Let us talk about peace

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: Foreign Policy, George W. Bush, Occupation Views: 3105
3105

I am concerned that public discussion of my book "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid" has been diverted from the book's basic proposals: that peace talks be resumed after six years of delay and that the tragic persecution of Palestinians be ended. Although most critics have not seriously disputed or even mentioned the facts and suggestions about these two issues, an apparently concerted campaign has been focused on the book's title, combined with allegations that I am anti-Israel. This is not good for any of us who are committed to Israel's status as a peaceful nation living in harmony with its neighbors. 

It is encouraging that President Bush has announced that peace in the Holy Land will be a high priority for his administration during the next two years. On her current trip to the region, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called for an early U.S.-Israeli-Palestinian meeting. She has recommended the 2002 offer of the 23 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. policy, previous agreements approved by Israeli governments in 1978 and 1993, and the "road map" for peace developed by the "quartet" (the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations). 

The clear fact is that Israel will never find peace until it is willing to withdraw from its neighboring occupied territories and permit the Palestinians to exercise their basic human and political rights. With land swaps, this "green line" can be modified through negotiations to let a substantial number of Israeli settlers remain in their subsidized homes east of the internationally recognized border. The premise of exchanging Arab territory for peace has been acceptable for several decades to a majority of Israelis but not to a minority of the more conservative leaders, who are unfortunately supported by most of the vocal American Jewish community. 

These same premises, of course, will have to be accepted by any government that represents the Palestinians. A March 2006 poll by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah found 73 percent approval among citizens in the occupied territories, and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has expressed support for talks between President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and pledged to end Hamas's rejectionist position if a negotiated agreement is approved by the Palestinian people. 

Abbas is wise in repeating to Secretary Rice that he rejects any "interim" boundaries for the Palestinian state. The step-by-step road-map formula promulgated almost three years ago for reaching a final agreement has proved to be a non-starter -- and an excuse for not making any progress. I know from experience that it is often more difficult to negotiate an interim agreement, with all its future uncertainties, than to address the panoply of crucial issues that will have to be resolved to reach the goal of peace. 

Given these recent developments and with the Democratic Party poised to play a more important role in governing, this is a good time to clarify our party's overall policy in the broader Middle East. Numerous options are available as Congress attempts to correlate its suggestions with White House policy, and there is little doubt that the basic proposals of the Iraq Study Group provide a good foundation on which Democrats might reach something of a consensus (recognizing that individual lawmakers could still make their own proposals on details). This party policy would provide a reasonable answer to the allegation that Democrats have no alternatives of their own to address the Iraq quagmire. 

A key factor in an Iraq policy would be strong demands on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government to cooperate in ending sectarian violence, prodded by a clear notice of plans for troop withdrawals. A commitment to regional cooperation, including opportunities for Iran and Syria to participate, would be beneficial in assuring doubtful Iraqis that America will no longer be the dominant outside power shaping their military, political and economic future. 

Although Israel's prime minister has criticized these facets of the Iraq Study Group's report, the most difficult recommendation for many Democrats could be the call for substantive peace talks on the Palestinian issue. The situation in the occupied territories will be a crucial factor, and it would be helpful for both the House and Senate to send a responsible delegation to the West Bank and Gaza to observe the situation personally, to meet with key leaders and to ascertain the prospects if peace talks can be launched. 

I am convinced that, with bipartisan support, this is a good opportunity for progress.

Jimmy Carter was the 39th president of USA and is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. His most recent book is "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid."


  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: Foreign Policy, George W. Bush, Occupation
Views: 3105

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Older Comments:
MOHAMMAD SHAFIQUE FROM CANADA said:
All the like minded people of the world concerned about the peace
should form a platform of strong movement against the strong
Lobby( US congress) and bring peace, justice in the Middle East.
The main problem is that who will bell the cat, does President Bush
have the guts to take the risk/Initiative like Bill Clinton and get into
an un-called scandal like Monica-Clinton.
2007-02-21

MOHAMMED SHAFIQUE FROM CANADA said:
I very much for it. Only through discussion and negotiation
peace can be thought of in Middle East. Carter had the courage
and guts to challenge the strong and powerful lobby those are
against any peace in the region. We all know pen is powerful
than sword. So Ideally all Muslim scholars and powerful writers
should strongly support the Idea of Cater and back up to make
the majority American and Israelis aware of the fact because
they want to see peace in the region. The minority lobby should
not go unchallenged.
2007-02-20

HUDD FROM CND said:
God has given and God has taken away. Once God took away, it's a futile struggle for humans to try to take back without God's blessings. Palestine belongs to the Palestinians. Israel is a dead concept like, the Roman Empire, Deutschland Uber Alles, British Empire, Mongol Ilkhanat, etc. You cannot re-instate none of those, naturally, only by force supported by a twisted vision of a fabricated reality based on bygone facts and fantasies of the elders! As long as Israel arrogantly flaunts her supremacy and 'world' support for her blood baths and cruel disinheritage of the true owners of the land, peace is like a precious pearl in a monkey's mouth. If USA and UK would have wanted a safe haven for the progromed Jews(WWII) they would have given them land in US, Arizona for instance, they would've had warmth, desert, like in Palestine and would've had illegal Mexicans working for menial wages instead of occupied Palestinians. They would've had their big brother at their back and could have survive peacefully and as a miracle of the world in the arms of the US administration. Was this the purpose though? Think about. Was the safety of the Jews the purpose? Or, rather, the destruction of the Umah and control of the Middle Eastern oil resources? I wonder...
2007-02-20

YAZID FROM USA said:
Salaam-

I cannot believe the people that monitor this site would let a user with the name "God" post something.

Note to wannabe "God"
YOU ARE NOT GOD as is obvious from your twisted view and comments about Islam.

The book is an excellent read for minds like yours ... empty and dark.
2007-02-20

AHMAR SHAKIR FROM USA said:
My comment is concerning the automated qudio recording from real audio. This audio is totally unlistenable. The mechanical voice is distracting to a point that I had to turn it of. Please correct this issue and you may have more people enjoy this worderful article.
2007-02-19

GOD FROM USA(GOD'S COUNTRY) said:
Jimmy Carter is a communist. He is only liable to bite the hands that feed him, and kiss those that stab him. The agreement of any Muslim/Arab nation is meaningless. They all carry within them the seeds of disunion. Such is the way of Islam. Muslims across the world refuse to come to terms with 'imperialistic' and 'war-mongering' Bush, in the light of their own past, which they both relish and deny, secretly hoping for a resurgence of what is currently being done in Africa, to other parts of the world. Mohammad knows nothing of God.
2007-02-19

ALIYAH FROM MEXICO said:
Asalaamu alaikum..
I second the motion! This book is a must read, a primer on the conflict in palestine.
Mr. Carter is honest and candid in his analysis of the situation.
Guess some folks just can't handle honesty.
Sometimes the truth hurts.
2007-02-17

YAZID FROM USA said:
Salaam-

MUSLIMS SHOULD BUY THIS BOOK ... it's the FIRST of it's kind in the American press.
2007-02-16

NASIR A FROM US said:
The Zionist illegal state was mandated by UN and British. If the British found the Jewish people needed a country of their own then why not present them within a State of England.
Now since US is strong supporter of the Zionist State, then they should have give a State to the jewish people perhaps NY, NJ.
2007-02-16

BABANDI A. GUMEL FROM U.K. said:
The Mecca agreement should serve as the basis for real peace.All the parties concerned i.e the Palestinians and the Israelis should swallow the pill of anger and work together for the progress of the two Nations.This Mecca agreement is like the treaty of Hudeibiyya during the time of the Prophet in which the treaty went against the Muslims but the Prophet insisted that it must be honoured.Alhamdu Lillahi the Hamas the Fattah have all agreed to work together to give peace a chance.Therefore the important players of the Peace should come out as honest brokers and work out a deal and the boycott of the Hamas should be lifted.Bye gone is bye gone let us work for the future our brothers and sisters in Palestine.They needed to be given the opportunity to show to the World that they are serious about peace so the ball is rolling is up to the Isaelis and Americans to use this chance and come to the negotiating table sit down with the Palestinians both Hamas and Fattah and work out a peaceful solution to this problem.Enough is enough confrontation will not take us anywhere.But at least Jimmy Carter has shown that he is really a man of peace who initiated the Camp David Accord between Late Anwar Sadat of EGYPT and Menachin Begin of Israel although it did not work as it should have been but at least it was a good begining.So let us give peace a chance to succeed in the Middle East,not only in the Middle East but the whole World,but United Nations this time should be involved wholeheartdly and fully participate in any kind of negotiation to resolve this crisis.
2007-02-16