Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jimmy Carter on NPR.org & NEW book review - with helpful historical notes

My note: I wouldn't have expected there to be a landslide vote for such a controversial topic (in the US) and yet, I was glad to find among the unreliable "stars" for others votes, this review...Former US President Carter is scheduled to be interviewed today, Tuesday, January 27, 2009 on npr.org 3 PM EST
(if I heard right)-January 27, 2009 which should be available via archived program later.

There is a very short audio available online from a few bites he gave NPR reporter during Morning Edition this am...as well as some Carter background & a long excerpt from his book...Find both these items
here and by the way - Carter's take on what Hamas has said and what they are willing to do, is, as you may surmise QUITE different than the worries many in the US have had...and let's always keep in mind that the history and the choices of Hamas do not represent even the majority of Palestinians on many levels...as many sources Israeli and Jewish as well as Arab have tried to point out...That the voting even within Occupied Territories and Gaza has been up against many "Walls" and a Wall.

This is a top Customer Review for Jimmy Carter's latest book - with some interesting history (please COMMENT below if you have anything to add or differ in this history) Original found this am here

Good Background, Hope for the Future!, January 20, 2009
By Loyd E. Eskildson "Pragmatist"

One of the notable developments in the region has been the repeated proposal by all 22 Arab nations to have normal diplomatic and commercial relations with Israel, provided major U.N. resolutions are honored. This Arab proposal could provide a promising avenue to break the existing deadlock; however, it has not been possible for the weak and divided Palestinian leadership to eliminate violence against Israel.

So begins former President Carter's latest book. He goes on to provide historical background and current status. The U.N. estimates that about 710,000 Arabs left voluntarily or were ejected from Israel; troops then barred their return and razed more than 500 or their ancestral villages. U.N. Resolution 194 asserted that refugees wishing to return should be allowed to do so, that compensation should be paid to others, and that free access to the holy places be assured. However, these issues remain as major sources of dispute.

After the Six Days War, U.N. Resolution 242 confirmed the inadmissibility of the acquisition of land and called for Israel to withdraw. Carter, Ford, Nixon, and LBJ had all considered Israeli settlements in the occupied territories to be both illegal and an obstacle to peace.

In most places "Israel's wall" is built entirely in the West Bank, penetrating as much as 13 miles into Palestine to encompass existing and growing Israeli settlements, along with desirable land and building sites not yet confiscated. In many places the barrier prevents Palestinians' access to their fields, schools, places of worship, and grazing lands. (Overall, the wall takes 44% of the West Bank from the Palestinians.) In 2004 the International Court of Justice declared construction of the wall in Palestine territory to be illegal.

The land between the barrier and the Green Line is the home for 49,400 West Bank Palestinians - all now require permits to live in their own homes, and their visitors require special passes to come in. Normally there are very restricted movements of Palestinians through the approximately 500 Israeli West Bank checkpoints. Palestinians are even prohibited from traveling on some of their own roads - those are reserved for Israelis.

In the 2006 election to replace Arafat about 140,000 of the 150,000 eligible voters in East Jerusalem had to vote in neighboring cities, and doing so required they pass warnings that they would lose their dwelling rights. Pro-Hamas voters were also threatened with the termination of hundreds of millions in U.S. aid. After the election Israel arrested and imprisoned 41 elected Hamas parliamentarians living in the West Bank and ten citizens proposed as Hamas cabinet members.

About 50% more roadblocks have been added in the West Bank since the 2004 Annapolis peace effort. Unpredictable curfews are another imposition levied upon the Palestinians.

Hamas has offered a long-term truce in return for complete Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories and the establishment of a Palestinian state. Hamas also has agreed to accept any peace agreement negotiated between the PLO and Israel if also approved by a Palestinian referendum or democratically-elected government.

Tunnels between Egypt and Gaza provide entry for consumer goods (taxed heavily by Hamas) and funds.

The 1.1 million Palestinians in Israel fear expulsion, and suffer legal and economic discrimination. The are barred from traveling to Gaza or most Arab countries.

One other major barrier toward peace exists - the Shebba Farms (about 8 square miles) that Syria says belongs to Lebanon, and Israel claims belongs to Syria - occupied by Israel as part of their Golan Heights' seizure and used to launch invasions into Lebanon.

Bottom Line: President Carter believes that these proposals, with U.S. support and backed up by a demilitarized zone with international peacekeepers can succeed. Many of Carter's assertions in this book were documented in a 1/25/09 "60 Minutes" program.

18 of 28 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

Connie L. Nash said...

Although Carter's approach to Hamas may be the smartest for ALL nations & parties involved, we also - as peacemakers/humanitarians must stay aware that Hamas has and still is willing to use violent means to achieve their goals--even among Palestinians, many who would rather stay aloof from any party...

Alas, is Hamas any more violent then the US and Israel in the methods they have often chosen, maybe particularly the many US weapons bombs and likely White Phosphorus which have been used in Fallujah, all over Iraq, Lebonon and most recently in Gaza?

How might we best - and with great courage - call ALL parties to to be accountable to Human Rights?