Peter Miller, February 7, 2007 (view all comments by Peter Miller)
President Jimmy Carter has done a great service to this country in blowing open the taboo against talking about Israel's Apartheid system in the occupied territories. It is sad to see such a humane and earnest and hardworking peacemaker be so maligned by his critics.
How easily supporters of Israel forget that Carter was the American president that successfully forged peace between Egypt and Israel by having Israel return the land it stole from Egypt in 1967. He was the only American president to forge such an important and long lasting peace treaty for Israel. Israel will have to give back the rest of the lands it took in 1967 (from Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians) in exchange for peace with its neighbors. Most reasonable people, including Israelis, will acknowledge this.
Unfortunately, Israel continues to colonize the West Bank and Golan Heights and keeps the residents of Gaza on a starvation diet. The international community considers all of Israel's settlements past the pre-1967 border (the green line) as illegal colonies and serious war crimes, but even under Israel's own internal laws, it was recently revealed, 40% of these exclusive, Jewish-only settlements are built illegally on land stolen from Palestinian civilians. As the chance for a viable Palestinian state slips away because of Israel's walls, fences, Jewish only colonies and Jewish only roads, the chance for Israel to find the security it desires also wanes.
It is understandable why Carter limited his focus and his criticism to Israel's Apartheid colonization of the West Bank. After all, he knew full well the fire storm that would ensue from even that limited, if critical, analysis of Israel's policies. However, his book only covers part of the story. First, there really is a strong racist component that is found amongst the zealous Israel firsters (both Jewish and Christian) which Carter seems to deny or gloss over. Second, the Palestinian citizens of Israel are denied important rights and are treated third class citizens. Their position within Israel is tenuous as they are viewed as potential enemies of the state by Israel's right wing and calls for their ethnic cleansing from Israel are often heard, even by important figures within the government, most recently Avigdor Lieberman, the Deputy-Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs.
All in all, President Carter has written a landmark book: buy one and give it to one of your local, State, or Federal representatives: they need to learn the other side of the story.
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peaceNpalestine, January 28, 2007 (view all comments by peaceNpalestine)
The immense criticism of this book compelled me to read it. What could this peaceful ex-president have written to trigger all this: charges of antisemitism, wholesale resignations from the Carter Center Board, charges of accepting money from terrorist organizations, even protests over the factual nature of the work. The bloggers and editorials seemed to protest far too much.
Indeed, the clamor seems to be aimed at closing any discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As if it is in our best interest to maintain the current status quo- apartheid perpetuated by the US's "closest ally"?!!!
No side in this conflict can claim the moral high ground and the violence can no longer be traced back to it's beginnings so that one party can rightfully demand the other party to submit first. Carter correctly maintains that many agreements and resolutions exist to guide the reconciliation and the US needs to play an even handed role in the conflict.
Start by equalizing the aid we give to the Israelis and Palestinians. Oh sure, that will happen. Just an open discussion of the financial support we provide to the region would raise some eyebrows, don't you think? We in the US cannot ignore the violations of 242 and it is immoral for us to stand by and watch walls being built and checkpoints used as weapons.
Peace not Apartheid is a compelling book. Not as well written or powerful as it could have been, but a good starting point for discussion- if it is "allowed"
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jagver_brand44, December 11, 2006 (view all comments by jagver_brand44)
the writer of the first reveiw ms rose scott is espousing hatered not a reveiw and also playing hard and fast with the facts
there is no historical basis for the remark that "muhammad and his followers slayed the jewish residents of medina" that is simply a lie,
also implying arab complicity in assisting with the holecost is ludicrous, the writer is again propagating hatred, she didnt even read the book and freedeom of speech aside such racist and hateful speech should not be the first listed reveiw on your website, it sullies the efforts of Jimmy carter a great american whose humanism shines through his book, which is more than i can say about this reveiw
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Here's the bottom line: All of Israel's restrictive measures against Palestinians are necessitated by the Palestinians' on-going commitment to the destruction of Israel. Were the Palestinians to renounce all violence, the restrictions could be eliminated.
Extending that same truth: If the Arabs renounced all violence, they would have nothing to fear from Israel. Were the Israelis to renounce their own defense, there would be no Israel.
Carter's central reason for labelling Israel "apartheid" is the security fence. As happens, the fence was begun in reaction to the second intifada and its being in placed very significantly reduced the number of suicide bombers who made their way into Israel.
In Apartheid South Africa, blacks were not allowed to vote. Arab citizens of Israel vote in Israeli elections, and the Palestinians vote in the elections in those territories. Yet, because the Israelis were compelled to build a security fence to keep from being attacked by Palestinian suicide bombers, Carter feels he has a right to label them an "apartheid" country.
80% of the British Mandate of Palestine was made the Arab country of Jordan. No Jew may become a citizen of Jordan, and it is illegal in Jordan to sell land to a Jew. By contrast, there are Arab members of the Israeli parliament. And Carter and his supporters are going to call Israel "apartheid"?
Palestinians don't even extend the civil right of life to the gay people in their society. Palestinian gays are routinely killed in the streets by mobs. When international media witness the killings, they are told the gay victims were "collaborators." Gay Palestinians who are lucky enough to escape to Israel receive protection there. And Israel is "apartheid"? Since 1967, more Palestinian gays have been murdered in cold blood by other Palestinians than there have been Palestinian casualties caused by Israeli defensive actions. So why does Carter say nothing about this in his book, if he is genuinely concerned with the human rights of Palestinians?
Carter also turns a totally blind eye to history, though he seems to buy into the erroneous notion that the creation of modern Israel caused the Palestinian refugee situation. It did not. The Arab war against the creation of Israel did. Arabs within Israel participated in that war against the Jews, even though the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel promises Arab inhabitants of the land 100% equality. One of the initiators of the '48 war was the Grand Mufti al-Husseini. During the WWII period, he had a private meeting with Hitler during which they agreed to extend the "final solution" to the 1 million Jews then living in various Middle Eastern countries. Had the Allies not won the war, those 1 million people would likely have been killed.
What terrible thing would have happened to the Arabs had they accepted that 2% of the land area of the Middle East be a place where Jews could live free of murderous persecution, and wherein Arabs and all others could also enjoy full civil liberties. Why did the Arabs want to make a war against that? Why do they continue to make war against that?
It should also be noted that when Israel was attacked by its neighbors in 1967, neither the West Bank nor Gaza were known as Palestinian Territories. The West Bank was part of Jordan (captured from Israel in the '48 war) and the Gaza Strip was part of Egypt. Prior to the '67 war, the people of the West Bank were not clammoring to form a country called Palestine, and the people of the Gaza Strip were not doing so either.
By what precedent does the loser in a war of aggression have claim to the territory he lost? That part of German territory which the Germans lost to the Russians in World War II should maybe be given back to the Germans?
Carter's claim that were the Israelis to abandon their every defensive measure . .. including the security fence . . . the Arabs would then break out in a sudden love-fest of acceptance of Israel flies in the face of reality.
In umpteen places, the Koran calls Jews "apes and pigs." Throughout the 1,400 years of Muslim domination of the region . . whether Arab or Ottoman Turk . . . no Muslim country ever gave legal equality to its Jewish inhabitants. And there were periodic mass slaughters of Jews. In WWII, the Arabs were allied with the Nazis, and actively planned for the extermination of the 1 million Jews living throughout the Middle East.
Right now, the charters of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas both call for the destruction of israel. Israel's Declaration of Independence is still in effect, and still grants Arab citizens of Israel proper 100% equality.
Carter wants you to believe that were the Israelis to give up all their security measures, the Arabs would suddenly rewrite their charters, accept Israel's right to exist and renounce all violence.
Are you stupid enough to believe him?
It shouldn't go unmentioned that the Carter Center has received more than $1 million in donations from the Bin Laden Group. In Saudi Arabia, there are separate roads for Muslims and non-Muslims, and some cities, such as Mecca and Medina, where no non-Muslims are ever permitted. But Israel is, according to Carter, "apartheid." At Mohammed's birth, by the way, Medina was a majority Jewish city. Mohammed and his followers slayed all the Jews there. That's how Medina became a Muslim city.
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Simon & Schuster -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by 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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The former president's ideas are expressed with perfect clarity; his book, of course, represents a personal point of view, but one that is certainly grounded in both knowledge and wisdom."
Following his #1 New York Times bestseller Our Endangered Values, the former president and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize offers a courageous assessment of what must be done to bring permanent peace to Israel with dignity and justice to Palestine.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.