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Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid [Abridged] [Hardcover]

Jimmy Carter
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Oct 2006
President Carter, who was able to negotiate peace between Israel and Egypt, has remained deeply involved in Middle East affairs since leaving the White House. He has stayed in touch with the major players from all sides in the conflict and has made numerous trips to the Holy Land, most recently as an observer in the Palestinian elections of 2006. In this book President Carter shares his intimate knowledge of the history of the Middle East and his personal experiences of the principal actors, and he addresses sensitive political issues many British and American officials shy from. Palestine is a challenging and provocative book. Pulling no punches, Carter prescribes steps that must be taken for the two states to share the Holy Land without a system of apartheid or the constant fear of terrorism.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (a); Abridged edition (31 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743563484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743563482
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Amazon Review

The crowning achievement of Jimmy Carter's presidency was the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt, and he has continued his public and private diplomacy ever since, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his decades of work for peace, human rights, and international development. He has been a tireless author since then as well, writing bestselling books on his childhood, his faith, and American history and politics, but in Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, he has returned to the Middle East and to the question of Israel's peace with its neighbors--in particular, how Israeli sovereignty and security can coexist permanently and peacefully with Palestinian nationhood.

It's a rare honor to ask questions of a former president, and we are grateful that President Carter was able to take the time in between his work with his wife, Rosalynn, for the Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity and his many writing projects to speak with us about his hopes for the region and his thoughts on the book.

A big thank you to President Carter for granting our request for an interview.

Amazon.com's interview with US 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.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Takes dead aim at what is the most pressing international affairs and national security issue of our times....Mr. Carter brings to the table a unique credibility." -- Dan Simpson, "The Toledo Blade" (Ohio) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
139 of 152 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To quote Robert Fisk 23 Dec 2006
Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid at San Francisco airport, and zipped through it in a day. It's a good, strong read by the only American president approaching sainthood. Carter lists the outrageous treatment meted out to the Palestinians, the Israeli occupation, the dispossession of Palestinian land by Israel, the brutality visited upon this denuded, subject population, and what he calls "a system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights".

Carter quotes an Israeli as saying he is "afraid that we are moving towards a government like that of South Africa, with a dual society of Jewish rulers and Arabs subjects with few rights of citizenship...". A proposed but unacceptable modification of this choice, Carter adds, "is the taking of substantial portions of the occupied territory, with the remaining Palestinians completely surrounded by walls, fences, and Israeli checkpoints, living as prisoners within the small portion of land left to them".

Needless to say, the American press and television largely ignored the appearance of this eminently sensible book - until the usual Israeli lobbyists began to scream abuse at poor old Jimmy Carter, albeit that he was the architect of the longest lasting peace treaty between Israel and an Arab neighbour - Egypt - secured with the famous 1978 Camp David accords. The New York Times ("All the News That's Fit to Print", ho! ho!) then felt free to tell its readers that Carter had stirred "furore among Jews" with his use of the word "apartheid".
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful survey of the conflict 16 July 2007
The 39th President of the United States has written an even-handed and objective survey of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

He claims that the USA has a vital role to play: "Strong support for peace talks must come from the United States" but, as he admits, "The United States stands almost alone in its undeviating backing of Israel." With this bias for Israel and against Palestine, the US state cannot be an honest broker, nor can its allies, like Blair and the EU.

Israel's settlements and occupation are illegal under international law, under Security Council Resolutions supported by both Israel and the USA, for example Resolution 242, which requires Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories. Israel's Supreme Court acknowledges that Israel holds the West Bank `in belligerent occupation'.

The Palestinians now recognise Israel's right to exist in its 1967 borders. Carter notes, "there was a sustained commitment by Israel's government to avoid full compliance with the Oslo Agreement or with key U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338." As he notes, after making various agreements at the 1998 Wye Conference, "the Israeli cabinet voted to postpone execution of the Wye River Memorandum." Israel still rejects the Oslo Agreement's key provisions and it refuses to recognise the Palestinian National Authority.

After the Taba talks of January 2001, Carter writes, "It was later claimed that the Palestinians rejected a `generous offer' put forward by Prime Minister Barak with Israel keeping only 5 percent of the West Bank. The fact is that no such offers were ever made." The Palestinians accept the Road Map, while Israel rejects it. As Carter sums up, "In order to achieve its goals, Israel has decided to avoid any peace negotiations.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave book 10 Mar 2007
By Amrita
Carter wrote a powerful book on the Mid-east from the perspective of a man who has worked tirelessly for peace over his life. He was instrumental in the Camp David agreement between Israel and Egypt, which created some level of normality between Israel and her Arab neighbours.

I think this book is brave for challenging conventional wisdom and doing so can bring on the ire of pro-Israeli groups. Carter wrote this book, since he is looking for a legacy and given his age he is less concerned about playing safe politics. He challenges people to look past conventional political wisdom which is unable to bring peace to the Middle-East.

I highly recommend this book along with a novel by Morrison and Singh called NEXUS, which is a story about finding inner peace and compassion.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Blanco
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Carter may be preaching to the converted in my case as I have found that almost everything I see or read about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians causes me to sympathise with the underdogs. Surely, if the Israeli's were serious about wanting a negotiated peace they would, at least, suspend construction of dwellings in the occupied territories.....wouldn't they?
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Praise of "Peace Not Apartheid" 5 Feb 2007
Jimmy Carter's book commands respect not only because of his credentials as a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, but because of his profound knowledge of the Palestine-Israeli conflict and his unremitting commitment to peace and justice in the area. This is as near as you'll ever get to an objective, reasoned and deeply compassionate account. This means that its assessments are uniquely and unquestionably valid. Added to this objectivity is Jimmy Carter's courage in voicing criticism of Israel, when so many people, the press, politicians, religious leaders etc. are too cowardly to do so. Therefore, when this book, with all the evidence and documentation it so scrupulously includes, so clearly demonstrates Israel's deliberate violation of human rights, UN resolutions and Palestinian rights to statehood, we know for certain that this is the truth. This book has to be read for justice to be done. What every one of us can do is recommend it to others, and show that we can bring about peace and justice by boycotting all commerce with Israel. It worked in South Africa, and it can work if Israel is isolated and forcefully condemned. I am a Jew myself, and I feel betrayed by Israel's inhumanity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Respectful, fair-minded and just for all concerned
Carter writes simply, like he was explaining the geo-historical situation to his Sunday school class. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Brian Griffith
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the nicest of former U. S President's ...
One of the nicest of former U.S President's and who has worked harder since out of office, trying to bring peace to the Middle East and greater security for us all in the World. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Maggs
5.0 out of 5 stars Another very interesting book about the Israel/Arab conflict.
I bought this book second hand, but it's still worth reading because Mr Carter does all he can to be objective about this everlasting very sensitive conflict.
Published 3 months ago by saab96man
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read ...
An interesting book covering an interesting topic. So many angles to this subject matter, but the book does put some perspective
Published 7 months ago by C. Hookings
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Some major historical vents are mentioned for those who don't know the Middle East. President Carter' views and opinion expressed in this book are unfortunetly not been widley... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Constantine
5.0 out of 5 stars Carter - Palestine
Thank you for the on time delivery and excellent packaging. This interesting book fulfilled our requirements by a far. We hope to trade with you again.
Published 9 months ago by Deltahero
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Jimmy; loved his brother.
This was a gift for a friend of mine who stated: great book, factually acurate and required reading for anyone interested in the area and a true unvanished picture of the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jake
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Human Being
Just the title says it all. PEACE 'NOT' APARTIED. One can never have peace without justice. "Treat others the way you wish to be treated yourself"
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars So interested in Palestine, but no interest whatsoever in Saudi human...
Carter has long focused on attacking Israel, the only country in the middle east where arabs are free, can enjoy their lives and benefit from all that a modern democratic state has... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Gamla
5.0 out of 5 stars "Tear down this wall..."
In 2006 former President Jimmy Carter published this book, which contains a heart-felt plea to all concerned parties: one of the world's most intractable conflicts should finally... Read more
Published 16 months ago by John P. Jones III
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