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Home arrow Blog arrow February 2009 arrow February 12, 2009

February 12, 2009
February 12, 2009: Jimmy Carter today and tomorrow
We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan that Will Work, is Jimmy Carter's latest book.

I will publish my review of it tomorrow.

Today I have excerpted from Amy Goodman's interview with the former President who said:


The plan is a diametric opposite from what is the trend now by Israel in the West Bank—and that is to make one state, one nation, all the way from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River—and that is the two-day solution, which is generally adopted by the United States government, the road map for the international community, the United Nations resolutions, and also unanimously by all twenty-two Arab nations. That is a two-state solution based on Israel’s withdrawal, basically to the 1967 borders, the sharing of Jerusalem and so forth. And that’s been spelled out and accepted for a long time.


And so, I think that the plan that I outline in my book is one that has practical aspects of modification of the basic two-state solution that both sides can accept overwhelmingly. One of the key issues would be to leave about half of the Israeli settlers in Palestine where they are—that is, those nearest to Jerusalem—and swap them an equivalent amount of land, say, acre for acre, to be used for a corridor, a narrow corridor between the West Bank and Gaza, about thirty-five miles’ distance. And that could be used to make a train route or either a highway still to be controlled by Israel’s security. I discussed this particular plan with Ariel Sharon in January of 2005, and he agreed with me completely on it.


I think [the attack on Gaza] was a completely unnecessary war—and I wrote an editorial for the Washington Post accordingly—because it could have been avoided easily.


But in the long term, it may actually produce a more enthusiastic move toward a comprehensive settlement, in that for the first time, really, in a long time, maybe forever, the European countries have been directly involved in trying to bring about an accommodation. The President of France, Sarkozy, has been over there. The Prime Minister of Great Britain, Gordon Brown, has been over there. And the European Union leaders have been over there to work with the Egyptians, who have been negotiating for a number of months now between Israel and Hamas, for instance, to bring about a permanent ceasefire.


What Hamas wants is just to have an open supply, an adequate supply of food and water and fuel and medicine to go in to the one-and-a-half million Palestinians who are imprisoned, basically, within Gaza. And what the Israelis want is an end of Hamas rockets and mortar fire. So, those two things can be worked out. So I think it may be that this horrendous attack on Gaza will precipitate a more enthusiastic move toward a comprehensive peace agreement.


I met with the leaders of Israel and Fatah and Egypt and Syria and Hamas. And in the past, Hamas has insisted on a ceasefire only if it included the West Bank. And Israel was adamantly opposed to that. So I induced Hamas to accept a ceasefire just for Gaza, and the Egyptians negotiated that, and it began the 19th of June, and it lasted for six months.


Toward the end of that period, obviously it was breaking down, so I went back to the area and met with the Hamas leaders. And they said that they would have a complete ceasefire if Israel would just restore an adequate amount of supplies to the people in Gaza. I couldn’t go to the West Bank, but Robert Pastor, whom you interviewed, and also Hrair Balian, who’s in charge of the peace program for the Carter Center, went to Israel and asked the Israeli defense leaders, Defense Department leaders, if they would agree to that. And the answer came back the next day: they would only supply 15 percent, about one-sixth, of the supplies that the people in Gaza needed. So that meant that the ceasefire could not be renewed, and it precipitated rocket fire from Gaza and the attack on Gaza by the Israelis.
I think that out of this whole debacle or horrible catastrophe that’s occurred to the one-and-a-half million folks in Gaza, that a new momentum can be generated, particularly with a new president in the White House and a superb new envoy or negotiator that will lead toward a peace agreement.


I think that Obama has made an unprecedented move of an aggressive nature toward a peace agreement in the Middle East that escaped his predecessors in recent years. And that is, he started working on the Mideast peace problem the first day he was in office. And he’s appointed an envoy who is most superbly qualified as a mediator and knows the area quite well and also is fairly balanced between Israel and its neighbors, or neutral. And that’s what’s required. In fact, George Mitchell has already been condemned by some of the Jewish American organizations, because he is neutral or balanced, which has not been the case with the previous envoys. I was neutral or balanced back thirty years ago when I negotiated between Sadat and Begin and brought a peace agreement. And you have to look at both sides in order to have any sort of peace proposals that have a chance to be accepted by both sides.


I think that the—what Hamas has always wanted, in my dealings with them and in their public statements, is just one thing, basically, and that is to open up supply routes in the closed border going into Gaza, through the enormous wall that surrounds Gaza, so that food and water and medicine and fuel can go in to the one-and-a-half million people.

When Israel was in control of Gaza, before July—or before 2005, the average amount of fuel and so forth going in was 750 truckloads a day for one-and-a-half million people. But the Israelis have never been willing to go more than 15 percent or 25 percent of that, which means that, in effect, the Gazans either starve to death or they have to bring in food and so forth in the tunnels that go from Gaza out into Egyptian Sinai Desert region.

We give Israel about $10 million dollars in aid each day, and that’s a lot of money. But, you know, I think we feel obligated to do it, and I wish that we would give an equivalent amount of aid to the suffering Palestinians.


There’s no doubt that Israel does have a large nuclear arsenal. This has been known ever since before I became president, and even Israeli leaders have said publicly that this is true.-end Carter. The Rest:
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/2/11/former_us_president_jimmy_carter_we



In 1963, when Vanunu was nine years old the Zionists came to his home town of Marrakech, Morocco and convinced his Orthodox father to abandon his general store and pack up the first seven of eleven children for the land of milk and honey. The Vanunu's were banished to the desert of Beesheva, a few months after Shimon Peres, then Israel's Deputy Minister of Defense met with President John Kennedy, inside the White House.

Kennedy told Peres, "You know that we follow very closely the discovery of any nuclear development in the region. This could create a very dangerous situation. For this reason we monitor your nuclear effort. What could you tell me about this?"

Peres replied, "I can tell you most clearly that we will not introduce nuclear weapons to the region, and certainly we will not be the first."

By September of 1986, Peres was convulsing over Vanunu, who had been employed as a lowly tech in his progeny; the secret underground nuclear weapons center in Dimona.

Peres ordered the Mossad, to "Bring the son of a bitch back here."

Peres ordered Vanunu's kidnapping that included a clubbing, drugging and being flung upon an Israeli cargo boat back to Israel for a closed door trial.


I
n 1985, before quitting the Dimona, Vanunu shot 56 photos of the top-secret labs and production processes that proved Israel had become a major nuclear power by stockpiling between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads within the six underground levels where plutonium production, also went on, without any knowledge, debate or authorization from its own citizens.

Israel has yet to allow International Inspectors into the aged Dimona plant which is leaking and endangering the health of its own citizens.
 



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If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
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The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
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The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



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