President Anwar Sadat speaks from the Isreali Legislature. All Things Considered highlights Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's homecoming after his historic November 21, 1978 visit to Israel. This unprecedented visit provided a new opening for peace between Egypt and Israel after many years of tension. Sadat promises to find a solution to the fighting though "negotiations not war."
January 14, 1978
In light of a recent set back in the relationship between Egypt and Israel, All Things Considered interviews correspondent Barry Schwide to give listeners a window into Sadat's thinking about the future of negotiations with Israel. This interview indicates the grim future of negotiations and posits that it will take many years in order to make a permanent settlement between the two nations.
February 4, 1978
After a rocky month of negotiations, All Things Considered presents very little information of substance from talks between President Carter and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at Camp David. Instead of reporting specific details, correspondent Barry Schwide reports about Amy Carter's violin recital for Sadat. This restricted media access foreshadows the approach taken by the Carter administration during the Camp David Summit several months later. Media was restricted to ensure President Sadat could not be immediately influenced and affected by public opinion and pressure.
March 2, 1978
Correspondent Jim Letterman reports from Jerusalem for All Things Considered. This segment describes a letter sent to Israeli Prime Minister Begin from Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. This report indicates the reopening of negotiations betweeen the two countries after Sadat abruptly ended discussions in January.
March 21, 1978
This segment discusses the "cool and strained" talks between President Carter and Prime Minister Begin at the White House. An interview with diplmatic correspondent Henry Truett details discussions fraught with tension. Begin will not agree to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and refuses to be flexible about these contested areas. All Things Considered uses this interview to reveal the extremely narrow route available for peace in the Middle East.
May 1, 1978
Israeli Prime Minister Begin returns to the White House for continued peace discussions with President Carter. Correspondent Henry Truett describes a meeting that made very little advancement. This segment reiterates the frustrations felt between the Americans and the Israelis and the complex relationship between the United States, Israel, and Egypt.
June 20, 1978
All Things Considered includes this short segment to show a small break in the relationship between Isreal and Egypt. Israel puts forth a new proposal for peace which keeps the contested areas of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank off the table. Although President Sadat is frustrated with the vague nature of Israel’s proposal, in a meeting with Egyptian leaders he states that future peace discussions are not off the table.
August 6, 1978
Diplomatic correspondent Barry Schwide describes a major break in the peace process. In a last ditch effort, President Carter sends his secretary of state, Cyrus Vance, to Egypt and Israel. Vance prepares to speak with both Sadat and Begin to suggest that they come to the United States for a meeting with President Carter at Camp David. This segment dissects the particulars of each countries position and acknowledges that both sides have enough areas of agreement to facilitate a discussion. Although the summit has not yet been proposed, this interview indicates a real path towards peace negotiations.
September 2, 1978
All Things Considered reveals a palpable tension within the Carter administration in the days leading up to the arrival of Sadat and Begin. The radio program states that it is reading between the lines of White House statements and reports that the Carter administration is attempting to lower the expectations of the upcoming talks. Reporter David Ensor states that the Carter administration has been asking the press to “give the President a chance” to be successful in these negotiations. Broadcast just four days before the talks are set to begin, this can be interpreted as a last-minute effort by the Carter administration to adjust its messaging and as an attempt by NPR to define several possible outcomes for the talks. This broadcast notes that headlines for the talks will be very difficult to write because of the complexity of the issues up for discussion. Israeli’s could be blamed for a breakdown in talks, it might be considered a success if the gap between Egypt and Israel could at least be narrowed, or other Arab nations could have unforeseen reactions to these discussions.
September 4, 1978
David Ensor reports on Jimmy Carter's departure for Camp David. Carter gave a few remarks to reporters before taking Marine One to Camp David a day early. Ensor notes his "somber, serious mood" and includes a short clip of Carter's departing words.
September 6, 1978
David Ensor reports on the first night of the Camp David Summit. Ensor expresses frustration at the media blackout imposed at Camp David and discusses the media's position outside Camp David in Thurmont, Maryland. To make a point about the lack of reporting opportunities, Ensor cites the local Frederick, Maryland news rather than updates about the summit meeting. He is able to report that President Carter met with Prime Minister Begin and Anwar Sadat individually and as a group.
September 6, 1978
In this report, All Things Considered zooms out to cover international reactions to the Camp David summit. Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko calls the talks "unrealistic" while stating that they are "bound to end in failure." Syrian President, Hafez al-Assad, also casts doubt on the meeting arguing that Anwar Sadat does not represent the Arab world's position on peace with Israel.
September 8, 1978
This segment is a rebroadcast of a discussion on the NPR program, Pauline Frederick and Colleagues between Frederick, former undersecretary of state Dr. Joseph Cisco, and Washington Post reporter Stephen Rosenfeld. They discuss U.N. Resolution 242 and the future of the Middle East. Cisco states that the summit must find a way to implement 242 while discussing the complex territory issues affecting the West Bank. This conversation provides All Things Considered listeners with a nuanced discussion of the existing issues in Israel and prediction about what the talks can accomplish.
September 8, 1978
In this clip, continued frustration with the media blackout at the summit meeting is highlighted. White House spokesman Jody Powell discredits reports about the negotiations while reporter David Ensor finally gets an inside look at Camp David alongside the rest of the press corp stationed in Thurmont, Maryland. Ensor details his trip into Camp David to watch a marine parade and band performance. He sarcastically describes it as a typical display of "American military brawn and precision" while stating his disappointment that neither Carter, Begin, or Sadat made any statements to the press.
September 8, 1978
As the media blackout continues reporter David Ensor expresses more frustration with the lack of information available on the third day of the summit. After recieving word that the talks will continue through the weekend, White House Spokesman Jody Powell will hold official briefings for reporters over the weekend. Ensor notes that these briefings are the only official source of information. Despite his frustration with the lack of news others familiar with Middle Eastern negotiations advises Ensor that "no news is good news." If they walk away from negotiations to early, it means a big fight erupted and progress halted.
September 11, 1978
David Ensor reports on a briefing from White House spokesman Jody Powell. Although Powell does not divulge any specifics, he does tell reporters that there were advancements in the talks over the weekend on "matters of substance." Carter has been meeting separately with each leader but Begin and Sadat have not met face to face since the preceeding Thursday. Powell urges reporters not to be either optimistic or pessimistic about the outcome of the talks. Ensor reiterates his irritation with the lack of transparency from the Carter administration in regards to the summit.
September 17, 1978
On this final day of the Camp David summit, All Things Considered depicts the frantic scene in Thurmont, Maryland as reporters attempted to scrape together details about the intensifying negotiations. David Ensor's last report from Thurmont describes the "dribs and drabs" of information available. Before reporting what little information he has, Ensor notes that his reporting has been reduced to "reading the tea leaves." Despite this palpable frustration, Ensor describes the lengths and frequency of meetings between Carter, Begin, and Sadat which indicates that the discussions are reaching a climax.