Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Carter Explains Failure Of Mideast Peace Process

Carter Explains Failure Of Mideast Peace Process

Special to The Courant

December 5 2006

"When I was president, I was working day and night to bring peace to Israel," says Jimmy Carter, 82, sitting in a hotel suite in New York.

"When I went out of office, I thought I had succeeded."

Almost 30 years later, the lasting peace Carter thought the 1978 Camp David Accords would lead to remains elusive.

But the 39th president hasn't given up. Through the Carter Center in Atlanta, Carter, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, has worked to secure free and safe elections in the Palestinian territories.

And he is hoping his new book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" (Simon & Schuster, $27), will alert Americans to the reasons he believes peace has failed in the Middle East. He discussed the book last week on a visit to New York:

Q: Why did you decide to write this book, and why now?

A: It became increasingly apparent to me that terrible things were happening in the West Bank in Palestine to the Palestinians, which were not known or even acknowledged by much of the outside world, particularly the United States. So I thought it was time for there to be injected into the political discussions nationwide an assessment of what was happening in the Middle East.

Q: In the book, you talk about your first trip to Israel as a presidential hopeful and its emotional and spiritual importance for you as a Christian. Did you go to Palestinian territory then?

A: As a matter of fact, a lot of the territory I was in was the Palestinian territories - all down the Jordan River Valley and a good portion up around Golan Heights. Those were Israeli-occupied territories. At that time, everyone expected the Israeli forces to withdraw from the occupied territories. ... Nobody dreamed that there would be a massive escalation of the Israelis to colonize, you might say, the entire area of the West Bank.

Q: Would you say a policy of strangulation is in effect?

A: Oh, there is.

Q: What role does the wall Israel is building play in this?

A: Really, what precipitated me to go back and talk to President Bush and to write this book was the first sight I had of the wall. I never saw the wall until I went over there in January of 2005 to cover the election of Yasser Arafat's replacement. And when I saw the wall, I was horrified.

Q: Is that why you decided to put it on the book's cover?

A: Yeah. This wall was originally conceived by Yitzak Rabin to be put along the border of Israel - along Israeli territory - to prevent cross-border raids by Palestinian terrorists.

But when Rabin was assassinated, [Ariel] Sharon and [Benjamin] Netanyahu had the idea: Let's use the wall for a different purpose. Let's use it to confiscate Palestinian land. We won't build the wall on our border. We'll build the wall on Palestinian land. And we'll make tremendous intrusions to encompass settlements that already exist and other areas on which we want to build settlements. So that's what they've done. As I point out, this wall, plus the Jordan River Valley, will form a circle around the entire West Bank, just as they have done already with Gaza. Gaza's completely surrounded by walls: It's only got two openings.

Q: Is the wall being built with American money?

A: They deny it, but who knows? We give Israel $10 million a day. George Bush Sr. withheld about $700 million from the Israelis because they used money to build settlements. And he threatened to stop all American aid if they didn't stop building the settlement between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. So they stopped it. Because of that threat. As soon as he left office, then they started building again.

Q: In some ways, it seems like this book is a study in the failure of states. For, as you reveal, both sides want peace here.

A: There really are two Israels. There is an Israel within its own borders that I would say exemplifies the best elements of Judeo-Christian tradition, with justice and peace and an absence of apartheid.

It's a completely different Israel in the occupied territories. There you have a military regime, military courts. Information extracted from a prisoner under the force of torture is permitted as evidence. They put people in prison as young as 12 years, and they keep people under military detention for 180 days - and they can extend that in 90-day increments. They try these people and convict them in military courts, and then they send them into Israel to prison.

Q: So what are your signs for hope? Is there anything now?

A: One sign of hope is what [Ehud] Olmert had to say [last week, proposing a prisoner exchange, the closing of checkpoints and more in return for an end to violence, as well as offering to restart peace talks]. I haven't seen the statement, but people told me about it.

But the only real hope is for the United States to cast our lot with a clear majority of Israelis who want to see Israel exchange Palestinian land for permanent peace. A majority of Israelis have always voted that way. In every public opinion poll.

After Rabin was assassinated, the right-wing leaders - Netanyahu, Olmert and Sharon - they rejected all previous agreements for peace. In fact, Sharon declared that the Oslo agreement was national suicide. And that rejection of a peace agreement put us back a ways.

Q: You also talk in the book about the power vacuum the U.S. has created by not engaging in the peace process since George W. Bush became president. What has this cost us?

A: It has cost us popularity, esteem, trust and respect, friendship throughout the Muslim world, throughout the Arab world. I think it has built up in a more intense way the violence against the United States, including terrorism.

Every Arab knows that, for the last six years, different from all previous presidencies, this administration has not made one single day of effort to have peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians to alleviate their plight.

John Freeman is president of the National Book Critics Circle. His commentary can be read on the organization's blog, CriticalMass, at www.bookcriticscircle.blogspot.com.

Copyright 2006, Hartford Courant

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Please Note: The terms B.C. (Before Christ or Before the Christian Era) and A.D.("Anno Domini" Latin for "In the Year of Our Lord") have been replaced with B.C.E (Before the Common Era, or Christian, Era) and C.E. (the Common Era) so as to respect all visitors to this site. The terms are interchangeable and both are based upon the Gregorian Calendar.

These and other questions will be addressed more fully as you go through this website. However, there is a preliminary historical fact that must be established now. There has never been a civilization or a nation referred to as "Palestine" and the very notion of a "Palestinian Arab nation" having ancient attachments to the Holy Land going back to time immemorial is one of the biggest hoaxes ever perpetrated upon the world! There is not, nor has there ever been, a distinct "Palestinian" culture or language. Further, there has never been a Palestinian state governed BY Arab Palestinians in history, nor was there ever a serious Arab-Palestinian national movement until 1964... three years BEFORE the Arabs of "Palestine" lost the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War (which the Arabs started). Even the so-called leader of the "Palestinian" people, Yasser Arafat, is EGYPTIAN! In short, the so-called Arab "Palestinians" are a manufactured people...a people with no history and no authenticity... whose sole purpose for existence is to destroy the Jewish State!

Israel first became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam! Seven hundred and twenty-six years later in 586 B.C.E. these first ancient Jews in the Land of Israel [Judea] were overrun and Israel's First Jewish Temple (on Jerusalem's Old City Temple Mount) was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, king of ancient Babylon. Many of the Jews were killed or expelled; however many were allowed to remain. These Jews along with their progeny and other Jews who would resettle over the next 500 years, rebuilt the Nation of Israel and also a Second Temple in Jerusalem upon the Temple Mount. Thus the claim that Jews suddenly appeared fifty years ago right after the Holocaust and drove out the Arabs is preposterous!

Then in 70 C.E. (nearly 2000 years ago), it was the Roman Empire's turn to march through ancient Israel and destroy the SECOND Jewish Temple, slaughtering or driving out much of its Jewish population. Many Jews left on their own because conditions for life were made unbearable in many respects... yet thousands upon thousands stayed and rebelled on for centuries in order to once again rebuild a Jewish Nation in this Holy Land.

Over 3250 years, various Peoples, Religions and Empires marched through Jerusalem, Israel's ancient capital. The region was successively ruled by the Hebrews [Jews], Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Maccabeans, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Egyptians, the Crusaders, Mamelukes, the Turks (who indifferently governed the backward, neglected territory from the 16th century until the British drove them out during World War I) and then once again by the Jews in 1948. None bothered, nor were they in the least bit inclined, to build a Nation of their own... EXCEPT the Jews!

It must be noted that in 636 C.E., when the Arabs marauders came to the land and uprooted even more of its Jews, they did not form any Arab nation there... and certainly not a "Palestinian" nation. They were simply "Arabs" who, as did others before them, moved into a geo-political area called "Palestine!" And remember this one fact... it was not the Jews who "usurped" (a favorite word from the Arab propagandists) the land from the Arabs. If anything, it was the Arabs in 636 C.E. who overran and stole it from the Jews!

No nation, other than the ancient nation of Israel and later again in 1948 with the rebirth of the 2nd Nation of Israel, has ever ruled as a sovereign national entity on this land. A mighty Jewish empire extended over this entire area before the Arabs --- and their Islam --- were even born! The Jewish People have one of the most legitimate Birth Certificates of any nations in the world. Every time there is an archaeological dig in Israel, it does nothing but support the fact that the Jewish People have had a presence there for well over 3,000 years. The national coins, the pottery, the cities, the ancient Hebrew texts... all support this claim. Yes, other peoples have passed through, but there is no mistaking the fact that Jews have always had a continual presence in that land for over 3,000 years. This predates and certain dwarfs any claims that other peoples in the regions may have. The ancient Philistines are extinct. Many other ancient peoples are extinct. They do not have the unbroken line to this date that the Jews have. And if you want to talk religion, fine. G-d GAVE the Land of Israel to the Jewish People. And G-d does nothing by accident!

The Kingdom of David and Solomon - 1077 - 997 BCE
Kingdom of Herod- 30 BCE to 70 CE
Jewish Communities in the Land of Israel -7th-11th Centuries


The term "Palestine" came from the name that the conquering Roman Empire gave the ancient Land of Israel in an attempt to obliterate and de-legitimize the Jewish presence in the Holy Land. The name "Palestine" was invented in the year 135 C.E. Before it was known as Judea, which was the southern kingdom of ancient Israel. The Roman Procurator in charge of the Judean-Israel territories was so angry at the Jews for revolting that he called for his historians and asked them who were the worst enemies of the Jews in their past history. The scribes said, "the Philistines." Thus, the Procurator declared that Land of Israel would from then forward be called "Philistia" [further bastardized into "Palaistina"] to dishonor the Jews and obliterate their history. Hence the name "Palestine."

One more thing. Very often one hears the revisionists and propagandists finding ancient historical links between the "Philistines" ("Invaders" in Hebrew) and the Arab "Palestinians." There is no truth to this claim! The Philistines were one of a number of Sea Peoples who reached the eastern Mediterranean region approximately 1250-1100 B.C.E. They were actually an amalgamation of various ethnic groups, primarily of Aegean and south-east European origin [Greece, Crete and Western Turkey] and they died out over 2500 years ago! Those Philistines were not Arab... and neither was Goliath! The Arabs of "Palestine" are just that... Arabs! And these Arabs of "Palestine" have about as much historical roots to the ancient Philistines as Yasser Arafat has to the Eskimos!

The ancient, indigenous inhabitants of Palestine are long perished from the earth. Canaanites, Phoencians, and then Philistines, all were dominated by the Israelites before 1060 B.C.E. Most of these cultural identities dissolved completely by the neo-Babylonian age, or, the 6th century B.C.E. Arabs weren’t even in Palestine until the mid-7th century C.E., over a thousand years later, after Palestine’s 1,300-year Jewish history. Arabs later living in Palestine never developed themselves or the land, but remained nomadic and quasi-primitive

Even the word "Palestine" has no meaning in Arabic - every word in Arabic has some meaning deriving from the Koran, but the word "Palestine" does not. If anything, the name "Palestine" was associated with Jews. In the years leading up to the rebirth of Israel in 1948, those who spoke of "Palestinians" were nearly always referring to the region's Jewish residents. For example, the "Palestine Post" [forerunner of today's Jerusalem Post] newspaper and the Palestine Symphony Orchestra were all-Jewish. The "Palestine Brigade Regiment" was composed exclusively of Jewish volunteers in the British World War II Army. In fact, Arab leaders rejected the notion of a unique "Palestinian Arab" identity, insisting that Palestine was merely a part of "Greater Syria."

A return through both time and space to their ancestral homeland

The Land of Israel was never devoid of Jews, although at times she numbered only in the tens of thousands. This was because the land was virtually uninhabitable when the Jews once again began their God-given right AND duty to return en masse to the land of their forefathers (the Zionist Movement) in the 1880s. The silly rhetoric about a massive Arab presence being overrun by "invading Jews" is quickly dispelled by Mark Twain, who visited the area in 1867. From his book, "The Innocents Abroad"... "A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent mournful expanse.... a desolation.... we never saw a human being on the whole route.... hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country."

The Jews did not displace anyone, because very few of the people who were there actually owned the land. Most were absentee owners residing elsewhere. Another fact hardly mentioned by the "new historians" is that the arriving Jews never threw anyone off any land. All land was purchased legally from the original owners... whether they be from "Palestine" itself or elsewhere. Furthermore, top dollar was paid for this land which, in many cases, was uninhabited and hardly more than swamp land and rocky terrain. Only about 120,000 Arabs resided in an area that now comprises the State of Israel, Jordan and the so-called "West Bank" [Judea and Samaria] in between. By 1890, the number of Jews who had settled in Palestine reached 50,000 and, by 1907, numbered 100,000. In Jerusalem alone the Jews numbered more than 25,000, out of a total population in the city of only 40,000 Jews, Christians and Arabs. The Arabs did, however, constitute a majority over the sparsely populated countryside abutting Jerusalem.

For more remarkable early photos of the Holy Land click Here

From 1888 until 1915 there were about six locust plagues that made the land nearly uninhabitable. In the 1915 locust plague alone some 40,000 people died and large numbers of Jews and Arabs left the land. Those that returned did not do so until about 1922 when the Zionist money to reclaim the land started coming in and a pipe line was laid. Then both Arabs and Jews started to come in in large numbers.

Palestine's early Jewish Zionists were idealistic pioneers who arrived in pre-state Israel with every intention of living in peace alongside their Arab neighbors and upgrading the quality of life for all of the land's inhabitants. These pre-Israel Zionists (and later, Israelis) had tried to develop peacefully for the dual benefit of Jews and Arabs in the land. But the Arab leadership always, starting in the earliest days, took the low road of insisting that the only solution was for the Jews to get out, even if that meant continued poverty and stagnation. When Arab demands were not met, they always resorted to violence.

The vast majority of Arabs came to the area after these early Zionist pioneers began draining the malaria-infested swamps (above photo) and plowing the land! In doing so, these Jews created the economic opportunities and medical availabilities which attracted Arabs from both surrounding territories and far-away lands! In fact, over 90% of the Arabs migrated there within the last one hundred years. Most of the Arabs in "Palestine" were interlopers and squatters originating from Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and other lands who simply took possession of pieces of land. So much for their unfounded claims that they have been there since "time immemorial!" These Arabs came from disorganized collections of tribes with a tradition of constantly terrorizing each other and trying to seize land from their neighbors. Many of them were social outcasts and criminals who could not find jobs in their own countries so they searched for their luck elsewhere. Unfortunately, those Arab immigrants imported into the Holy Land their age-old culture of terrorizing neighbors in order to seize land. In fact, today's Arab "Palestinians", let by Arafat and his PLO (sanitized to the PA, or Palestinian Authority...which is nothing more than A Network of Murderers Masquerading As Government!) are still nothing more than street thugs, bullies and 'Little Saddams' found elsewhere throughout most of the most Arab world.

Yet while the returning Jews were highly motivated to restore the land, the Arabs seethed with envy and hatred for they lacked both the leadership to inspire and motivate them for they were, in fact, historical strangers to this land! Unlike the Jews, those Arabs who immigrated there had no ancient attachments to or historical memories of this homeland ... this ancient Land of the JEWS!

The real problem facing those Arabs today is not the lack of a homeland. The historical root-cause of their problem and frustration is the fact that the countries they came from have not agreed to accept them back in. This is why so many of them live, up until today, in refugee camps, in neighboring Arab countries, lacking fundamental civil rights. In their frustration they feel that the only hope and choice they have is to try and steal someone else's country!

In Conclusion:

There was no "Arab Palestinian" history before the Arabs manufactured one shortly after 1948, and then especially after the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War! In an interview with the Dutch newspaper "Trau" (March 31, 1977), PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein said, "The Palestinian people does 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. It is also been a "conceptual" war for ownership of the term "Palestinian" which has been transferred over to the Arabs whereas, before 1967, "Palestine" has always been synonymous with Eretz Israel and the Land of Israel.

Archeological sites to this very day continue to yield artifacts with Hebrew writing, not some fictitious "Palestinian" or Arabic text! The so-called "Palestinian" Arabs were simply then, as they are now, Arabs no different culturally, historically or ethnically from other Arabs living in any of the 24 Arab countries from which they emigrated. The suggestion that the "Palestinians" are some sub-group of Arabs with their own unique identity is pure fiction! Great propaganda... but still pure fiction! And had not the Arabs continued to brainwash generation upon generation into believing this HISTORICAL HOGWASH about some ancient "Arab Palestinian" ties to the Holy Land, most could have gotten themselves a real life by now with much less bloodshed and suffering for everyone concerned!

Click Here for more on the myth of a "Palestinian People."
Click Here for Audio!
Remember: When we use their language (i.e. "West Bank" instead of Judea-Samaria, "occupied territory" instead of liberated Jewish lands, "settlements" instead of Jewish communities, "Palestinian" instead of Arab, "Haram esh Sharif" instead of the Temple Mount, etc.), we are allowing the enemies of Israel to define the issues, create or distort history and control the debate.


The Arabs and/or Muslims of today control 22 nations... 99½ percent of the ENTIRE Middle East land mass while Israel occupies only a 1/2 Arabs are Green with Envy of 1 percent speck on this same map. But that's still too much land for the Arabs to spare. They want it all. How often have we heard their familiar cry, "We will fight to our last drop of blood for for every last grain of sand!" And that is ultimately what all the fighting is about today. And no matter how many land concessions the Israelis might make for "peace," it will never be enough! Any peace treaty between Israel and the Arab world are ultimately meaningless. The most recent 1993 "Oslo Peace Accord" has brought nothing but homicidal bombers into Israel. Even the Israeli-Egyptian and Israeli-Jordanian peace treaties are holding on by a single thread and, if you were to read their government-controlled newspapers, you'd think they were still at war with Israel!

There's No More "Middle" in the Middle East

From the moment the Jewish People re-established sovereignty in their ancient homeland, they sought genuine peace with all of their neighbors. Unfortunately, their neighbors did not wish to share a peaceful existence with them. They, like Bin Ladin today, felt that they had a religious obligation to destroy the non-Arab/Muslim Jewish State (and, for that matter, ALL non-Arab/Moslem governments in the world). The Arab campaign against Israel is rooted not in any negotiable grievances but in a basic opposition to the very existence of Jewish sovereignty in what they perceive as THEIR Middle East! The ultimate intent of the Arabs is to separate out a Jewish history from "Palestine"... and then to separate Israel from the face of the Earth.

When the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) was formed in 1964, its primary goal was to destroy Israel. After the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, their goal became two-tracked: Either (1) destroy Israel outright (the same pre-1967 goal) or (2) the creation of an Arab-Palestinian state to be used as a launching pad from which to destroy Israel. Different strategies - same ultimate goal... a state not along side Israel, but IN PLACE OF Israel. It's really that simple!

For More Regarding "Palestine" and "Palestinian People"

"Palestinian" People Do Not Exist