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Jimmy Carter: Support The Palestinian Unity Government

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Purveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 12:40 PM
Original message
Jimmy Carter: Support The Palestinian Unity Government
This is a decisive moment. Under the auspices of the Egyptian government, Palestines two major political movements Fatah and Hamas are signing a reconciliation agreement on Wednesday that will permit both to contest elections for the presidency and legislature within a year. If the United States and the international community support this effort, they can help Palestinian democracy and establish the basis for a unified Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that can make a secure peace with Israel. If they remain aloof or undermine the agreement, the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory may deteriorate with a new round of violence against Israel. Support for the interim government is critical, and the United States needs to take the lead.

This accord should be viewed as a Palestinian contribution to the Arab awakening, as well as a deep wish to heal internal divisions. Both sides understand that their goal of an independent Palestinian state cannot be achieved if they remain divided. The agreement also signals the growing importance of an emerging Egyptian democracy. Acting as an honest broker, the interim Egyptian government coaxed both sides to agreement by merging the October 2009 Cairo Accord that Fatah signed with additions that respond to Hamass reservations.

The accord commits both sides to consensus appointments of an election commission and electoral court. I have observed three elections in the Palestinian territory, and these institutions have already administered elections that all international observers found to be free, fair, honest and free of violence.

The two parties also pledge to appoint a unity government of technocrats i.e., neither Fatah nor Hamas. Security will be overseen by a committee set up by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), and Egypt will assist.

MORE...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/support-the-pale...
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. Carter: "Israel is a wonderful democracy with equal treatment of all citizens"
Always good to have an opportunity to share quotes from former President Carter.

I think he is right in this op-ed by the way when he says that the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory may deteriorate with a new round of violence against Israel.
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Purveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Jimmy Carter: Israel's 'apartheid' policies worse than South Africa's
As long as we are "sharing comments" from the former President here is one of my favorites.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. That is not a quote
He has never said that.
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
5.  snip* Carter's comments were broadcast on Israel Radio,
which played a tape of an interview with the ex-president, but did not specify to whom Carter was speaking. But has made similar remarks in recent interviews, such as one to CBC television.

"When Israel does occupy this territory deep within the West Bank, and connects the 200-or-so settlements with each other, with a road, and then prohibits the Palestinians from using that road, or in many cases even crossing the road, this perpetrates even worse instances of apartness, or apartheid, than we witnessed even in South Africa."

Carter said his new book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" was meant to spark U.S. discussion of Israeli policies. "The hope is that my book will at least stimulate a debate, which has not existed in this country. There's never been any debate on this issue, of any significance."

The book has sparked strong criticism from Jewish figures in the United States. Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, has said that some comments from the former president border on anti-Semitism.

"When you think about the charge that he has made that the Jewish people control the means of communication, it is odious," Foxman was quoted as saying last week. "If the Jews controlled the media, how come he is traveling around the country speaking about this book on talk shows?"

Carter has rejected the criticism of the book and its use of the word apartheid.

"I feel completely at ease," said Carter, about his commitment to the book, which accuses Israel of oppressing Palestinians. "I am not running for office. And I have Secret Service protection."

"The greatest commitment in my life has been trying to bring peace to Israel," Carter told the Atlanta Press Club last week.

"Israel will never have peace until they agree to withdraw ."

http://www.haaretz.com/news/jimmy-carter-israel-s-apart...





More here: Snip* 'Apartheid' questioned

Jewish groups have launched petitions criticizing Carter's use of the word "apartheid" the system of legal racial separation once used in South Africa to describe Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

"There is in many ways a much more serious deprivation of human rights among the Palestinians because of this ill-advised policy than even there was in South Africa," he told CBC News.

"I deplore the Palestinian suicide bombings as much or more than anything than I do what Israel has done against the Palestinian people. It's horrible on both sides and should be eliminated. But you have to look at the facts."

He said that by the time Hamas was elected in January, the Palestinian authority had already been brought to bankruptcy and couldn't pay police officers, firefighters and government employees.

Carter also said the Israeli response to the capturing of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah last summer was "excessive beyond what was needed."

Carter, who has led efforts to monitor several elections in the Palestinian Authority since leaving office, said bringing peace to the Middle East is the most important commitment in his public life.

His top-selling book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, has been criticized by pro-Israel groups and led to the resignation, announced this week, of Kenneth Stein, a Carter Center fellow and a longtime Carter adviser.

Carter's latest book has drawn stern rebukes from current Democratic leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean.

"With all due respect to former president Carter, he does not speak for the Democratic party on Israel," Pelosi said in a statement.

Carter, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, said he intended the book to provoke debate on Israeli policy that has been stifled by the news media and others, who have been "almost unanimously silent," and lamented the lack of debate over Israeli policy in the U.S.

"It's almost a universal silence concerning anything that might be critical of current policies of the Israeli government," he said.

The book follows the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, starting with Carter's 1977-1980 presidency and the Camp David peace accord he negotiated between Israel and Egypt.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2006/12/08/carter-i...
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Yes, exactly
So he did not say what was passed off as a "quote" above.

He has definitely been critical of Israeli policy in the West Bank, just as he has praised Israeli policy within Israel.
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I believe his meaning is clear regarding apartheid:
"When Israel does occupy this territory deep within the West Bank, and connects the 200-or-so settlements with each other, with a road, and then prohibits the Palestinians from using that road, or in many cases even crossing the road, this perpetrates even worse instances of apartness, or apartheid, than we witnessed even in South Africa."

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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Well, in any case, I share his concerns that this current agreement could lead to violence
Specifically these remarks, and I quote:

"...the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory may deteriorate with a new round of violence against Israel."

I'm sure no one wants to see that happen, right?
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. His opinion as to why that might happen is stated in full, I believe here:
"If the United States and the international community support this effort, they can help Palestinian democracy and establish the basis for a unified Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that can make a secure peace with Israel. If they remain aloof or undermine the agreement, the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory may deteriorate with a new round of violence against Israel. Support for the interim government is critical, and the United States needs to take the lead."

Meaning, IF the U.S. and the international community do not support this effort and remain aloof or undermine
the agreement then the situation may deteriorate with a new round of violence against Israel.

Carter, imo, is stressing violence can be avoided if those specific players take the advice he is giving. I am not aware
that anyone wants to see more violence, but we'll see what the role the U.S. will serve here..this will give you a better
idea of what level of commitment they are willing to make in being an honest broker in the peace process.

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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Hamas leader: "Our real battle is with Israel, not the Palestinian people"
That's from Khaled Meshal.

I guess we'll just have to see how it all plays out.
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. You understand your interpretation of what Carter meant as to why
there might be violence then, ok.

From you: "I share his concerns that this current agreement could lead to violence."


He believes the opposite, without the agreement there may be violence directed at Israel...that
is all I was trying to clarify for you. I take it you do not support the unity agreement, I doubt
the U.S. will either, unfortunately.

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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 03:24 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Yes, exactly
He says that there will be violence against Israel if this unity agreement is not accepted - and clearly it isn't.

Have you not seen Netanyahu's remarks on the subject?
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Carter is directing his suggestion to the U.S. and the international community.
It is obvious he is well aware of the PM's thoughts on the unity agreement..thus his plea.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. No kidding
Edited on Thu May-05-11 09:48 AM by oberliner
Israel doesn't really worry too much about the international community.

And the US, I very much doubt will heed these instructions.
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Good, as it seemed you were unsure who Carter was addressing.n/t
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. The statement is crystal clear
And I share his concern about potential violence against Israelis.
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Do you honestly think Hamas is interested in a "secure peace with Israel"?
Further, do you believe a Rabin led Israeli government, or something even more dovish, could ever negotiate a genuine peace with Hamas?

Seriously?
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. From the OP:
"Many Israelis say that as long as the Palestinians are divided, there is no partner for peace. But at the same time, they refuse to accept a unity government. In Cairo this week, the Palestinians are choosing unity. It is a fragile unity, but the Quartet should work with them to make it secure and peaceful enough to jump-start final-status negotiations with Israel."


Yes, they are choosing unity, so we'll see.


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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
13. Has Carter opined yet on Egypt possibly reneging on his 1979 CD accord?
Edited on Wed May-04-11 04:11 PM by shira
It's not like there's no relationship between the Egypt/Israel deal and a future Palestine/Israel accord.

If Egypt can try to renegotiate the terms or renege, then Palestine can...

:shrug:
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