Begin and Sadat Unscripted: Photos Reveal the Personal Connection Between the Two Leaders

National Library of Israel releases rare photos as the world marks 40 years of Israeli-Egyptian peace

Zack Rothbart | 21.03.19 |
Share
.
Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat talking amongst themselves, Ofira, June 4th 1981, photo by Dan Hadani, the Dan Hadani (IPPA) Collection at the National Library

As the world marks the 40th anniversary of the Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty, the National Library of Israel has released dozens of rare photos showing the two country’s leaders – Israeli PM Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat – sharing unscripted moments of friendship and laughter. The personal connection between the two men, both considered to be strong nationalist leaders, is largely what enabled the peace treaty to come to fruition.

​The photos come from the Dan Hadani Archive, which includes nearly a million images capturing Israeli life and historical events through the lens of the Israel Press & Photo Agency, founded and run by Dan Hadani from 1965 until 2000. In 2016, Hadani transferred the entire collection of images and negatives to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. Transfer of the collection was made possible through the generous support of the William Davidson Foundation.

“Our collections hold countless resources related to the historic peace agreement, including posters, newspapers, correspondence, and official publications; yet the unique contribution of these photographs is that they provide an unmediated look at the remarkable personal relationship between Begin and Sadat,” said NLI Israel Collection curator Dr. Hezi Amiur, adding that “Other striking images in the collection show the reactions in Israel to the nation’s first peace agreement with an Arab country, which only a few years before had been a bitter foe.”

According to NLI Head of Collections Dr. Aviad Stollman, “These photos of Begin and Sadat are just one example of the richness of the Dan Hadani collection, and the tremendous value it adds in terms of allowing us to see historical events from new and exciting angles.”

Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat talking amongst themselves, Ofira, June 1981, photo by Dan Hadani, the Dan Hadani (IPPA) Collection at the National Library
Ofira, June, 1981 – From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [photo credit – Dan Hadani]
Begin speaking with Sadat, January 8th, 1980, photo by Dan Hadani, the Dan Hadani Collection at the National Library
January 8th, 1980, after the first El Al flight to Egypt – From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [photo credit – Dan Hadani]
Begin speaking with Sadat, January 8th, 1980, photo by Dan Hadani, the Dan Hadani Collection at the National Library
January 8th, 1980, after the first El Al flight to Egypt – From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [photo credit – Dan Hadani]
Haifa, September, 1979 - From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [Photo Credit - Dan Hadani]
Haifa, September, 1979 – From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [photo credit – Dan Hadani]
.
Begin and Sadat at Blair House in Washington – From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [photo credit – Dan Hadani]
Egypt, December, 1977 - From the Dan Hadani Archive National Library of Israel [photo credit - Yossi Rot]
Egypt, December, 1977 – From the Dan Hadani Archive National Library of Israel [photo credit – Yossi Rot]
Ofira, June, 1981 - From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [Photo Credit - Dan Hadani]
Ofira, June, 1981 – From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [photo credit – Dan Hadani]
Egypt, December, 1977, with Hosni Mubarak and Moshe Dayan - From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [Photo Credit - Dan Hadani]
Egypt, December, 1977, with Hosni Mubarak and Moshe Dayan – From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [photo credit – Dan Hadani]
Egypt, December, 1977 - From the Dan Hadani Archive National Library of Israel [photo credit - Yossi Rot]
Egypt, December, 1977 – From the Dan Hadani Archive National Library of Israel [photo credit – Yossi Rot]
During a dinner following the signing ceremony - From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [Photo Credit - Dan Hadani]
During a dinner following the signing ceremony – From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [photo credit – Dan Hadani]
Walking to the signing ceremony - From the Dan Hadani Archive National Library of Israel [photo credit - Dan Hadani]
Walking to the signing ceremony – From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [photo credit – Dan Hadani]
Signing ceremony - From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [Photo Credit - Dan Hadani]
The signing ceremony – From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [photo credit – Dan Hadani]
The handshake following the signing of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty - From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [Photo Credit - Dan Hadani]
The handshake following the signing of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty – From the Dan Hadani Archive, National Library of Israel [photo credit – Dan Hadani]
 



 

Zack Rothbart

Zack likes history, reading and thinking (not necessarily in that order), and tries to learn something from everyone. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and three smart and cute kids, for which he is grateful.

For more stories by Zack Rothbart >>

Get our stories directly to your inbox

Comments for this article