- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (1 Oct. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847391540
- ISBN-13: 978-1847391544
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 538,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid Paperback – 1 Oct 2007
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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.
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 book offers a historical overview in the form of a personal memoir....Carter may thus be said to be both a source for the historian and himself a historian of the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation. This little book merits a reading on both counts."
-- L. Carl Brown, Foreign Affairs
"A provocative and all too accurate diagnosis of why the Israeli-Palestinian impasse still festers twenty-five years after [Carter] left the White House....Timely and refreshing for its candor."
-- Philip C. Wilcox, Jr., National Catholic Reporter
"This is a must-read for anyone desiring to understand the Middle East problems."
-- Dennis Lythgoe, The Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)
"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.
Top Customer Reviews
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".Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book to read about the real truth of Israel and what a lie it all is.....Published 5 hours ago by Mark
Purchased for my Father a gift - went down a treat and feedback on the book was positive. Now I need to pinch it back of him to ready it myself :-)Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
An easy to understand, comprehensive review of the past and current conflicts associated with Israel, Palestine conflict.Published 7 months ago by Paul
A view from inside the corridors of power which has concluded that peace is needed to bring this conflict to an end and the current system of Apartheid being perpetuated against... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Slondon
A book that generated many controversies and quarrels about the subject and the simple, straightforward approach to it by the former President of USA. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Elleppi
Really disappointing to see so many mistakes and falsities in a book written by a former US President, even though only until recently , a President considered the worst in living... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Spookylabrador