MIDDLE EAST: Toward the Showdown

Both sides sensed that the final showdown was at hand. "The next six months," said Egypt's President Anwar Sadat, "will be decisive in our destiny." Some Israelis fear that a misstep could mean the end of the Jewish nation. Despite such qualms, Israeli Premier Golda Meir's Cabinet last week agreed to return to peace negotiations with Egypt and Jordan, and the Knesset endorsed the decision by a 77-27 vote. The nays came from representatives of right-wing parties.

The far from unanimous vote was one of many indications that the talks, under the...

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