Mr. Sadat was not bribed into becoming a part of an unprecedented peace accord with Israel. Yes, it's true, he got something in return, actually 4 main things, but it would be unfair to use the term "bribed."
The wars on Israel had taken their toll on Egypt. Having their large army defeated again by that of a small state was something that ate away national and patriotic pride. But, that was not Egypt's main problem at the time. The economy was what hurt the people most. There were shortages of basic goods and poverty was on the rise.
Mr. Sadat was no angel when it came to dictatorial-style ruling. He imprisoned domestic opposition - he had harsh secret police in place. Still, the man was a proud military officer and he loved his country. He loved it so much that he engaged it in a peace accord which, eventually, ended up in his assassination.
The first main objective accomplished by the peace initiative was clearly the repatriation of Sinai. That gave Mr. Sadat's peace move a shy domestic approval. Naturally, people would have favored the liberation of Sinai to be done through a heroic military campaign but it happened by other means and at no tangible cost. Egypt was whole again.
The second main objective was the nourishment of the economy. Having done what the United States desired and what Israel longed for, meant instant aid that was projected to continue in the long run.
President Carter became the US president who had achieved what seemed to be impossible. He also put Camp David on the historical map of peace. Israel got its recognition by a major Arab force. Egypt was able to take a breath of fresh air.
The third main objective was on the personal side. He wanted to prove himself as a man of versatile resolve and a leader of futuristic outlooks. He had tried war; the experience from that allowed him to calculate expenses and the levels of loyalties of allies in the region. He did not seem to be impressed by the results of his calculations. From where he stood, it was plain to see that Israel was there to stay and that it was able to offer what instigating "friends" could never give: Stability.
His fourth main objective was even more personal. It had to do with a lot of pride and a little vengeance. The Gulf Arab partners were not sticking to the ethics of the unwritten deal. They ignored his pleads for economic assistance. Mr. Sadat felt betrayed by them; he had spearheaded the Arab war in 1973 causing his nation to further lose the western world's favor only to find that the rich Sheikhs of the gulf were not willing to help relieve Egypt like they could. His pride didn't allow him to plead with them anymore and he wanted to teach them a lesson in loyalties.
Memory brings back the Arab street feeling spiritless when Mr. Sadat signed the Camp David peace accord and it brings back the site of the same street celebrating his assassination. It also brings back the caricatures of the Egyptian president dressed like a rabbi with writings calling him a traitor, a coward, and a weakling. What memory doesn't bring back, though, is any of those people helping Egypt regain Sinai or sending shipments of grain.
Egypt is a proud nation. Egypt is where architectural marvels of gigantic proportions were built during a time when most other cultures were still toddlers. Egypt is education and fine arts. Egypt bridged the gap between Persia and the Arabs. Egypt is the center of the Islamic heart of Al Azhar.
The same deception and forsaking strategies that led Egypt to extend a hand towards Israel four decades ago are present today in the face of Syria. The major Persian Gulf players have put President Assad in the same corner they had pushed President Sadat against.
Sadat wanted Sinai and stability. Assad wants the Golan and stability.
Sadat declared readiness for peace from Jerusalem. Assad declared it from Sochi.
Jimmy Carter is not available anymore to seize the moment with Syria for peace, but Vladimir Putin is. And, what is so ideal about this seasoned political superman is the fact that his voice echoes well in the Iranian capital. As for the United States, it's very possible that they are beginning to share France's dismay with the politically immature and rogue gulf lords.
It will be a very difficult peace path but it's there to be walked and the best results are always reached after a lot of striving.