Kissinger’s opinion of Sadat: “His negotiating tactic was to never haggle over detail but to create an atmosphere that made disagreement psychologically difficult.”
Carter begins Day 9 with a meeting of the lawyers: Baz, representing Egypt, and Barak, representing Israel, both legal wiz kids.
I have yet to find evidence that Carter checked to see if they, in fact, had authority to negotiate on behalf of their respective clients – rookie mistake.
This meeting lasted 11 hours.
Essentially, it was an exercise in channeling group anger and frustration through legalisms, parsing phrases and attempting to devise ways of saying things that disguise brutal reality.
Near the end of the session, Carter lost his patience with Baz over the issue of whether Israel can determine which Palestinians may return to the West Bank, which was a relatively nuanced issue.
Baz said no.
Carter told him that he had already previewed this with Sadat and now Baz was taking an inconsistent position, which pissed Carter off.
Query whether he was really pissed off (11 hours of negotiation over technical legalese will fry anyone, especially a non-lawyer) or whether Carter used anger as a tactic.
As frustrations increase, many mediators and negotiators ratchet up intimidation, anger, and, in this case, muscle diplomacy.
My instincts are that Carter was still certainly floundering in uncertainty, and his primary tactic was to keep shaking the mix until he found the right recipe.
So, Jimmy got all upset with Baz, Baz admits that he had no authority to propose what he proposed about the West Bank, and Jimmy decided to use that as an excuse to go over his head and revisit negotiations directly with Sadat, the man with whom he had the best rapport.
Whether Israel controlled who returned to the West Bank or not was a bit of a red herring; the BIG ISSUE was then, and still is, the SETTLEMENTS.
“Settlement”: such a nice, peaceful word.
At the end of day, Baz reported to Sadat.
Sadat told him, “… you know my strategy, Osama. We want to gain Carter for our side. I know he’s a weak man, but let’s be patient.”
He let Baz know that he would not talk to Carter immediately; he wanted to mull first – good strategy!
Big decisions should not be made impulsively.
Carter went to bed and told Rosalynn that things had gone better with the Israelis and worse with the Egyptians.
Then, in the middle of the night, he had a premonition that Sadat’s life was in danger – very weird.
Who is winning the endurance contest?