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Palestine: Peace not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter

Palestine: Peace not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter I've finally finished reading Jimmy Carter's book (left). It is definitely worth reading I would say. The book is written in an autobiography style based on Carter's experience in propagating peace in the Middle East as President of USA in late 70s to date.

As a short review of the book, it is clear that it is the Zionist Israeli government (I shall mention Zionist Israelis here as there are a few minority group of peace loving Israeli citizen and Jewish rabbis who are against the Israel's imperialism policy in Occupied Palestine) who does not want to establish peace in the Holy land, because peace means; withdrawal of Israeli armed forces in the occupied Palestinian territories and the dismantling of the illegal settlement in Arab lands in occupied Palestinian territories. If this were to happen, it would halt the Zionist goal of creating a 'Greater Israel' comprising the current state of Israel plus the West Bank, including the whole of Jerusalem (Baitulmaqdis).

The Palestinians and the US have made it clear that there should be no preconditions to achieving peace, but Israel thought otherwise. The Zionist Israel leaders have decided to impose a ridiculous sets of preconditions to the Roadmap in 2003. We've always hear calls of Western and Zionist Israeli leaders on Palestinian and the Muslim world to accept Israel's right to exist. Admittedly, though painful as it seems (77% of Palestinian lands were confiscated by Israel in 1948), most Palestinian political leaders have long agreed to recognize Israel's right to exist. This is also part of the Oslo Agreement 1993 which was signed by former Palestinian President Yassir Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (Rabin was soon assassinated by a far-right-wing Israeli radical) and witnessed by the then, US President, Bill Clinton.

But when Ariel Sharon (the butcher of Shabra and Shatila) became Prime Minister of Israel in 2001, he rejected all the points in Oslo Agreement 1993. Why? Simple. He wanted to continue the Israel policy of colonization of Palestinian territories and for this to happen, peace cannot prevail. To the Zionist, peace can only happen if all Palestinians migrate to Jordan or other neighbouring Arab nations and when Israel has completely annexed the West Bank into its territory.

The question that should be asked to the Zionist leaders and the future President of the USA (I hope it's Obama, not McCain) instead, is, do they recognize the right of the establishment of the state of Palestine? To me, that should be the main point. Ending the occupation in West Bank and Gaza should be the top criteria in solving peace in the Middle East.

While reading the book, I found out that the US policy is actually clear on the Palestinian-Israel issue, that the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories of West Bank and Gaza are "illegal and obstacles to peace", but question now is, do they have the political will to take any action? The whole world know the answer. Since the last 50 years or so, any American President candidate have never failed to give speech to the influential pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). That's just shows how important it is the issue of Israel to any aspiring American president candidate.

Take the example of the first Gulf War in 1991, the moment Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait on the basis that Kuwait is part of Iraq, immediately the US together with their allied Arab nations responded strongly to attack Iraq. If only the same treatment is given to Israel (Israel has been occupying West Bank and Gaza since winning the Six-Days-War of 1967), the world would be at peace long long time ago.

Countless of U.N. resolutions on Israel have been passed, one peace talks after another; all failed because of Israel's failure to honour any of them. Although some of the peace plan resolutions, i.e. the Camp David Accord in 1978, Oslo Agreement 1993 seemed to be bias toward Israel, but after reading 'Palestine: Peace not Apartheid', I note that the consistency of the peace resolutions are clear; two of the key points clearly state that; Israel must honour U.N. Resolution 242, 1967, which says, "Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict" (referring to the humiliating Arab defeat in the Six Days War of 1967) and U.N. Resolution 465, 1980 - calling on Israel to dismantle existing settlements in the Arab territories since 1967, including East Jerusalem.

But as the world has witness to date, the Israel have failed to honour the agreements. And what made it worst was that they used the peace accords to their own benefit. Illegal settlements in Gaza and the West Bank continued to be built at an even faster pace until now.

The withdrawal of the illegal Israeli settlements in Gaza few years back means nothing because in reality, what the Zionist Israel government really want is to colonize the West Bank. Just take a look at the map of West Bank. It is shrinking day by day. To prove this issue, Israel, in one of the peace talks with the Palestinians have proposed a "land swap" with the Palestinians, in which the Israel government intend to give 10% of Israel land in Southern Israel, near Gaza as a swap for lands in West Bank, which the Palestinian negotiating team rejected it outright.

Israel's illegal prison wall
..Israel's illegal prison wall snakes through Palestinian villages (image source: tgnyc.org)

The illegal prison wall is another sad state of affair. According to the Zionist Israeli leaders, it is to prevent terrorist attack by the Palestinian terrorist, i.e. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Brigade, etc. If indeed it is built to stop terrorism, why it must be built inside Palestinian territories? The wall cuts deep into the West Bank separating the Palestinians from their families and relatives. The Wall cuts off 200,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem from their relatives, property, schools and businesses. To quote Carter from his book, he says "Imprisonment wall" is more descriptive than "security fence".

Touching on the illegal Zionist prison wall, I'd like to quote an interesting comment by one Palestinian Christian priest, Claudio Ghilardi.
"For nine hundred years, we have lived here under Turkish, British, Jordanian, and Israeli governments, and no one has ever stopped people coming to pray. It is scandalous. This is not a barrier. It is a border. Why don't they speak the truth?"

He added, "The Wall is not separating Palestinians from Jews; rather, Palestinians from Palestinians."

To conclude, I'd like to quote a short and unequivocal comment by Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian chief spokesperson, which Carter has included his quote in the book. Responding to Israeli claims, Hanan says;
"So far, they have succeeded in holding the peace process hostage to this mentality on the one hand. And on the other hand they have provoked tremendous violence by acts of incitement like shelling, bombing, house demolition, uprooting trees, destroying crops, assasinating political leaders, placing all Palestinians under closure in a state of total immobility - a prison. And then they wonder why some Palestinians are acting violently! And then they want to have the right to exercise violence against the captive population. Then, they like to make non-violence on the part of the Palestinians a precondition for the Palestinians to qualify for talks, let alone for statehood."

Carter concluded his book by saying that the two obstacles of permanent peace in the Middle East are:
1. Some Israelis believe they have the right to confiscate and colonize Arab land and try to justify the sustained subjugation and persecution of increasingly hopeless and aggravated Palestinians; and
2. Some Palestinians react by honoring suicide bombers as martyrs to be rewarded in heaven and consider the killings of Israelis as victories.

Free Palestine. End the Occupation!

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