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Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter


Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter

In 1985 I traveled to the United States for a lecture tour. I was then still the co-director of Al Haq the West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, a human rights organization which I helped establish six years earlier.

Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter 1
Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid
by Jimmy Carter
Simon & Schuster , 288 pp.
CLR [rating:5]

Fresh Debate on Israel’s West Bank Policies

In 1985 I traveled to the United States for a lecture tour. I was then still the co-director of Al Haq the West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, a human rights organization which I helped establish six years earlier. My book Occupier’s Law: Israel and the West Bank had just been published. The main theme of the book and my talks was the settlements: the confiscation of land that the Israeli military government was carrying out on a large scale and the effect of implanting Israeli Jews in the midst of a hostile Palestinian population. I had many good legal and political arguments about why the building of settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories was illegal and should cease. I expected that when I put them before American audiences they would immediately understand. I thought I could depend on their sense of justice and fairness and ability to see this obviously disastrous policy that Israel was pursuing.

It was important to address the American public because it was only through US support and funding that Israel was capable of pursuing the highly expensive project of establishing human settlements in often remote areas and connecting them with the necessary infrastructure of roads, water, sewage and electricity When I began my tour there were less than 42,000 Jewish settlers living on the West Bank. The number today, including East Jerusalem, is close to half a million.

Jimmy Carter was the first US President to get a promise from an Israeli leader for a settlement freeze. This was in 1979. Menachem Begin, the Prime Minster who gave that promise, quickly reneged. Carter admits in his important new book that “Perhaps the most serious omission of the Camp David talks was the failure to clarify in writing Begin’s verbal promise concerning the settlement freeze during subsequent peace talks.” This failure proved fatal and seems to haunt the former President. Jimmy Carter’s Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, is a political memoir that is largely about the Israeli settlements.

From the outset of this highly readable book, Carter makes clear that one of the major goals of his life “has been to help ensure a lasting peace for Israelis and others in the Middle East.” His main contribution to this cause was in negotiating the Camp David Accords of 1979. He writes that “both Israel and Egypt had honored the terms of the peace treaty involving the Sinai, but the original substance of the Accords relating to the other occupied territories had been abandoned or modified in vital ways.” He aptly quotes Abba Eban’s remark that “unfortunately, it is clear that Israeli governmental policy is so distant from Camp David that when Likud spokesmen invoke the agreement, they are rather like Casanova invoking the Seventh Commandment.”

In the spring of 1983 Carter confronted Begin the Israeli prime Minster with whom he had negotiated the Camp David Accords four years earlier. He writes: “As he [Begin] sat without looking at me, I explained again why we believed he had not honored a commitment made during the peace negotiations to withdraw Israeli forces and to refrain from building new Israeli settlements in the West Bank…I paused, expecting the prime minister to give his usual strong explanations of Israeli policy. He responded with just a few words in a surprisingly perfunctory manner and made it plain that our conversation should be concluded.”

Beside the verbal commitment to freeze settlements, Israel agreed in the Camp David Accord that “…there should be transitional arrangements for the West Bank and Gaza for a period not exceeding five years. In order to provide full autonomy to the inhabitants, under these arrangements the Israeli military government and its civilian administration will be withdrawn as soon as a self-governing authority has been freely elected by the inhabitants of these areas to replace the existing military government. To negotiate the details of a transitional arrangement, the Government of Jordan will be invited to join the negotiations on the basis of this framework…”

Begin’s government never intended to uphold these undertakings. Instead it was determined to impose its own interpretations of the promises emptying them of any real content. Israel’s interpretation of the Accord in fact became the blueprint of its policies in the Palestinian Occupied Territories and the basis of the Oslo Accords signed fourteen years later.

Between 1979 and 1981, simultaneously with the Camp David autonomy talks, a number of fundamental changes took place in the occupied territories. As it later became clear these were in preparation for the arrangements that were later to be made between Israel and the PLO in the Oslo Accords. They included the speeding up of the establishment of Jewish settlements, the transfer of responsibility over water resources from the military government to the Israeli National Water Carrier, Mekorot, the creation of Jewish Regional and Local Councils in the West Bank applying Israeli laws, and the establishment of a Civilian Administration to take over the responsibilities for the civilian affairs of the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and create a separation between them and the Jewish settlements both territorial and administrative.

These changes were carried out unilaterally by Israel through military orders issued by the Israeli commanders responsible for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The transfer of the functions of the civil administration to the Palestinian Authority established by the Oslo Accords while keeping Jewish settlements under an exclusive Israeli jurisdiction was consolidated by the Agreement between Israel and the PLO fourteen years later. Carter quotes “Prime Minister Rabin emphasizing that the agreement for which he had been honored had avoided the tight restrictions accepted by Menachem Begin at Camp David: ‘Jewish settlements will be placed under an exclusive Israeli jurisdiction; the Autonomy Council will have no authority over them. The forces of the Israeli army will be redeployed in locations determined only by us, unlike the Camp David agreements which mandated a withdrawal of the Israeli army forces. …”

In a later chapter entitled “The Wall as Prison” Carter adds: “There has been a determined and remarkably effective effort to isolate settlers from Palestinians, so that a Jewish family can commute from Jerusalem to their highly subsidized home deep in the West Bank on roads from which others are excluded, without ever coming in contact with any facet of Arab life.” Earlier he had written that “the honeycomb of settlements and their interconnecting conduits effectively divide the West Bank into at least two noncontiguous areas and multiple fragments, often uninhabitable or even unreachable…” This is the very crux of the matter concerning the settlements in the Occupied Territories which unfortunately the Palestinian leadership managed to miss when they negotiated with Israel in Oslo. The Jewish settlements are not confined, isolated enclaves in the midst of the Palestinian territory. It is the other way around: Palestinians are now living in isolated enclaves which are not contiguous. The settlements are integrally connected to Israel.

There was nothing accidental in how matters have developed since the 1979 Camp David Accords. It was specifically in order to defeat and frustrate what Israel had promised the US and Carter at Camp David that plans were quickly drawn up such as the Master Plan for the Development of Settlement in Judea and Samaria 1979-83 which the Likud Government of Menachem Begin adopted. This made clear that Jewish settlements would isolate and fragment Palestinian areas and create contiguous blocs of Jewish settlements connected to Israel. In 1984 a comprehensive Roads Plan (Plan No. 50) was published and gradually implemented. The Accord proved a watershed. After Israel signed it we who were living in the West Bank began to see significant changes in the hills around us. Massive and speedy establishment of settlements, the digging of the hills to make roads and the transformation of the hills which in a few decades exceeded the changes that had taken place in these biblical areas over the past two thousand years.

To anyone who has followed the history of the Occupied Palestinian Territories none of this should come as news. As early as 1984 Meron Benvenisiti published his series of surveys of Israel’s policies, The West Bank Data Project, in which he described in great detail Israeli plans for building settlements, isolating and strangling Palestinian communities. These excellent studies were published by none other than the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington DC. Carter’s significant book while providing the reader with a good insight into the Arab- Israeli conflict does not reveal new unknown material. Why then the huge controversy around his book?

The answer is simple. It is because these facts about Israel and its obstruction of the peace with its neighbors are being said by someone of Carter’s stature who is not easy to dismiss or discredit. It is also because in writing his political memoir Carter is demolishing the Israeli case in America. The position that the lobbyists on behalf of Israel have been arguing for years is that the territories Israel took control over in 1967 are not occupied but disputed. So successful has this been that former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld recently referred to them as “the so-called occupied territories.” The other well circulated misinformation is that it is Israel who has traditionally been seeking peace with the Palestinians. Peace has not been achieved not because of Israel’s settlement drive but because the Palestinians don’t want peace. The cornerstone of Israel’s public relations position over the past six years has been that it was the Palestinians who refused the best offer Israel could make. This only proves that they do not want peace but rather the destruction of the state of Israel. In the chapter entitled, “Bill Clinton’s Peace Efforts,” Carter encloses Prime Minster Edud Barak’s “generous offer” with quotation marks. He proceeds to show why it was not an offer that any Palestinian leader could possibly have accepted because it fell far short of the minimum that would enable the Palestinians to live in a viable state on their land. Someone of Carter’s stature has finally come forth, pointed his finger and said the obvious: “The Emperor is naked.”

Most of the controversy around this book does not seem related to its content but revolves around the use of the word ‘apartheid’ in the title. Are Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians in the occupied territories as bad as those once practiced by the white South African government in South Africa before the fall of the apartheid regime?

From what I hear from South African friends about their experiences of living under that illegal regime, they are worse. Indeed, I concur that Israel’s policies in the occupied territories are sheer madness. All it takes to reach this conclusion is to look at the wall Israel is building mainly in the Palestinian territory (that Carter describes in a separate chapter), and the roads built in Palestinian land which Palestinians are not allowed to use. The Palestinian countryside is being destroyed and communities are strangled and enclosed within high towering walls.

It is simply not possible to settle a foreign population within another country, take its lands, discriminate against it, deprive it of the use of its roads and not be guilty of apartheid. The South African government that invented and practiced the system of Apartheid did not deny the existence of the blacks but offered them a separate lesser status and rights than the whites. Israel in essence denies the national existence of the Palestinians. Those who claim it is possible to build Jewish settlements in their midst without denying them their rights are able to arrive at this strange position only because they deny the very existence of the Palestinian people, the indigenous inhabitants of the land. They accept what is propagated by the right wing forces in Israel that the Palestinians are the creation of the Arab states in enmity with Israel. If Palestinians do not exist then they cannot be discriminated against. Israel cannot be guilty of apartheid against them. The reality is otherwise. Palestinians do exist as a separate nation that is denied its right to self determination.

There is more to Carter’s book than its title. Whether or not apartheid is the best word to describe Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories should not be the main issue. When he used this word Carter knew exactly what he was doing. He was inviting controversy and challenge. He said openly when asked why he chose the title: “I wanted to provoke debate. I wanted to provoke discussion.”

From the point of view of a Palestinian who has suffered the consequence of Israel’s policy of building settlements and seen promises, pressures and governments come and go in Israel and the US, the one constant in life is that more settlements get established and the existing ones are expanded. Thus Carter’s, “provocation” to the American public and government into discussing their blind support of Israel’s criminal behavior towards the Palestinians and their country and stopping their real financial and political support for the illegal settlements, is long overdue. The facts speak for themselves and the effect of the Israeli policy on Palestine and on prospects of peace in the region is disastrous.

In 1985 when I traveled to promote my book about the Jewish settlements, I heard the same arguments everywhere I spoke as if many in the audience were reading from the same script: the settlements are necessary for Israel’s security. Much as I tried to point out how ludicrous this position was by citing the expert opinion of retired Israeli generals who argued the exact opposite, there was no real readiness to listen. Whatever Israeli PR professionals were saying must be true. Now the script has changed. What did not change is the absence of any real debate. Twenty five years later settlements are proving the biggest obstacle to peace and are threatening not only Palestine, but far beyond it. As Carter writes, “The Middle East is perhaps the most volatile region in the world, whose instability is a persistent threat to global peace. It is the incubator of much of the terrorism that is of such great concern to Americans and citizens of other nations.”

The US which as Carter writes “stands almost alone in its undeviating backing of Israel” plays an extremely important role in Israel. He adds that “strong support for peace must come from the US.” So far this is not happening. Provoking debate in the US, however this is achieved, is of extreme importance for future peace in our region. The former US President seems to be succeeding in doing just this. With his well documented book and its provocative title, Carter is working to achieve “one of the major goals of [his] life” as he makes clear at the outset of his book: “to help ensure a lasting peace for Israelis and others in the Middle East.”

Raja Shehadeh is an author and lawyer. He was a founding member of the pioneering human rights organization, Al Haq, the West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists. He was legal advisor to the Peace Negotiations in Washington DC between Israel and the Palestinians and a member of the legal team which argued the case against the Wall at the International Court at the Hague. He has written a number of books on the legal aspects of the occupation. Beyonce Net Worth



  1. Yehuda Draiman

    October 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    NO PALESTINIAN STATE – No land concessions R4.

    Imagine that the various people who settled in the United States for the past 300 years decided one day that they one to parcel the United States into an independent State just for them, would the American public go for it. The Answer is absolutely NO.

    The situation in Israel today is no different. The Arabs there are not Palestinians, there is no such Arab nation as Palestine or Palestinian people.

    Europeans countries today are consisting of numerous people from other countries. Would the Europeans people cede part of their country to set up another State in their midst. The answer is absolutely NO.

    All the Arabs in Israel and surrounding areas are from the various Arab nations, such as Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and other Arab nations.

    Prominent PLO Arab says there are no ‘Palestinians’ and no “Palestine”

    PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein admitted in a March 31, 1977 interview with a Dutch newspaper Trouw.

    “The Palestinian people do not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism. ”

    The Qur’an 17:104 – states the land belongs to the Jewish people

    If the historic documents, comments written by eyewitnesses and declarations by the most authoritative Arab scholars are still not enough, let us quote the most important source for Muslim Arabs:
    “And thereafter we [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd’.”.
    YUSUFALI: And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, “Dwell securely in the land (of promise)”: but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd.
    PICKTHAL: And We said unto the Children of Israel after him: Dwell in the land; but when the promise of the Hereafter cometh to pass We shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various nations.
    SHAKIR: And We said to the Israelites after him: Dwell in the land: and when the promise of the next life shall come to pass, we will bring you both together in judgment.
    – Qur’an 17:104 –
    Any sincere Muslim must recognize the Land they call “Palestine” as the Jewish Homeland, according to the book considered by Muslims to be the most sacred word and Allah’s ultimate revelation.

    Sequence of historical events, agreements and a non-broken series of treaties and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title to the city of Jerusalem and the rest of Israel totaling approximately 45,000 square miles, as mandated by the League of Nations in July of 1922. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I – Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan – agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is now the Land of Israel. (You might as well break apart Syria which was mandated at the same time).

    Jay Draiman.

    20 Years of Research Reveals Jerusalem Belongs to Jews

    by Hillel Fendel

    ( Jacques Gauthier, a non-Jewish Canadian lawyer who spent 20 years researching the legal status of Jerusalem, has concluded: “Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, by international law.”.

    Gauthier has written a doctoral dissertation on the topic of Jerusalem and its legal history, based on international treaties and resolutions of the past 90 years. The dissertation runs some 1,300 pages, with 3,000 footnotes. Gauthier had to present his thesis to a world-famous Jewish historian and two leading international lawyers – the Jewish one of whom has represented the Palestinian Authority on numerous occasions.

    Gauthier’s main point, as summarized by Israpundit editor Ted Belman, is that a non-broken series of treaties and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title to the city of Jerusalem. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I – Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan – agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is now the Land of Israel.

    We must unleash the wrath of G-D against the enemies of Israel and those collaborating with the enemy.

  2. Yehuda Draiman

    January 27, 2008 at 4:04 am

    The Land of Israel and its uncontested Capital Jerusalem

    The Qur’an 17:104 – states the land belongs to the Jewish people.

    If the historic documents, comments written by eyewitnesses and declarations by the most authoritative Arab scholars are still not enough, let us quote the most important source for Muslim Arabs:
    “And thereafter we [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd’.”.
    YUSUFALI: And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, “Dwell securely in the land (of promise)”: but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd.
    PICKTHAL: And We said unto the Children of Israel after him: Dwell in the land; but when the promise of the Hereafter cometh to pass We shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various nations.
    SHAKIR: And We said to the Israelites after him: Dwell in the land: and when the promise of the next life shall come to pass, we will bring you both together in judgment.
    – Qur’an 17:104 –
    Any sincere Muslim must recognize the Land they call “Palestine” as the Jewish Homeland, according to the book considered by Muslims to be the most sacred word and Allah’s ultimate revelation.

    “The birthplace of the Jewish people is the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael). There, a significant part of the nation’s long history was enacted, of which the first thousand years are recorded in the Bible; there, its cultural, religious and national identity was formed; and there, its physical presence has been maintained through the centuries, even after the majority was forced into exile. During the many years of dispersion, the Jewish people never severed nor forgot its bond with the Land. With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish independence, lost two thousand years earlier, was renewed.”
    If people of any nation were exiled to other country’s and than years later were able to reclaim their country, the world population as a whole would support such action and would not consider giving a piece of the country to the foreigners who are residing there, and under no circumstances would they consider parceling portions of the county to be set up as a separate State for the foreigners.
    Why should anyone in the world consider doing this very same action with the land of Israel which is a Jewish land for thousands of years?
    The Arabs living in the land of Israel have come from the surrounding Arab countries; they have no right whatsoever to any part of the land of Israel.
    In the past hundred years many Jews were ejected from Arab countries surrounding the land of Israel, their property taken and their homes and lands taken over.
    Let those Arabs who want to Claim the land of Israel as theirs go to those Arab countries and the homes and lands that the Jews were occupying.
    Any part of the land of Israel is not occupied territory; it is legally a Jewish land and has been for thousands of years, no Arab has any right to claim any rights to the land of Israel. The surrounding Arab countries compose of over 100 million people and millions of square miles, why do they have to bother little Israel with its territory about the size of the State of New Jersey.
    Maybe the world should consider giving European countries or parts to the Italians, since the Romans occupied it for many years.

    If I forget thee, O Jerusalem,
    may my right hand forget its cunning.
    May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,
    if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.
    (Psalms 137:5-6)

    Jerusalem, the uncontested and undivided capital of Israel, is located in the heart of the country, nestled among the Judean Hills. The city’s ancient stones, imbued with millennia of history, and its numerous historical sites, shrines and places of worship attest to its meaning for Jews.

    Jerusalem the “eternal and undivided capital” of the Jewish people,

    Jerusalem is — and must remain — the uncontested, undivided capital of Israel.

    Jerusalem is the only city that can prove the validity of Israeli-Jewish existence. No one should question Jewish historic claim and affinity to Jerusalem which dates back the Canaanite period (3000-1200 BCE). The re-capture of the old city in 1967 was widely seen by the Israelis as nothing less than the renewal of God’s covenant with the Jews. Jerusalem represents their past and present, a source of religious and cultural continuity without which Israel’s very existence could unravel. The hope of returning to Jerusalem has sustained the Jews throughout their dispersion, and centuries of exile have been unable to extinguish it.

    Abraham, Isaac and Jacobs resided in the land of Israel and Jerusalem from the year 1948 from Creation (circa 1800 BCE).
    King David made Jerusalem the capital of his kingdom, as well as the religious center of the Jewish people, in 1003 BCE. Some forty years later, his son Solomon built the Temple (the religious and national center of the people of Israel) and transformed the city into the prosperous capital of an empire extending from the Euphrates to Egypt.
    The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem in 586 BCE, destroyed the Temple, and exiled the people. Fifty years later, when Babylon was conquered by the Persians, King Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to their homeland and granted them autonomy. They built a Second Temple on the site of the First, and rebuilt the city and its walls.
    Alexander the Great conquered Jerusalem in 332 BCE. After his death the city was ruled by the Ptolemies of Egypt and then by the Seleucids of Syria. The Hellenization of the city reached its peak under the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV; the desecration of the Temple and attempts to suppress Jewish religious identity resulted in a revolt.
    Led by Judah Maccabee, the Jews defeated the Seleucids, rededicated the Temple (164 BCE), and re-established Jewish independence under the Hasmonean dynasty, which lasted for more than a hundred years, until Pompey imposed Roman rule on Jerusalem. King Herod the Idumean, who was installed as ruler of Judah by the Romans (37 – 4 BCE), established cultural institutions in Jerusalem, erected magnificent public buildings and refashioned the Temple into an edifice of splendor.
    Jewish revolt against Rome broke out in 66 CE, as Roman rule after Herod’s death became increasingly oppressive. For a few years Jerusalem was free of foreign rule, until, in 70 CE, Roman legions under Titus conquered the city and destroyed the Temple. Jewish independence was briefly restored during the Bar Kochba revolt (132-135), but again the Romans prevailed. Jews were forbidden to enter the city, which was renamed Aelia Capitolina and rebuilt along the lines of a Roman city.
    For the next century and a half, Jerusalem was a small provincial town. This changed radically when the Byzantine Emperor Constantine transformed Jerusalem into a Christian center. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher (335) was the first of numerous grandiose structures built in the City.
    Muslim armies invaded the country in 634, and four years later Caliph Omar captured Jerusalem. Only during the reign of Abdul Malik, who built the Dome of the Rock (691), did Jerusalem briefly become the seat of a caliph. The century-long rule of the Umayvad Dynasty from Damascus was succeeded in 750 by the Abbasids from Baghdad, and with them Jerusalem began to decline.
    The Crusaders conquered Jerusalem in 1099, massacred its Jewish and Muslim inhabitants, and established the city as the capital of the Crusader Kingdom. Under the Crusaders, synagogues were destroyed, old churches were rebuilt and many mosques were turned into Christian shrines. Crusader rule over Jerusalem ended in 1187, when the city fell to Saladin the Kurd.
    The Mamluks, a military feudal aristocracy from Egypt, ruled Jerusalem from 1250. They constructed numerous graceful buildings, but treated the city solely as a Muslim theological center and ruined its economy through neglect and crippling taxes.
    The Ottoman Turks, whose rule lasted for four centuries, conquered Jerusalem in 1517. Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilt the city walls (1537), constructed the Sultan’s Pool, and placed public fountains throughout the city. After his death. The central authorities in Constantinople took little interest in Jerusalem. During the 17th and 18th centuries Jerusalem sunk to one of its lowest ebbs.
    Jerusalem began to thrive once more in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Growing numbers of Jews returning to their land, waning Ottoman power and revitalized European interest in the Holy Land led to renewed development of Jerusalem.
    The British army led by General Allenby conquered Jerusalem in 1917. From 1922 to 1948 Jerusalem was the administrative seat of the British authorities in the Land of Israel (Palestine), which had been entrusted to Great Britain by the League of Nations following the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. The city developed rapidly, growing westward into what became known as the “New City.”
    Upon termination of the British Mandate on May 14, 1948, and in accordance with the UN resolution of November 29, 1947, Israel proclaimed its independence, with Jerusalem as its capital. Opposing its establishment, the Arab countries launched an all-out assault on the new re-established state, resulting in the 1948-49 War of Independence. The armistice lines drawn at the end of the war divided Jerusalem into two, with Jordan occupying the Old City and areas to the north and south, and Israel retaining the western and southern parts of the city.
    Jerusalem was reunited in June 1967, as a result of a war in which the Jordanians attempted to seize the western section of the city. The Jewish Quarter of the Old City, destroyed under Jordanian rule, has been restored, and Israeli citizens are again able to visit their holy places, which had been denied them during the years 1948-1967.
    Conclusion, the land of Israel and Jerusalem as its undivided capital for the Jewish people is a historical fact for thousands of years and shall remain that way for eternity.

    Rising in defense of our security, our liberty and our values.

    Yehuda Draiman

    The true basis for a lasting peace
    A far-sighted Arab-Jewish agreement was arrived at 85 years ago but was never fully implemented. This still-legal agreement provides the basis for a solution today and should become widely publicized and supported.
    In 1919, following the end of World War I, an international Paris Peace Conference was convened by the victorious Allies to settle international questions. Delegations attended from around the world including an official Arab and Zionist delegation. The Arab delegation was led by Emir Feisal I, who agreed that the entire Palestine territory of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 would become the Jewish national home and expressed that position in separate letters to Zionist leaders Dr. Chaim Weizmann and Felix Frankfurter. In return for Arab support the Zionists promised economic and technical assistance to the local Arabs and the Allied powers agreed to grant eventual sovereignty to many of the Arab peoples in the region that were previously under control of the former Turkish Ottoman Empire.
    This conference, and a subsequent one at San Remo Italy, amicably settled the issues among the parties with voluntary, legally binding, international agreements. In 1922 the League of Nations assigned Britain as the Mandatory to faithfully carry out these agreements. It was British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill who unilaterally divided Mandatory Palestine into an exclusively Arab sector (Trans Jordan) and a Jewish sector. The Arabs received 76% of the original territory, comprising 35,000 square miles, located east of the Jordan River. That left the Jewish sector with only 10,000 square miles out of their original 45,000 square miles, which was still less than 1% of the combined Arab areas of 5 million square miles. That remaining Jewish sector is today contested with the ‘Palestinians’ claiming the ‘West Bank’ and Gaza to create, in effect, a second Palestinian state. (Jordan is mostly Palestinian.) It was the British, in 1919, who began to undermine their own Mandate and to instigate the Arabs against Jews.
    “Under this settlement, the whole of Palestine on both sides of the Jordan was reserved exclusively for the Jewish People as the Jewish National Home, in recognition of their historical connection with that country, dating from the Patriarchal Period. … The Palestine aspect of the global settlement was recorded in three basic documents that led to the founding of the modern State of Israel: … The British Government repudiated the solemn obligation it undertook to develop Palestine gradually into an independent Jewish state. … The US aided and abetted the British betrayal of the Jewish People by its abject failure to act decisively against the 1939 White Paper despite its own legal obligation to do so under the 1924 treaty. The UN Partition Resolution of November 29, 1947 illegally recommended the restriction of Jewish legal rights to a truncated part of Palestine. … Despite all the subversive actions to smother and destroy Jewish legal rights and title of sovereignty to the entire Land of Israel, they still remain in full force by virtue of the Principle of Acquired Rights and the doctrine of Estoppel that apply in all legal systems of the democratic world.”
    It has been argued, by scholars of international law, that the agreements of the international Paris Peace Conference of 1919, and their formal assignment to Britain as the Mandatory by the League of Nations, continue to be legally binding on all parties under international law. In addition to Jewish legal claims based on the 1922 law a case can be made that it is also morally binding and that England is guilty of bad faith and for having engaged in deliberate sabotage of that agreement. A most promising beginning for Arab-Jewish relations in the Middle East was deliberately undermined by England and this part of history must be brought to bear upon the present conflict. Israel has a right to make full land claims under that 1922 Mandate by the League of Nations. The Arabs should also be made aware that it was England that instigated them against the Jews in pursuit of British imperial interests and to the disadvantage of both Arabs and Jews.
    Significantly, Arab support for a Jewish state was clearly manifested at the Paris Peace conference of 1919. This should also be part of the legally binding Arab obligations to acceptance of a Jewish state with full rights. Emir Feisal I, son of Hussein, Sheriff of Mecca led the Arab delegation to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Excerpts of two letters from Emir Feisal to Zionist leaders Dr. Chaim Weizmann and to Felix Frankfurter indicate their friendly relations and high hopes for Jewish – Arab cooperation. Also note in the following text the term ‘Palestine’ clearly refers to the Jewish national home and not to any Arab entity or people.
    From Emir Feisal to Dr. Weizmann:
    “His Royal Highness the Emir Feisal, representing and acting on behalf of the Arab Kingdom of hedjaz, and Dr. Chaim Weizmann, representing and acting on behalf of the Zionist Organization, mindful of the racial kinship and ancient bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish People, and realising that the surest means of working out the consummation of their national aspirations is through the closest possible collaboration in the development of the Arab State and Palestine, and being desirous further of confirming the good understanding which exists between them, have agreed upon the following Articles:” … Article IV: “All necessary measures shall be taken to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale, and as quickly as possible to settle Jewish immigrants upon the land through closer settlements and intensive cultivation of the soil. In taking such measures the Arab peasant and tenant farmers shall be protected in their rights, and shall be assisted in forwarding their economic development.”
    From Emir Feisal to Felix Frankfurter:
    “… We feel that the Arabs and Jews are cousins in race, having suffered similar oppressions at the hands of the powers stronger than themselves, and by a happy coincidence have been able to take the first step towards the attainment of their national ideals together.” “We Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organization to the Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through: we wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.” …. “People less informed and less responsible than our leaders and yours, ignoring the need for cooperation of the Arabs and the Zionists have been trying to exploit the local difficulties that must necessarily arise in Palestine in the early stages of our movements. Some of them have, I am afraid, misrepresented your aims to the Arab peasantry, and our aims to the Jewish peasantry, with the result that interested parties have been able to make capital our of what they call our differences. …” (To read full text go to and
    What remains now is for all parties to courageously and boldly cast off the mindless schemes of Oslo and the Road Map and return to the sanity and statesmanship of the 1919 agreement. Those Arabs who have an acquired identity as ‘Palestinian’ should be given a far better alternative option than to be buried alive inside a non-viable illegal micro-state carved out of the Israeli heartland.
    The Win-Win solution
    Contrary to popular belief, the Arab-Israeli conflict has a reasonable solution. An orderly resettlement elsewhere of the so-called Palestinian Arabs would solve this long-standing ‘intractable’ problem. To propose this solution today elicits automatic rejection by almost everyone and perhaps even anger and hostility at its very mention (although attitudes may finally be changing). This is because the minds of many have been so thoroughly conditioned, with layer upon layer of repeated falsehoods, such that open-minded reconsideration is almost impossible. But resettlement could become the basis of a win-win solution for both sides.
    For example Saudi Arabia comprises some 750,000 square miles. It has a very low population density of only 33 per square mile vs. 1,000 for Israel including the territories. A modest 4% of Saudi Arabia, some 30,000 square miles, should be set aside for a new Palestinian state. That state would be 13 times the size of the present Palestinian area proposed under the Road Map and would now have ample space for natural growth. All of the intractable problems facing both Jews and Arabs, arising under the present schemes, would be eliminated. The Palestinians could now construct their own state with full political independence, self-rule and full dignity. The sources of friction between them and Israel would now be removed along with all the immense human and material costs associated with the current conflict.
    Palestinians could begin using their legitimate ‘right of return’ to exit the territories, and the refugee camps, and migrate back to their ancestral home in Arabia and thereby also be closer to Mecca and Medina. A fraction of the countless billions spent on weapons by the Arab governments could fund the cost of establishing new settlements for the Palestinians. Israel would be free of Arabs, and the Palestinians would be free of Israel. The deep wounds of both peoples would now have a chance to heal.
    In early 2004 a poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion shows 37% willing to emigrate in return for a home, a job and $250,000. And this is before a far better deal has been offered, including true self-rule, peace and security, plus their own ample territory. What if ‘Palestinians’ were offered a homeland territory, drawn from lands donated by one of the more spacious Arab countries, one expressing continuous concern, love for, and outrage at the treatment of these very same folk?
    Israeli Arabs could play a constructive role in this because of their higher level of education and their experience living as full citizens in democratic Israel. They would become the managerial and entrepreneurial class and provide valuable assistance and leadership for fellow Palestinians who were stagnating in refugee camps inside other Arab countries. This crime was committed by their own brother Arabs, who refused to allow them to settle.
    Once the migration starts toward a far better future the movement could well accelerate voluntarily because the first ones to relocate would receive the best ‘ground floor’ opportunities and the last ones to move would get what remains. Today there are tens of millions of people on the move around the world in search of better living conditions, so relocation is a long established and viable option for everyone.
    Another important advantage is that Israeli-Palestinian interaction would be limited to the selling of Arab homes in the territories and an orderly exit. No more frustratingly complex agreements as with Oslo where Israel honors all commitments and Arabs violate all commitments, and even U.S. assurances often prove worthless. The less need for Israel to depend on agreements with Arabs, Europeans and even Americans the better.
    Part of the problem are those Arab governments who deliberately keep the Israel-Palestinian conflict alive to divert attention from their own corrupt regimes. Also, western governments still pander to their corrupt Arab clients for purely expedient reasons. But new progressive voices are emerging among Arab intellectuals and even among some Moslem clerics that call for Arab societal reform, and who also recognize Jewish rights in the land of Israel. These voices need to be encouraged and enlisted in this quest for sanity.
    What is also needed is Saudi cooperation and active support. The Saudis have long been responsible for promoting anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, and anti-American hatred along with funding terror and the teaching of a hateful form of Islam. With their ‘royal’ family of thousands of princes living lavishly, off of oil income and the labor of foreign workers, they are a cesspool of corruption that even Osama bin Laden finds offensive.
    It is time to demand that the Saudis make a major contribution to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. They caused much of the problem and they must now assist with the solution. It is time for the Bush administration to make the Saudis ‘an offer they can’t refuse’ and have them realize they have a direct interest in providing ‘land for peace’.
    For too long many people have labored under a collective mindset resembling a bad dream where big lies become entrenched wisdom and truth is constantly strangled. Unless we change direction there will be dire consequences extending well beyond the peoples of the region. Those who still have minds and morals intact now have an obligation to think clearly and with sanity and support this approach to finally resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict.
    The mandates for Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine were assigned by the Supreme Court of the League of Nations at its San Remo meeting in April 1920. Negotiations between Great Britain and the United States with regard to the Palestine mandate were successfully concluded in May 1922, and approved by the Council of the League of Nations in July 1922. The mandates for Palestine and Syria came into force simultaneously on September 29, 1922. In this document, the League of Nations recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and the “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”

  3. clarence puckett

    November 7, 2007 at 2:42 am

    Jimmy Carter is a liberal liar, he makes those people out to
    be victims while their leadership past and present steal all
    the funds we and europe send them and bank it for themselves
    and buy weapons to destroy Israel with. Arafat was a billionaire and so is Abbas and Arafat’s wife is paid 22 million dollars a year for life, so set the story straight
    and quit believing the worst President we have ever had. He
    ought to go over there and live if he thinks their cause is so worthy, let their arab brethern[oil rich] support them and they can parade in the streets all they want to with their rifles in the air. Peace is not what they want, they want Israel’s destruction and it is never going to happen.
    Carter must have the curse of God on him for his attitude
    toward the jews. Genesis 12:3

  4. Howard

    May 29, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Read Carter’s book and then read Alan Dershowitz’s book..then draw your conclusions.

  5. Gilbert

    May 29, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    American’s are told one side and one side only of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict-guess which side. There are always two or more sides to any story. If we want to understand the plight of the Palestinian people we must read their history without bias and let their side give us a fuller and more honest picture of what is really happening to them.

    How can anyone who has thoroughly researched both views of the conflict deny that the Palestinian people are the victims here. Read Rashid Khaladi’s works on this subject, especially “The Iron Cage.”

    I am not justifying the violence and terror inflicted by the radicals on the Palestinians side. But look at the violence and terrorism that has been directed and accomplished towards the Palestinian people. There aren’t to many nations in the history of the world that have been treated so unfairly.

    America needs to wake up and understand it is in our best interest to no longer unilaterally support Israel as they confiscate more and more land from the Palestinians. We need equity and fairness in our dealings in order to bring peace and resolution to this conflict. Perhaps then the problem of terrorism, especially against our country, will diminish.

  6. Dr. Randall Norris, Ph.D.

    May 29, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    One doesn’t even have to read Carter’s book to know that the massacres in Shabra and Shatilla (sp?) can be directly attributed to Israel, that the six year old boy trying to hide beneath his father was killed after repeated attempts by IDF forces, and that numerous civilian casualties were caused in Lebanon by indiscriminate Israeli bombing. These images clearly demonstrate who is the oppressor and who is the oppressed. It is unfortunate that the US government has chosen to cave in to American political interests. Carter is being condemned not because his account was “wrong”, but because it doesn’t follow the “party line” coming out of Washington or the American Jewish community. I applaud his efforts to bring peace to a troubled region.

  7. HarmonYA

    May 29, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Thank to Mr. Carter. His book has provided a valuale history and an insight to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. For so long I (like many other Americans) have thought the Palestinians are the ones that provoked the conflict and did not want peace (for this I would say the American Media and government did a good job to mislead the country, the same way they did for the war in Iraq). My view has totally changed after reading this book and my friends and family who live in Europe are now happy because there will be no more disagreement among us when this subject is brought up.
    As an American, I would like to thank the former US president, Mr. Carter, for his courage to bring the truth to the American people.

  8. Michael Froman

    May 29, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan gave Carter 2.5 Million Dollars(that we know of) to become part of the Islamist “Spin Machine” and this is the fruit of that financial seed.

    Pure rubbish..

  9. Richard

    May 29, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    I’m 67. In the past, I always thought of the Jews in terms of justice and mercy. In 1973 I saw what was happening in Palestine and changed my mind.

    Carter’s book confirms my view, developed over the past 30 years that
    the holocaust taught the Jews nothing except blind, wild hatred and a passion for inflicting sorrow. They have become the new
    They are too intelligent to be unaware of the cauldron of trouble brewing in their backyard…and thus all over the world. Intelligent, yes, but stony hearted, ready to submit mankind to nuclear war if only to thumb their noses at the arab dogs. They find a thousand
    reasons to justify their inhuman campaign and ten thousand to disparage anyone who objects.

    Sadly, Carter has it exactly right. I know Jews who agree with him, but not many.

    What happened to the people of justice and mercy who used to be jealous of quietly and nobly doing what’s right ?

  10. Fred Minteer

    May 29, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    It’s about time we begin to hear the truth of both sides in this endless conflict

  11. anonymous

    May 29, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Carter’s book is full of inaccuracies and distortions of fact designed to perpetuate the Palestinian victimhood complex. This review is just a bunch of whining. You could have had your own country 60 years ago. You chose, instead, to devote yourselves to the destruction of Israel. Please detail just three positive accomplishments that have resulted from all of the billions of dollars the Palestinians have received in aid from the Arab countries and the West over the years. Stop complaining, get to work building a country based on progress and peace with its neighbors, and I guarantee that Israel will take down the wall and be an enduring partner with you and your people and your country.

  12. Rex Johnson

    May 29, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    I tend not to take stock in anonymous comments about “whining”, and I seriously doubt that Carter’s book has any hidden design.

  13. anonymous

    May 29, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Now that it is clear that Carter took millions of dollars from the Saudi’s, Can anyone believe in the purity of his motives. Additionally the loss of formerly loyal staff further sullies his repurtation? Has he succumbed to senility?


    May 29, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    To say that Jimmy Carter’s book is factually inaccurate is a gross understatement. His assertions of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians and Israel’s “intransigence” in all peace making efforts are predicated on Carter’s skewed and subjective personal opinions, but not fact. He is a man who is seething with anger that his political career came to a demise after one term as president, and blames it on Israel for not acquiescing to his pressure to relinquish territory and to make other major concessions to the Arabs. There is no question that Carter couldn’t manipulate Menachem Begin and use him as a pawn to garner his place in history as the “great peace maker” in the Middle East. The fact that Carter’s book lacks any footnotes and scholarly references leads the reader to believe that this book’s premise is based entirely on Carter’s personal agenda. The Arab propogandists of the world must be thrilled. A book written by an ex-President that touts their lies and distortions, disguised as an intellectual treatise, is something money can’t buy.

  15. Serge Oberoi

    May 29, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    In his book titled Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, Jimmy Carter speaks from his heart and makes a passionate plea to dissuade Israel from its current course of occupation and subjugation.

    The book is a clear warning that Palestine situation has the real potential of spiralling out of control and becoming a major Middle East conflict. While I understand the need for Israelis to feel secure, seizing and annexing land that rightfully belongs to Palestinians cannot achieve this security. Israel?s policies and actions have demonstrated lack of sincerity and fairness in settling the Palestinian dispute. As is evident on the ground, Israel continues to build more and more illegal settlements on the occupied soil while masquerading as honest broker.

    I hope Israel recognizes that its military adventures alone will not overcome the hatred it has created throughout the Muslim world and among others who despise intolerance, prejudice and injustice on the basis of race and religion. No amount of barbed wires and concrete walls will make Israel safe and free from its own demons while it denies the basic freedom to fellow human beings. Israel must stop spreading disinformation about its security concerns as pretext to grab land illegally and pull back to legitimate pre-1967 boarders. No one believes that stone throwing Palestinian children pose a real threat to world?s forth-strongest military power.

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