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Keep hoping (Al-Ahram Weekly)

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-24-08 11:41 PM
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Keep hoping (Al-Ahram Weekly)
By Salama A Salama

Few American politicians have the integrity and courage to break the mould. Carter is one of those. Known for his fairness regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, the former president came to the region to do some serious talking. Paying little heed to the blockade the US administration has imposed on Hamas -- a blockade in which Europeans and some Arabs took part, by the way -- Carter went ahead and met leading Hamas figures, including Damascus-based Hamas head Khaled Meshaal.

Carter's point is that Israel must talk to Hamas if peace is to be attained. Unless all factions are included in negotiations, it will be impossible to make a deal hold -- so much he has made clear. The former president sat down with Hamas leaders and urged them to stop firing rockets at Israeli towns. And he met the Israelis and told them to stop targeted killings, attacks on civilians, and practices of collective punishment.

Carter has always been consistent in his campaign for peace, democracy and human rights. Clinton made some effort too, but that came to nothing. As for Bush, he single-handedly undermined any hope for just peace in the region ...

Carter is more knowledgeable about American policy than any of our leaders. And he is not thrilled with the talks between Israel and Ramallah, now proceeding under US tutelage. In his opinion, the US is unlikely to press Israel into conceding to an acceptable deal in the foreseeable future. But we keep hoping. We just keep hoping.
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