 1956. (Sullivan, 2011) Sadat held numerous high offices that led to his serving in the vice presidency two times, from 1964-66, 1969-70. On Nasser’s death on September 28, 1970 he became acting president and was elected president in a plebiscite on October 15. His domestic policies covered decentralization and diversification of the economy and abatement of Egypt’s political structure. Sadat made his most dramatic efforts in foreign affairs.
Opinioned that the Soviet Union gave him insufficient support in Egypt’s ongoing conflict with Israel, he sent home thousands of Soviet technicians and advisers from the country in 1972. The subsequent year he had begun, with Syria, a collective invasion of Israel that began the Arab-Israeli war of October 1973(The Anwar Sadat, 2011). The Egyptian army consummated a due surprise in its attack on the Israeli-held Sinai Peninsula, and, although Israel fortunately counterattacked, Sadat came out of the war with extremely improved eclat as the first Arab leader to in fact retake some territory from Israel.
Sadat began to work toward peace in the Middle East after the war. He made a two-day visit to Israel on November 19, 1977, during which he traveled to Jerusalem to place his plan for a peace settlement before the Knesset (Israeli Parliament). This instituted a series of diplomatic efforts that Sadat protracted notwithstanding resolute opposition from most of the Arab world and the Soviet Union. The U. S. president Jimmy Carter arbitrated the negotiations between Sadat and Begin that ended in the Camp David Accords on September 17, 1978, an introductory peace agreement between Egypt and Israel.
For their efforts, both were awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1978. From the day of starting the presidency, Sadat set a new course surprisingly independent from Nasser. While Nasser had aligned himself away from the West, and started collaboration closely with the Soviet Union, Sadat sacked 20,000 Soviet military personnel two year after seizure of power. In 1973 Sadat was one of the inciters of the Yom Kippur war against Israel, but this only gave part of the triumph he had hoped for that aimed at regaining control over the Suez Canal (The Anwar Sadat, 2011).
However, the war proved that the Arab military was now at least as strong as the Israeli that was backed by the US aid. Sadat’s ascending star on the Arab sky, fell to the ground in 1977, when he flabbergasted the world by visiting Israel. This visit was largely motivated by the economical problems after many wars with Israel. The outcome of the negotiation was the Camp Davis Accord that was basically in two parts; Israel should give up land taken from Egypt in despite many efforts, the second part was never fulfilled.
But the signing of this treaty isolated Egypt in the Arab world, and strong opposition was expressed from the Islamic countries. Sadat’s popularity may have risen in the West, but it fell climactically in Egypt because of internal opposition to the treaty, a heightening economic crisis, and Sadat’s suppression of the resultant public disagreement t (Trueman, 2000). Muslim extremists while reviewing a military parade commemorating the Arab-Israeli war of October 1973 assassinated him.
The Camp David Accord did bring peace among Egypt and Israel but detached Egypt from the rest of the Arab and Muslim world who were of the opinion that only a unified Arab stance and the threat of force would persuade Israel to negotiate a settlement of the Palestinian issue that would satisfy Palestinian demands for a homeland. Lacking Egypt’s military power, the threat of force drained away because no single Arab state was strong enough militarily to challenge Israel single handedly.
Consequently, the Arabs felt betrayed and appalled that the Palestinian issue, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, would remain an unconcluded, destabilizing force in the region. However, a further enigma associated with the peace accord was the continuous deterioration of the Egyptian economy. With no genuine improvement in the economy, Sadat became increasingly unpopular. His solitude in the Arab world was paired by his increasing loftiness from the mass of Egyptians. While Sadat’s connoisseur in the Arab world remained outside his range, increasingly he retorted to criticism at home by ugmenting censorship and imprisoning his rivals. Sadat subjected the Egyptians to a series of referenda on his actions and proposals that he invariably won by more than 99 percent of the vote. In May 1980, a poignant, impartial body of citizens charged Sadat with overruling his own constitution. In June 1981 tensions between Muslims and Copts in Egypt detonated into a frightening round of violence in the packed Cairo slum of al-Zawiyya al-Hamra, precipitated by fierce summer heat linked with repeated cutoffs in the water supply. Men, women, and children were slaughtered.
Egypt and the world were frightened by these eventualities. Tensions continued to horse as Muslims and Christians condemned one another in inflammatory press accounts. In September, Sadat fissured down on both sides with mass arrests and barbaric police tactics (Trueman, 2000). The strong Islamic student associations were bootlegged on September 3; their leaders were jailed and roughed up. The head of the Coptic Church, Pope Shenuda III, was exiled to a hermitage. On October 6, 1981, President Anwar al-Sadat was attending an annual military parade celebrating the “successful” campaigns during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
He was saluting the troops when an assassination team ran from one of the parade vehicles and began firing weapons and throwing grenades into the reviewing stand. Sadat was killed and 20 others, including four American diplomats, were injured. Also in the reviewing stand with Sadat were future UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Hosni Mubarak, the Air Force officer who succeeded Sadat as President. Neither Mubarak nor Boutros-Ghali was injured. Following Sadat’s assassination, the killers were identified as Muslim radicals, members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
They opposed Sadat’s landmark peace treaty with Israel and hoped to impose Islamic rule in Egypt. Hosni Mubarak and General Fouad Allam, head of Egypt’s security service, waged a campaign against radical Islam that featured unlawful arrests, detention without trial, and torture to force confessions (Mondout, 2005). Thousands of suspected terrorists were rounded up and jailed, among them Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, who was later convicted of conspiring to blow up New York City landmarks, and Ayman al-Zawahiri, one of Osama bin Laden’s two top lieutenants. Reference Mondout, P. (2005).
Egypt’s Anwar Sadat assassinated. Retrieved from http://www. awesome80s. com/awesome80s/news/1981/october/6-sadat_assassination. asp Sullivan, T. (2011). Jewish virtual library. Retrieved from http://www. jewishvirtuallibrary. org/jsource/biography/sadat. html The Anwar Sadat chair for peace and development. (2011). Manuscript submitted for publication, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Retrieved from http://sadat. umd. edu/people/anwar_sadat. htm Trueman, C. (2000). Anwar al Sadat. Retrieved from http://www. historylearningsite. co. uk/anwar_al_sadat. htm