Monday, February 05, 2007

Another reason why Jimmy Carter’s latest book is wrong

I’m not going to focus on the numerous errors in Carter’s book, many of which have already been pointed out. Instead, I want to focus on why his accusation of Apartheid in regards to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is a red herring.

To reiterate, Carter stated in his book and in numerous subsequent interviews that Israel is not an Apartheid state, but rather that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is a form of Apartheid, or will be, if the situation continues.

What Carter ignores is that since 1993 Israel has been prepared to grant most of the territories captured in the 1967 Six Day War to the Palestinians. Unfortunately, the Palestinians have used all “liberated” territories as bases from which to attack Israel. Since 2000, when the Palestinians began their latest uprising, Israel has been forced to re-conquered territory; in other cases, however, it has withdrawn completely, for example in the Gaza Strip. But the salient point is that the majority of Israelis know the occupation can’t continue. They know that for any lasting final settlement to work, Israel will have to relinquish those lands. Ehud Barak offered as much at Camp David in 2000, and Ehud Olmert was elected on a platform of unilateral disengagement.

The Israelis have come to terms with this reality. The Palestinians have not. In the meantime they elected Hamas, which opposes Israel’s right to exist in any size, shape, or form. Yet, despite this sad reality, along comes Carter’s book, completely ignoring all of the above.

Carter conveniently ignores the lesson of Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza. The lesson: Territory relinquished to the Palestinians is immediately used as a launching pad for rocket attacks into Israel. Right now Sderot and other cities inside Israel but near Gaza are targets. If Israel withdrew from the West Bank, then Tel Aviv, Haifa, Afula, Netanya, Jerusalem, Ben-Gurion International Airport!—almost all of Israel—would be in range of Palestinian rockets.

Hamas refuses to negotiate with Israel, and the so-called Palestinian moderates are not really moderate. The Palestinians can’t make peace with themselves lately. It is highly doubtful they can do so with the Jews.

And yet, here comes Jimmy Carter to heap opprobrium and accusations of the worst kind onto Israel.

What a dick.


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