"The greatest legacy [of the Camp David Accords] was that it reshaped the Arab world. It pulled the most important Arab country out of the 'Conflict Bloc,' as people called it, against Israel, and put it squarely in the U.S. camp, and in so doing, strengthened immeasurably the U.S. position in the Middle East...it changed the basic dynamics in the Arab world."
-Interview with Mark LeVine
Following the Camp David Accords and the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, Egypt entered into a new era of foreign relations - one that was less dependent on its Arab allies and more reliant on the United States. Despite Sadat's assassination and succession by Hosni Mubarak, Egypt maintained peaceful ties with Israel and became a strategic outpost for American interests in the Middle East. The US-Egypt relationship that continued to support Mubarak's dictatorship until the 2011 Egyptian Revolution had its foundations in the Camp David Accords. Whether the ties between the two nations, after the overthrow of Mubarak's regime, will continue is unclear.
"One impact of the Camp David process is clear: in a region fraught with turmoil, Israel and Egypt have been at peace ever since. In this respect, the Accords should be considered a surprisingly successful endeavor and a victory for both parties."
- Jonathan Oakman
Importantly, the Camp David Accords disintegrated unified Arab opposition to Israel, thereby stopping a vicious cycle of large-scale wars. "As Carter points out, 'In the years before Camp David, there were four major wars between Israel and its neighbors, generally led by Egypt.' In the 25 years since Camp David, there has been none." Furthermore, Begin and Sadat demonstrated to the Arab world that diplomacy and cooperation was a viable path towards resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict, rather than bitter and hostile wars.
"[The Camp David Accords were] certainly a massive turning point because it marked the very first time that Israel and any other Arab country were officially at peace, and it marked the first time that the Israelis peacefully gave back territory they had taken. It put on the table the Palestinian self-government and autonomy issues, even if they weren’t successfully dealt with. Those are three critical developments. There’s a fourth, and that is a very pro-US turn in the Middle East, and a change the way the Middle East was dealt with."
-Interview with Anthony Wanis-St. John
"The search for peace continues today in the Middle East, yet the discussions held in Camp David cabins twenty-five years ago laid a new, strong and hopeful foundation for future efforts.
-"Thirteen Days After Twenty-Five Years"
While historians debate over the overall successes and failures of the Accords, the Camp David Accords unequivocally set an important precedent for later attempts to realize a peaceful Middle East first proposed in 1978. The Madrid Conference, the Oslo Accords, and the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace were all built upon the foundation of diplomatic negotiations at the Camp David Accords and strove to establish a peaceful resolution to the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict.
"James A. Baker III, secretary of state under President George H. W. Bush, says the accords 'established the principles of land for peace and recognition of United Nations resolutions, which were very helpful to us in the first Bush administration.' Camp David also set a precedent for other Middle East peace agreements, including that between Israel and Jordan, Baker says, adding, 'I, for one, remain optimistic that in my lifetime we will see a comprehensive peace' built on Camp David and subsequent agreements."
- Bob Cullen