|Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid
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The crowning achievement of Jimmy Carter's presidency was the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt, and he has continued his public and private diplomacy ever since, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his decades of work for peace, human rights, and international development. He has been a tireless author since then as well, writing bestselling books on his childhood, his faith, and American history and politics, but in Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, he has returned to the Middle East and to the question of Israel's peace with its neighbors--in particular, how Israeli sovereignty and security can coexist permanently and peacefully with Palestinian nationhood.
It's a rare honor to ask questions of a former president, and we are grateful that President Carter was able to take the time in between his work with his wife, Rosalynn, for the Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity and his many writing projects to speak with us about his hopes for the region and his thoughts on the book.
A big thank you to President Carter for granting our request for an interview.
An Interview with President Jimmy Carter
Q: What has been the importance of your own faith in your continued interest in peace in the Middle East?
A: As a Christian, I worship the Prince of Peace. One of my preeminent commitments has been to bring peace to the people who live in the Holy Land. I made my best efforts as president and still have this as a high priority.
Q: A common theme in your years of Middle East diplomacy has been that leaders on both sides have often been more open to discussion and change in private than in public. Do you think that's still the case?
A: Yes. This is why private and intense negotiations can be successful. More accurately, however, my premise has been that the general public (Jewish, Christian, and Muslim) are more eager for peace than their political leaders. For instance, a recent poll done by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem showed that 58% of Israelis and 81% of the Palestinians favor a comprehensive settlement similar to the Roadmap for Peace or the Saudi proposal adopted by all 23 Arab nations and recently promoted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Tragically, there have been no substantive peace talks during the past six years.
Q: How have the war in Iraq and the increased strength of Iran (and the declarations of their leaders against Israel) changed the conditions of the Israel-Palestine question?
A: Other existing or threatened conflicts in the region greatly increase the importance of Israel's having peace agreements with its neighbors, to minimize overall Arab animosity toward both Israel and the United States and reduce the threat of a broader conflict.
Q: Your use of the term "apartheid" has been a lightning rod in the response to your book. Could you explain your choice? Were you surprised by the reaction?
A: The book is about Palestine, the occupied territories, and not about Israel. Forced segregation in the West Bank and terrible oppression of the Palestinians create a situation accurately described by the word. I made it plain in the text that this abuse is not based on racism, but on the desire of a minority of Israelis to confiscate and colonize Palestinian land. This violates the basic humanitarian premises on which the nation of Israel was founded. My surprise is that most critics of the book have ignored the facts about Palestinian persecution and its proposals for future peace and resorted to personal attacks on the author. No one could visit the occupied territories and deny that the book is accurate.
Q: You write in the book that "the peace process does not have a life of its own; it is not self-sustaining." What would you recommend that the next American president do to revive it?
A: I would not want to wait two more years. It is encouraging that President George W. Bush has announced that peace in the Holy Land will be a high priority for his administration during the next two years. On her January trip to the region, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called for early U.S.-Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. She has recommended the 2002 offer of the Arab nations as a foundation for peace: full recognition of Israel based on a return to its internationally recognized borders. This offer is compatible with official U.S. Government policy, previous agreements approved by Israeli governments in 1978 and 1993, and with the International Quartet's "roadmap for peace." My book proposes that, through negotiated land swaps, this "green line" border be modified to permit a substantial number of Israelis settlers to remain in Palestine. With strong U.S. pressure, backed by the U.N., Russia, and the European Community, Israelis and Palestinians would have to come to the negotiating table.
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From Publishers Weekly
The term "good-faith" is almost inappropriate when applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a bloody struggle interrupted every so often by negotiations that turn out to be anything but honest. Nonetheless, thirty years after his first trip to the Mideast, former President Jimmy Carter still has hope for a peaceful, comprehensive solution to the region's troubles, delivering this informed and readable chronicle as an offering to the cause. An engineer of the 1978 Camp David Accords and 2002 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Carter would seem to be a perfect emissary in the Middle East, an impartial and uniting diplomatic force in a fractured land. Not entirely so. Throughout his work, Carter assigns ultimate blame to Israel, arguing that the country's leadership has routinely undermined the peace process through its obstinate, aggressive and illegal occupation of territories seized in 1967. He's decidedly less critical of Arab leaders, accepting their concern for the Palestinian cause at face value, and including their anti-Israel rhetoric as a matter of course, without much in the way of counter-argument. Carter's book provides a fine overview for those unfamiliar with the history of the conflict and lays out an internationally accepted blueprint for peace.
Copyright ? Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Following his #1 New York Times bestseller, Our Endangered Values, the former president, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, offers an assessment of what must be done to bring permanent peace to Israel with dignity and justice to Palestine.
President Carter, who was able to negotiate peace between Israel and Egypt, has remained deeply involved in Middle East affairs since leaving the White House. He has stayed in touch with the major players from all sides in the conflict and has made numerous trips to the Holy Land, most recently as an observer in the Palestinian elections of 2005 and 2006.
In this book President Carter shares his intimate knowledge of the history of the Middle East and his personal experiences with the principal actors, and he addresses sensitive political issues many American officials avoid. Pulling no punches, Carter prescribes steps that must be taken for the two states to share the Holy Land without a system of apartheid or the constant fear of terrorism.
The general parameters of a long-term, two-state agreement are well known, the president writes. There will be no substantive and permanent peace for any peoples in this troubled region as long as Israel is violating key U.N. resolutions, official American policy, and the international "road map" for peace by occupying Arab lands and oppressing the Palestinians. Except for mutually agreeable negotiated modifications, Israel's official pre-1967 borders must be honored. As were all previous administrations since the founding of Israel, U.S. government leaders must be in the forefront of achieving this long-delayed goal of a just agreement that both sides can honor.
Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid is a challenging, provocative, and courageous book.
- Zionists will not like this book for its truth
I read this book thinking that President Carter would favor the Israelis because of his deep Christian faith, so I was taken aback at first for his more unbiased view of the situation. Although he admits that of all the players in the Camp David Peace Accords of 1978, Anwar Sadat was his favorite politician (and Hafez al-Asad perhaps his least favorite Arab politician although he didn't come out directly to write this), he also had much praise for several Israeli politicians in his lifetime.
Carter blames players from all sides for dragging out the peace process, from Arafat and Begin to Saudi and Jordanian kings. He covers all the arguments from all sides: Israeli's insistence on acceptance of a Jewish state in an Arab world, to Arab's insistence that Palestianians be giving their own homeland and more humane rights in Israel and that the UN Resolution 242 actually be enforced. All these arguments are quite valid, as we have seen throughout Levantine history over the centuries and especially since the end of World War I.
Carter also mentions,however, that both sides have committed blatant violations against their neighbors: from Israel's violations of UN Resolution 242 to Palestinian (and Israeli) sabotage or attacks of each other's towns and camps. He suggests that land taken in 1967 be returned to the Palestinians whereas Israelis insist they need that land for settlements; the more people who settle Israel, the stronger its defense forces can be.
Both sides must learn to give and take, reasons Carter, but the current conflict in Iraq (and to a lesser extent, Afghanistan) will continue to foment hostilities in the Middle East. The Arabs will always consider the US--rightfully so--supporters of the Israeli state, and Israelis will continue to expect US support. As long as US troops are in Iraq, the Sinai, Qatar and Bahrain, we will be a sore topic for both sides.
I can see this book being a thorn in most Jewish people's eyes but I found Carter's arguments quite sound and doable. He thinks Saudi Arabia is badly underestimated as a peace negotiator in the Midde East. The question I have is that both sides have a strong need to seek revenge and retaliation (I truly believe that the #1 reason Arab and Jew hate each other is because they are so much like).
I also want to note that the Arabs will always use the Palestinian problem as a reason to attack Israel, yet countries with Palestinian refugees treat the Palestinian as second-class citizens and in most cases don't grant them citizenship. There is much in-fighting among Arab countries so the concept of a "Muslim Brotherhood" is more talk than action; the current Sunni-Shi'a conflict in Iraq is one example, as is the conflict in Lebanon between pro-Syrian politicians and pro-Lebanese politicians. A lasting peace in the Middle East is doable, reasons Carter, but all sides must be willing to sacrifice something (land/water, resources) and no side is currently willing to sacrifice enough for peace. The presence of US troops in Iraq isn't helping any, either.
I don't understand how some readers say this book is biased in favor of the Paletinians. The only thing I can come up with is because Carter is critical of some of the Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza: harrassment by Jewish troops of Palestinians, blantant destructions of Palestinians' homes and orchards, excessive abuse of Palestinians near border checks and favoring Israeli products for sale in Palestinian neighborhoods. This is the reason he mentions "apartheid" in his title, as he compares the Israeli treatment of Arabs and Palestinians in Israel as apartheid. The 60-year treatment of the Palestinians by the Israeli government has given life to the Intifada of the late 1980s and the more recent attacks since the Iraq War. However, Carter also mentions the attacks by Hezbollah and Hamas are also to blame for the Israeli's insistance on strict enforcement of security and safety for its citizens. It's a vicious cycle. ...more info
- Consice account of who's been messing all peace initiatives...
J. Carter is a person who had very close contact with all main parties to the conflict and actually took active role in its resolution. Thus, his accounts are trustworthy and balanced.
It is a very important book for anyone who wants to understand how the conflict started and who has been messing all the peace initiatives proposed by UN, EU, different intergovernmental commissions and separate states. Besides talking about region-specific nuances, he talks about all main peace negotiations, namely Camp David Accords, Oslo Agreements, Arab peace proposal, Geneva Initiative and International Quartet's Roadmap. After thoroughly analyzing what the basic provisions of those peace initiatives were, he demonstrates that it was Israel who failed in prevailing majority of cases either to accept or implement their provisions.
The book also includes important graphical illustrations of how Israel's territory has been expanding since 1948. Along with discussing the subsequent events, he provides maps of the region that demonstrate where Israel was putting new settlements.
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in understanding complexities of this book.
- The Middle East described and solutions offered
The former President Carter describes the history of the major players in the Middle East in relation to israel and offers his solutions to bringing about peace. He is obviously a smart man and this book is concise in its approach to offering solutions with the different players involved. What I enjoyed are some of the small incidents that he experienced on his trips, that I wont reveal here, but offer some interesting humor to this book....more info
- Sensitive Issue, Tough Solutions
This is one of the most sensitive issues of our time, Israel and Palestine. Though many people love to condemn Jimmy Carter for writing this book, it is one of courage and sadly is the the truth. One only has to examine both sides of this conflict and the Zionist agenda. Not all Jews are Zionist but the government of Israel is.
Calling out the Israeli Government for their control over the Palestinians is not Anti-Semitic, it is the moral thing to do. Jimmy being a good Christian man sees this and morally knows better. Israel and America is not a black and white issue because there are so many gray areas in between.
Also, with the growing movment of Christian Zionism, and this cults undying support for the nation of Israel, has caused much bias and division in the Christian Church. After all, if your a Christian that opposses any of Israel's actions, you are a nonimal Christian. Christian Zionism is also politically involved with the liazon between America, AIPC and Israel. The focus has become one of Biblical Prophecy than Jesus Christ Himself. Sadly, I don't think Jesus would be proud of Christian support for heinous actions in Israel toward the Palestinians. Israel is not to be worshipped, only God Himself. Jesus was not invloved in politics and nor should Christians be.
Point blank, the Palestinians are an oppressed people with terrorism used as an excuse to round them up like cattle. Sadly, to critique Israel as a nation, one is reduced to being Anti-Semitic. But wait!!! Arabs being descended from Abraham through Ishmael are a Semitic people as well.
Israel became a nation in 1948, they will be held responsible as any other nation. I do not see anywhere in the Torah that people are to treat other people in this way, this they will be held accountable. I believe the Jewish government is, Godless.
Jimmy Carter is a good man, and woe unto them that call good evil and evil good. ...more info
- Well written, In great detail and relevant
President Carter's Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid is a good read whether you know a lot about the topic of Israel and Palestine or nothing at all. Carter's writing style is as easy to read as a nursery book even when there are events that span forty years, and all of the political leaders that he references when writing this book. His first person account of the meetings and issues of this region of the world are well written. And as another reviewer has written about, its true that President has an axe to grind with the Israeli's and its well justified. Its good to read a former head of state open up and say what he really wants to say and not be afraid of what people think about it. ...more info
- A very brave man to take on the very powerful and dangerous Israeli Lobby..
Did you notice that President Carter was not allowed to give a speech at the 2008 Democratic Convention despite that fact that it is long-standing tradition that every former president speak at his party's convention? Well, Mr. Carter's very frank assessment of the Palestinian situation (it's actually worse than apartheid; under apartheid, the negroes went home in the evenings but were at least allowed to earn a living during the day in the White areas. And, for this treatment, SA faced decades of INTL pressure and sanctions. Israel faces no such problem. The American media were esp. critical of SA, yet conspicuously silent on Israel. Why do you think?
I had never liked Carter previously, but his courage in coming out and facing what he knew would be a backlash of political terror from jewish pressure groups like the ADL and AIPAC deserves ALL patriotic American's admiration. The US State department is constantly harping on civil rights; yet, any talk of Palestinian civil Rights is conspicuously absent. Why? Jewish influence in American politics, campaign financing, and the media allow them to gag virtually EVERY politician on this subject, with the sole exception of someone like Pres. Carter who has the prestige and the independence to stand up to these bullies and report what he has experienced in Israel/Palestine first hand. Marvelous! When the struggle of the PAlestinians can take on the same appeal for gentile "liberals" as Ghandi or Mandela, this is when Palestinians will get their human rights back. If you won't believe a former president--and a democrat at that--about the conditions in Palestine, who will you believe. His bravery inspires me. EQUAL RIGHTS FOR NATIVE PALESTINIANS!! This is the major human rights crisis of this century....more info
- A real description of the Palestinian - Israeli conflict
I haven't really understood what the issue between Palestinians and Israelis is until reading this book. I was exposed just to what the American media had to say. After I read this book I realized just how biased the information from the media is. I believe that this book uncovers the real issue on the Palestinian Israeli conflict. It starts with a history of the region and continues with the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land and it describes the injustice towards the Palestinians and the denial of their basic human rights. ...more info
- Trying to redeem his failed presidency
Having been tossed out of office in a landslide defeat to Ronald Reagan, Mr. Carter continues to try to redeem his failed presidency by conducting his own foreign policy, independent of that of the current Administration. This is of course irresponsible and narcissistic, like Mr. Carter himself. Mr. Carter has deliberately chosen a title which gives away his obvious bias. As he very well knows, apartheird is a very charged word, which immediately calls to mind South African policy. By invoking South Africa, Mr. Carter, despite his denials, is climbing on the wagon of those who seek to dellegitimize Israel. Mr. Carter's explanations, that he was referring to ttheeh Occupied Territories and that the discrimination there is not based on race is unconvincing. That is precisely whty the term apartheird is NOT appropriate and should not have been used. The Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories are NOT and never were Israeli citizens. Nor do they have any interest in becoming Israeli citizens. They are living in territorires administered by the Israeli Army as a result of the SIx Day War. No country treats residents of occupied territories in the same way as their citizens. We did not do so when we occupied Germany or Japan and there is no obligation to do so either ethically or legally.
This is all to subtle for Mr. Carter since it would undermine his jihad against Israel. The only thing to be gained from this book is learning how unbalanced Mr. Carter in his views and how he long ago ceased to be anything like an honest broker in the Middle. East. I did learn one thing - to regret that I twice voted for Mr. Carter, a huge mistake which hopefully I have learned from. ...more info
Here's a classical example of how pure antisemitic views turn to history rewriting. Pure anti Israeli and anti Jewish propaganda. Too bad people believe these lies (if they really want to). Carter does not justifies his claims, nor does he give a realistic perspective of the Palestinian problem. Read Mike Evans, Joan Peters for a historical approach to the problem....more info
- Carter being honest.
Before I get into my review, it's important that I state my position on Jimmy Carter. I believe that at this point in Mr. Carter's life, that his legacy is set. I don't feel that he needs to curry favor with one group or another, and that monetary gains are secondary to him. His humanitarian efforts over the past 20 years shows where his priorities are.
As I read "Palestine Peace not Apartheid" I felt sincerity coming from Mr. Carter as he discribed the various relationships that are playing out in the region. The book is not only about the Israel and Palestine, but also about Palestine and it's Arab brothers.
Carter paint a clear picture that Palestine is getting the short end of the stick at every turn. Amoung it's arab brothers (Jordan, Egypt, Syria)Palestine is used as a pawn in their negotiations with Israel. And the power struggle that takes place within the hierarchy of Palestine leadership, makes it difficult for the Palestine to achieve the most modest of goals. In addition, Carter outlines the relationship between israel and all the U.S. presidents and U.S. policy over the past 30 years.
Israel is of course the worst offender. They are almost always heavy handed in their dealings with the Palestine leadership, and the people of Palestine. Israel control the legal system, courts, judiciary as it relates to a citizen of Palestine bringing a grievance against Israel. Needless to say the court rules in favor of Israel in most, if not all instances. Isreal control the commerce & trade within the Palestine territory, thereby controling wealth & poverty levels within the territory. The water supply is disproportionately allocated to the minority Israeli population. These are the disparities that breed terrorism.
Carter suggest that the leadership of Israel is not fully in tune with the citizens of israel. Many of the citizens would like a return of some of the occupied lands. Many Israelies would like a more fluid relationship with Paslestine, they believe it's the continued occupation that breeds Palestine terrorist.
Carter tries to give a balanced look at the situation, and I believe he was successful. His depiction of Palestine as an apartheid state is 100% accurate. ...more info
- wacky but has some virtues
I gave this two stars because if you're going to build an anti-Israel rant, this is a good one to read because (a) I could see how he twists the facts, by emphasizing the facts that make Israel look bad and downplaying the reality of Arab terrorism and (b) it is short and a fast read.
Having said that... other reviewers have taken apart Carter's factual claims so I'll just make a few observations here and there:
*Carter's actual remedy is fairly noncontroversial, and probably no different from what most supporters of Israel would endorse (a two-state solution with the Arabs getting most of what they lost in 1967). But the problem is: how do you enforce it? Israel is a centralized state and thus might actually comply with a peace treaty. But the Arabs have so many small militias (Islamic Jihad, Hamas, etc.) that even in the incredibly unlikely event that every single one of them signs on to a peace treaty, part of that group will probably splinter off into its own little jihad cell, engaging in terrorist attacks in Israel and thus depriving Israel of the benefits of any treaty. If the war in Iraq has taught us anything, it is that a few well-armed malcontents can make a nation ungovernable.
*Carter writes as if Israel has been steadily gobbling up territory, based on the movement of Jews into the occupied territories. But in fact, Israel has been gradually giving up territory, with lousy results. First they gave Sinai to the Egyptians (which hasn't worked out so badly). Then, in the 1990s, they gave a chunk of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority; the Palestinian Authority responded with the 2000 war. (Carter's description of these events is bizarre; he states that Israel got "much more" than Arafat, even though Israel was the nation giving away land for promises).
Then they basically gave Gaza to Hamas; Hamas responded with the current mini-war. When Israel has given up land, it has generally not gotten peace, or even the approval of Carter (who treats each award of land to the Arabs as a provocation because of its inadequacy). So why should Israel fall for the same trap again?
*Carter admits that Arabs had "no real commitment to establish a separate and independent nation" in the 19th century. Instead, "Strong ideas of nationhood began to take shape among the Arabs only when they saw increasing numbers of Zionists immigrate to Palestine." In other words, the so-called "Palestinian people" only exists because of anti-Semitism. If that is the case, why should their so-called nationalism be accommodated?
*Carter complains that Israel has withheld taxes "collected on behalf of the Palestinians." If Israel is so malevolent, why is Israel giving money to Arabs who are trying to kill them?
*Carter treats the 2000 war against Israel mostly by ignoring it. He writes that in 2006, the Arab leader Abbas informed him "that there had been no opportunity for a Palestinian leader to participate in peace talks for the past five years..." Carter simply does not mention that the absence of peace talks might have something to do with the fact that the Arabs were busy conducting suicide bombings inside Israel.
*Carter is obsessed with U.N. resolutions requiring Israel to give up the "occupied territories." Given the U.N.'s repeated singling out for Israel for attack (including the "Zionism = racism" resolution in the 1970s) isn't the U.N. essentially a kangaroo court? Most of its members are either dependent on Arab oil or have good reason to fear Arab terrorism (especially after the spread of al-Qaeda).
*Carter mentions that Hebron has 450 Jews and 150,000 Arabs. If Israel has been engaged in ethnic cleansing, obviously it hasn't been very successful. ...more info
- Superb book
The book is an excellent reading. What else do you expect from a person who has put his reputation on the line to address the Palestinian humanitarian crisis. An issue that has seen a one sided treatment by the media (in favor of Israel) for decades resulting in further injustice to the Palestinian people....more info
- Jimmy Carter -'Palestine...
the product of a consumate politician. bending over backwards to be 'balanced'. for a real view of this issue, try jonathan cook - 'disappearing palestine', or www.clearinghouse.info...more info
- The Peanut Farmer
needs to stick growing peanuts....or building houses.
Clearly biased perspective on the subject. Jimmy seems to have an axe to grind....on Israel's head if he had his way....more info
- Real Eye Opener
This was a required reading for my class in International Relations. I never knew the depth of President Carter's efforts toward peace between Palestine and Israel. It is amazing how close to a settlement things seemed on so many occasions.
One major fact that Carter left out of his biblical timeline at the beginning of the book is the birth of Ishmael. This is a major key to understanding why and how this conflict began in the first place.
A must read for history, political science majors or anyone interested in a lasting peace between these two rivals. We had to write a paper on what OUR solution to this situation would be. ...more info
- Much needed book
As anyone who has followed the Israel/Palestine debate will tell you, this book must have taken great intestinal fortitude to write as well as publish. This will be an eye-opening read for those who get their Mideast knowledge from broadcast television, it may even seem over the top. Alas, it is merely the tip of the iceberg.
I would give it 5 stars but I felt like Carter promoted the myth of political Israel being an extension of Biblical Israel in his section on Israeli history. The lie that Israel is a continuation of Biblical Israel and somehow a fullfillment of prophecy is one of the key factors crippling debate on this subject.
Get "Whose Promised Land" or Stephen Green's "Taking Sides" for better understanding of modern Israel's early, hardly biblical, history....more info
- An objective and unbiased review of the Is-Pal situation.
This book provides a history of the Palestine- Israel region reflecting the claims of both sides. It is fair despite the anti-Semetic slur against it by zealots. Few objective observers can question the unbiased intentions of Jimmy Carter who shows the problems and claims of both sides fairly. He also reveals the agreements that have been violated and the delicate nature of peace diplomacy.
In light of the latest Gaza conflict, it is must reading for Americans and others who wish to see the Is-Pal matter resoved and our war on terrorism to succeed. ...more info
- A light and enlightening read
It is interesting - in fact revealing and more than a bit sad - that this useful little book was so controversial at the time of its release. That controversy reflects our society's stubborn reluctance and inability to consider objectively, discuss openly, and address pragmatically and morally the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mr. Carter's book makes a fine contribution to a discussion that is still waiting to happen. With characteristic humility and sympathy, he asks our political leaders, the Jewish community, and, yes, also the Palestinians and Arab world to deal more honestly and realistically with resolving how these two peoples can live peacefully in this tiny space. He provides the reader a good background on how the situation has developed up to today and rightfully implores that the Palestinians be treated with justice and decency. The book is an easy read that is nevertheless richly enlightening....more info
- Foolish Carter
Jimmy Carter is a fool--simply put his attitude toward the Jews and Israel is wrong--Jimmy Carter is Un-American! This book is anti Israel trash....more info
- A brilliant mind offers a solution
What an incredible man. His vision needs to be looked at with great circumspection. He isnt prejudiced against any country. He offers
a solution,with compassion and heart,but also with practicality.
Excellent book....more info
- carters anti-Semitic tirade is way off base! fiction.
This anti-Semitic tirade is more proof that not only is carter is a moron and a hypocrite, he is outside the relm of the real world. While he idolizes terrorists like arafat, pol pot, castro, kadaffi, mao, kim il song, kim jong il, the ayatollah who destroyed iran and then began attacking the world he does not support Israel's tiny little democracy a state by the way that treats arabs better than they are treated in muslim countries..
Heres some of the truth about gaza!After the 1948 Arab invasion of Israel failed, Egypt refused to allow a Palestinian state orr self-determination in Gaza. Egypt used Gaza as a base for fedayeen raids on Israel, while ruling with an iron fist, preventing Palestinians from entering egypt. Egypt's main goal was to use its population as cannon fodder against Israel.
Israel's conquest of the Sinai in the 1967 Six-Day War forced a change in tactics but not the goal. When Egypt took back the Sinai in 1982, it REFUSED TO TAKE BACK GAZA (as Israel requested). As with every issue during the Camp David negotiations Carter sided with Egypt.
Throughout the 1980's and 1990's Egypt allowed smuggling of weapons into Gaza, while continuing to clamp down on individual Palestinians. Its overriding goal remained to use Gaza as a means to delegitimize Israel, while talking publicly of "humanitarian"needs.
The smashing of the border wall with Egypt may finally force Egypt to take some responsibility for its policies. The smashing of the border wall with Egypt may finally force Egypt to take some responsibility for its policies. Surely Gaza can get its supplys from Egypt? Why should Israel have the responsibility of providing ALL services (which it still does) to a territory ruled by a group sworn to Israel's destruction, and from which it is attacked several times daily? (1 killed in Dimona) Egypt would be given leeway in dealing with Hamas that the Arab world will not allow to Israel.
Unfortunately there is little likelihood that Egypt will change and take forward-looking policies. Had Egypt welcomed and absorbed Arab refugees as Israel did with all the Jewish refugees from Arab countries, the situation in Gaza and elsewhere could have been far better....more info
- Must read for all
President Carter dares to say what the media, politicians and others refuse to discuss. A must read for all who want unbiased, current information on a very important subject....more info
- Lopsided struggle in the world's anger cauldron
Tireless peacemaker Jimmy Carter promised while running for president before 1976 to work for peace in the Middle East, and long after his presidency ended he has been consistently keeping his promise. By reaching out, by meeting with top leaders and players to this recurring Middle Eastern drama, by speaking with common people including Palestinians, by his steadfast and unwavering diplomatic efforts, and by writing this tough, fair, open-minded and heart wrenching book, he has demonstrated repeatedly his commitment to peace. He is a peacemaker extraordinaire.
That three continents join in a dangerous intersection practically guarantees conflict. Palestine is caught between two cradles of civilization -- the Nile and the Tigris/Euphrates regions -- has seen plenty of bloodshed throughout history, and will probably continue to do so as long as mankind roams the planet. Various groups have fought over this land since time immemorial. And today it is still a war cauldron, an "incubator of terrorism" as the former president writes, in which Israelis hunger for Arab land, and Palestinians hate Israelis. There are no easy solutions. Nevertheless, Jimmy Carter believes large swaths of both peoples hunger for peace, and he advocates a blueprint: (1) Israel's right to exist must be acknowledged within recognized borders (he prefers the 1949-1967 border lines) (2) stop killing of noncombatants (3) Palestinians must live in peace and dignity in their own land. Jimmy Carter wants peace through international law, free speech, self-determination, equal treatment, freedom from military domination.
Jimmy Carter outlines the history of the conflict, even back to biblical times, but focuses on the last half century. He recounts meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials, as well as with important players throughout the region.
His account is a strong indictment of US foreign policy which has been inconsistent, sometimes hypocritical, ineffective, and has aroused strong anger throughout the Arab region while achieving little benefit. He criticizes "...Washington's strange policy that dialog on controversial issues is a privilege to be extended only as a reward for subservient behavior and withheld from those who reject US demands". The Bush II administration practically abandoned a peace effort which Jimmy Carter clearly views as a mistake. He outlines the dispute in terms of numbers, major agreements, setbacks, and important events. Israel has two main factions -- a hardline, militant, expansionist group (Likud party), and a peace-loving, treaty-abiding, more affluent group (Labor party).
But the undeniable picture that emerges is a pattern of consistent bullying by Israelis. It's a lopsided struggle. Palestinians have few rights, are denied permits to travel and work, are treated collectively as terrorists, have scant access to Israeli lawyers or courts. Their homes are bulldozed, confiscated. Their fruit trucks are blocked at entry points for days until the cargo perishes. Their olive trees are cut down in droves, their water diverted, their schools & universities closed, their grounds covered in untreated sewage, their library books are censored. And the pattern is increased expansion of Israeli settlements and a consistent policy of harassment of Palestinians who are treated as foreigners in their own land.
A case could be made that Gaza, a small strip of Palestinian land on the Mediterranean, is the world's largest prison, as reporter Bob Simon said recently. Per capita income in Gaza has declined 40% during the past three years; 70% live in poverty; workers are prevented from going to outside jobs; police and teachers are deprived of salaries. Gaza is extremely crowded with over 3,700 people per square kilometer. The most recent Israeli hostility has been to build a huge, meandering wall in the West Bank which cuts off many Palestinians from each other; the Palestinian town of Bethlehem is practically encircled. A UN court in July 2004 determined the wall was "illegal" but it is still being built under the pretext of keeping out suicide bombers. What will happen? "It is obvious that the Palestinians will be left with no territory to establish a viable state, but completely enclosed within the barrier and the occupied Jordan valley", he writes. It also cuts off 200,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem from their relatives. His word is apt: apartheid.
Coverage in US media tends to be highly skewed in favor of Israel. Most of the Israeli abuse goes under the radar, while the occasional Arab suicide bomber makes headlines. For example, in July 2006, Hamas militants captured an Israeli soldier, and the massive bombardment and re-invasion by Israel's military was a lopsided response to this aggression. So most Americans who aren't paying attention may easily conclude that the fighting in the Middle East is balanced, shrug their shoulders, and return to a state of cluelessness. He writes "...most American citizens are unaware of circumstances in the occupied territories". And America, indirectly, supports much of this atrocity by siding with Israel in international bodies such as the United Nations as well as providing aid.
As an American, I see Jimmy Carter's book as confirmation that American democracy is broken, dysfunctional, distorted. That American foreign policy has been so unthinking over such a long time suggests that the flaw isn't with one or two errant administrations, but that the foreign policy architecture itself is flawed. I think the flaws are deep, systemic, structural. Americans are not really citizens anymore; clearly, in this instance, Americans are not paying attention. The only political participation is voting for president (see Dana D. Nelson's excellent "Bad for Democracy"). Congress is corrupt; over 90% of incumbents win re-election. And the federal system has broken down, since Washington has usurped the power of individual state governments to regulate their respective economies. The only solution, in my view, is to craft an alternative Constitution. So I have summoned over 100 of America's brightest and most knowledgeable thinkers as well as persons with the power, celebrity, and media savvy to cause change, to Independence Hall in Philadelphia beginning July 4, 2009, to craft an alternative Constitution, based on the current one, to fix flaws including the foreign policy function, and for this document to be voted on by the public at a later date.
Jimmy Carter has shown time and again that he is one of the most enlightened, caring, and intelligent Americans, and I am inviting him to be a delegate to this Convention, and I hope he decides to attend. Last, I offer a solution to the problem of terrorism in my book (below) and challenge every thinker to debate the merits of my proposed, non-partisan strategy.
Thomas W. Sulcer
author of "Common Sense II: How to Prevent the Three Types of Terrorism" (Amazon)
- this hayseed should stick to farming
after a botched presidency one would hope this meat head would put a lid on it. since when is he such a skilled statesman and revered thinker that we need him to weigh in on a situation of this magnitude? he should stick to peanuts; adding further fuel to an already explosive controversy about which every opinion has already been expressed is useless. ...more info
- Carter Airs his Amoral, Ahistorical Views
Nothing can say more about this book than the company it keeps. Look at the books bought by people who bought this book and you see the strain of anti-Semitism throughout. Carter spreads the claptrap that the US is at fault for Palestinians strapping bombs on their children and the mentally infirm due to our support of Israel. He fails to make a connection between cause and effect -- ex: Israel building a fence causes suicide bombers, when it is clearly the bombers that created a requirement for the fence -- in an Orwellian explanation of past events that strip them of their true context to fit his world view. Don't waste your money on this book or the ones bought by its adherents....more info
- I liked it!
This is an easy read. Carter reviews his 30 years of history with Israel and Palestine. He provides his ample credentials for having an opinion of this 40 year old conflict. At the end of the book, the relevant documents are reprinted. I was surprised to learn or relearn that the Camp David accords of 1978 committed Israel to abiding by U.N. Resolution 242 which requires Israel to withdraw behind the armistice line which existed prior to the 1967 war. Instead, Israel has settled 225,000 Israelis in Palestinian land. Carter says that Israel has so chopped up the West Bank for their own uses that it would be impossible to make a viable Palestinian state and no Palestinian leader could agree to such a state. He also documents instances of harassment and humiliation of the Palestinians by the Israeli occupying forces. This is a quick read of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict by a long time observer who seems quite impartial....more info
- Palestine History
Jimmy Carter is, in my judgment, the ultimate American analyst of the middle east and his book gives both sides of the dispute with emphasis on the Palestinian side. Excellent work. ...more info