BU Today | University Headlines | Hermann Eilts, professor emeritus and diplomat, dies at 84: "Eilts talked about the 1978 Camp David Summit in a 2001 lecture sponsored by the International History Institute at BU. He recalled that prior to the talks, several meetings that year between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin proved fruitless and that five years after the Yom Kippur War between Israel and a coalition of Arab nations led by Egypt and Syria both leaders were disillusioned with the peace process. On July 30, 1978, Eilts informed President Jimmy Carter in a flash cable that a furious Sadat was at the end of his patience. Carter decided that it was time for a summit and that day invited Sadat and Begin to Camp David.
Eilts called the negotiations “a painful effort.” But after 13 fitful days, the summit ended with the signing of two agreements at the White House. The first dealt with the future of the Israeli-occupied Sinai Peninsula and peace between Israel and Egypt. Israel agreed to withdraw its settlements in Sinai. The second was a framework agreement to establish a format for the conduct of negotiations leading to the formation of an autonomous regime in the West Bank and Gaza. “In the last quarter-century,” Eilts said, “it is still the only successful major international conferen"