After a disappointing meeting with Begin at the end of Day One, Carter started Day Two with a 10:00 a.m. meeting with Sadat.
Sadat came prepared, bringing along his “wish list”, an extreme and wholly unrealistic proposal.
According to Lawrence Wright, “It was a fantasy.”
Carter advised Sadat that presenting his proposal to Begin would be a “terrible mistake.”
The method of Sadat’s madness was to first appease the right wing Arabs, most of whom suspected him of being too soft on Israel.
In response to Carter’s negative reaction, Sadat made an unconventional tactical move.
He then provided Carter with three pages of concessions that Carter could use at his discretion.
Carter had planned an afternoon session with both Sadat and Begin.
After hearing Sadat’s proposal, Carter asked Begin to come early so he could warn him that he was not going to like what Sadat had to say.
Carter’s plan at the outset of these meetings was rather naïve.
He believed that if he could just get Sadat and Begin together in a nice peaceful setting like Camp David, they would resolve centuries of conflict.
So, acting solely as a facilitator, Carter met with Sadat and Begin, and Sadat read his proposal while Begin listened, becoming increasingly apoplectic.
When Sadat finished, Carter made a good move: he injected humor, telling Begin that he would save everyone a lot of time if he would just agree to the proposal as written, which everyone knew was not going to happen but broke the tension.
Begin employed the tool of appreciation by telling Sadat that he appreciated how hard that the Egyptians had worked on the proposal and then asked for time to review it with his team.