Jimmy Carter speaks the truth about Israel
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.
Rocky Montana - Opinion / Feb. 15, 2012
Wow! If I had not heard Jimmy Carter, in this video, come out against the atrocities that the Israeli government has inflicted against the Palestinian people over the past 64 years with my own ears, I would not have believed it! This must be a first for a former President to speak out against the evil actions of the Israeli regime. And it's about time, I might add!
However, I question the timing of Mr. Carter's revelation to the world. Perhaps I am being too critical, however, Mr. Carter, as President, saw this conflict up close and personal since taking office in 1977. If he felt so strongly that the Israeli government has been terrorizing and subjugating the Palestinian people, and stealing their property all these years, why did he not speak-out during his time in office or for the 31 years after he left office?Why now? is the question I believe the public deserves to know before everyone rushes out and buys new book, 'PALESTINE: PEACE NOT APARTHEID'. Now that anit-Israeli sentiment is at an all-time high in America, is Mr. Carter simply cashing-in on America's righteous indignation of Israel's evil actions over the past half century in order to hawk his new book?