Jimmy Carter believed that foreign policy should be an extension of American moral principles. He believed that America should actively promote universal rights and withhold from military intervention. He had traveled to the Middle East as governor, and was interested in establishing peace there. At a town hall meeting, he said that "there has to be a homeland provided for the Palestinian refugees who have suffered for many, many years." He was the first president to call for a Palestinian "homeland."
"Because of the volatile nature of events in the Middle East, U.S. presidents from Truman through Nixon each had to address a regional crisis sometime during his term of office...each president had to face the possibility of a world war. The cycle of bombings and retaliations, border skirmishes, instability, and general uneasiness could lead to full-scale military confrontation at any time. President Carter wanted to prevent such a crisis instead of reacting to it."
"He always felt in foreign affairs that if he could only get his adversaries into the room with him, he could win them over."
-Jimmy Fallows on Jimmy Carter in "The Passionless Presidency"
Carter's humble beginnings and deep-rooted Evangelical Christian values influenced his moralistic foreign policy. The Camp David Accords were a natural extension of Carter's long-standing beliefs.
Carter's religious conviction influenced his presidential decisions: "As a student of the Bible, well-versed in the ancient struggles of this part of the world, Carter approached both leaders with political understanding and a unique sense of purpose. In preparation for the Camp David meetings, Carter studied briefing materials, including detailed maps and complete profiles of Sadat and Begin and their close advisors."
CLICK TO READ CARTER'S PERSONAL INVITATION TO MENACHEM BEGIN TO VISIT CAMP DAVID
“Our policy is based on an historical vision of America’s role. Our policy is derived from a larger view of global change. Our policy is rooted in our moral values, which never change. Our policy is reinforced by our material wealth and by our military power. Our policy is designed to serve mankind.”
-Jimmy Carter, on Foreign Policy