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Jimmy Carter: Colonization of Palestine Precludes Peace

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by glynch, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    March 09, 2006


    Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter led The Carter Center/National Democratic Institute observation of the Palestinian elections in January.

    For more than a quarter century, Israeli policy has been in conflict with that of the United States and the international community. Israel’s occupation of Palestine has obstructed a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land, regardless of whether Palestinians had no formalized government, one headed by Yasir Arafat or Mahmoud Abbas, or with Abbas as president and Hamas controlling the parliament and cabinet.

    The unwavering U.S. position since Dwight Eisenhower’s administration has been that Israel’s borders coincide with those established in 1949, and, since 1967, the universally adopted U.N. Resolution 242 has mandated Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories. This policy was reconfirmed even by Israel in 1978 and 1993, and emphasized by all American presidents, including George W. Bush. As part of the Quartet, including Russia, the U.N. and the European Union, he has endorsed a “Road Map” for peace. But Israel has officially rejected its basic premises with patently unacceptable caveats and prerequisites.

    With Israel’s approval, The Carter Center has monitored all three Palestinian elections. Supervised by a blue-ribbon commission of college presidents and distinguished jurists, they have all been honest, fair and peaceful, with the results accepted by winners and losers.

    Hamas will control the cabinet and prime minister’s office, but Mahmoud Abbas retains all authority and power exercised by Yasir Arafat. He still heads the PLO, the only Palestinian entity recognized by Israel, and could deal with Israeli leaders under this umbrella, independent of Hamas control. He has unequivocally endorsed the Quartet’s Road Map. Post-election polls show that 80 percent of Palestinians still want a peace agreement with Israel and nearly 70 percent support Abbas as president.

    Israel has announced a policy of isolating and destabilizing the new government (perhaps joined by the United States). The elected officials will be denied travel permits, workers from isolated Gaza barred from entering Israel and every effort is being made to block funds to Palestinians. The Quartet’s special envoy, James Wolfensohn, has proposed that donors assist the Palestinian people without violating anti-terrorism laws that prohibit funds from being sent directly to Hamas.

    In the short run, the best approach is to follow Wolfensohn’s advice, give the dust a chance to settle in Palestine and await the outcome of Israel’s election later this month. Hamas wishes now to consolidate its political gains, maintain domestic order and stability and refrain from any contacts with Israel. It will be a tragedy—especially for the Palestinians—if they promote or condone terrorism.

    The preeminent obstacle to peace is Israel’s colonization of Palestine. There were just a few hundred settlers in the West Bank and Gaza when I became president, but the Likud government expanded settlement activity after I left office. President Ronald Reagan condemned this policy, and reaffirmed that Resolution 242 remained “the foundation stone of America’s Middle East peace effort.” President George H.W. Bush even threatened to reduce American aid to Israel.

    Although President Bill Clinton made strong efforts to promote peace, a massive increase of settlers occurred during his administration, to 225,000, mostly while Ehud Barak was prime minister. Their best official offer to the Palestinians was to withdraw 20 percent of them, leaving 180,000 in 209 settlements, covering about five percent of the occupied land.

    The five percent figure is grossly misleading, with surrounding areas taken or earmarked for expansion, roadways joining settlements with each other and to Jerusalem and wide arterial swaths providing water, sewage, electricity and communications. This intricate honeycomb divides the entire West Bank into multiple fragments, often uninhabitable or even unreachable.

    Recently, Israeli leaders have decided on unilateral actions without involving either the United States or the Palestinians, with withdrawal from Gaza as the first step. As presently circumscribed and isolated, without access to the air, sea or the West Bank, Gaza is a nonviable economic and political entity.

    The future of the West Bank is equally dismal. Especially troublesome is Israel’s construction of huge concrete dividing walls in populated areas and high fences in rural areas—located entirely on Palestinian territory and often with deep intrusions to encompass more land and settlements. The wall is designed to surround a truncated Palestine completely, and a network of exclusive highways will cut across what is left of Palestine to connect Israel with the Jordan River Valley.

    This will never be acceptable either to Palestinians or to the international community, and will inevitably precipitate increased tension and violence within Palestine and stronger resentment and animosity from the Arab world against America, which will be held accountable for the plight of the Palestinians.

    Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and others pointed out years ago that Israel’s permanent occupation will be increasingly difficult as the relative number of Jewish citizens decreases demographically both within Israel and in Palestine. This is obvious to most Israelis, who also view this dominant role as a distortion of their ancient moral and religious values. Over the years, opinion polls have consistently shown that about 60 percent of Israelis favor withdrawing from the West Bank in exchange for permanent peace. Similarly, an overwhelming number of both Israelis and Palestinians want a durable two-state solution.

    Casualties have increased during the past few years as the occupying forces imposed tighter controls. From September 2000 until March 2006, 3982 Palestinians and 1084 Israelis were killed in the conflict, and this includes many children: 708 Palestinians and 123 Israelis.

    There is little doubt that accommodation with Palestinians can bring full Arab recognition of Israel and its right to live in peace. Any rejectionist policies of Hamas or any terrorist group will be overcome by an overall Arab commitment to restrain further violence and to promote the well-being of the Palestinian people.

    Down through the years, I have seen despair and frustration evolve into optimism and progress and, even now, we need not give up hope for permanent peace for Israelis and freedom and justice for Palestinians if three basic premises are honored:

    1. Israel’s right to exist—and to live in peace—must be recognized and accepted by Palestinians and all other neighbors;

    2. The killing of innocent people by suicide bombs or other acts of violence cannot be condoned; and

    3. Palestinians must live in peace and dignity, and permanent Israeli settlements on their land are a major obstacle to this goal.

    http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/03/09/colonization_of_palestine_precludes_peace.php
     
  2. Surfguy

    Surfguy Contributing Member

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    Until America stands up to Israel, America will continue to be Israel's b**** and Israel will do whatever they want...right or wrong...peace or no peace.

    Israel is nowhere near blameless in this mess. They know exactly wtf their doing and America is paying a big price for their actions.

    As much as I feel for Israelis and what they have suffered, what their doing currently is wrong. They have no partner for peace because they have not created any conditions to allow for a partner for peace. Instead, they do whatever the f*ck they want while they b**** about how they have no partner for peace. It's all part of their bs plan to set their own borders and grab land. While Israel's government says the right things and puts on their victim faces for the media, their agenda behind closed doors tells a completely different story.
     
  3. tigermission1

    tigermission1 Contributing Member

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    Isn't it illegal for a state to pursue policies that help ensure a certain racial/ethnic group's demographic domination of a town/region/province?

    Could just be me...


    http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/5563E2D4-F99D-4CC3-849B-10FF0C4CC4E5.htm

    UN: Israel wall forcing Palestinians out

    A UN expert has said that East Jerusalem is undergoing major changes because of a new wall through Palestinian neighbourhoods aimed at reducing the number of Palestinians in the city.


    John Dugard, special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, said in a report to the UN Human Rights Commission on Wednesday that the Israeli-built separation wall was causing major humanitarian problems.

    "The character of East Jerusalem is undergoing a major change as a result of the construction of the wall through Palestinian neighbourhoods," Dugard said.

    "The clear purpose of the wall in the Jerusalem area is to reduce the number of Palestinians in the city by transferring them to the West Bank.

    "This causes major humanitarian problems: Families are separated and access to hospitals, schools and the workplace are denied."

    Dugard recalled that the wall between Israel and Palestinian territories - described by Israel as a security measure - had gone ahead despite a 2004 ruling by the International Court of Justice.

    The report to the UN was immediately condemned by the Israeli UN envoy to the UN rights panel, who said the document was pursuing "manifest political ends".

    Meanwhile, a report by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, said the Israeli army had increased the number of roadblocks and barriers in the West Bank by 25% since last summer.

    The number of road obstacles rose to 471 in January, from 376 last August at the time of Israel's Gaza pullout, OCHA said, and they tightened travel restrictions for Palestinians and made it harder for them to reach properties, markets and medical services.

    Israel says its network of permanent checkpoints, concrete barriers and temporary mobile roadblocks are needed to protect Israeli towns and Jewish settlements from Palestinian attacks.
     
  4. tigermission1

    tigermission1 Contributing Member

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    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/692252.html

    Olmert tells Haaretz he'll build in West Bank area near Jerusalem

    Israel will continue to build in the disputed E-1 zone between Ma'aleh Adumim and Jerusalem, despite American pressure to the contrary, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has told Haaretz.

    Olmert also said that if he is elected prime minister Israel will set down permanent borders within four years, separating itself from the "decisive majority" of the Palestinian population of the West Bank.

    The full interview with Olmert will be published in Haaretz on Friday.

    According to Olmert, "It is inconceivable that we should speak of Ma'aleh Adumim as a part of the State of Israel, while leaving it as an island or an isolated enclave.

    "It's entirely clear that the [territorial] continuity between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim will be a built-up continuity. This is clear both to the Palestinians and to the Americans. In my view, there is an absolute consensus in Israel on this issue."

    Referring to the head of the leftist Meretz party, Olmert said that, "Even Yossi Beilin, with whom I generally disagree on every matter, has said that Ma'aleh Adumim must remain within Israel."

    Olmert also strongly criticized Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that he had not learned any lessons from the atmosphere of incitement that preceded the assassination of then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

    Olmert also strongly criticized Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that he had not learned any lessons from the atmosphere of incitement that preceded the assassination of then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

    Olmert's statements followed the publication of an image on Likud's unofficial Website in which the acting prime minister appeared wearing a green cap with the Hamas logo on it. "I thought he would have learned the lesson," Olmert said.

    "It gives a signal to vote for the youths from the hilltop youth when the leader of the Likud says that Olmert is Hamas. Hamas is Israel's worst enemy," he said.

    In response Likud souces said that Olmert's reaction was unfounded and baseless. "Mr. Olmert knows very well that the Likudnik Website is completely unafilliated with Likud or Mr. Netanyahu."

    Permanent borders within four years

    Turning to the issues of borders, disengagement, and the West Bank fence, Olmert said that, "In four years' time, Israel will be separated from a decisive majority of the Palestinian population, within new borders."

    He added that "the course of the fence - which until now has been a security fence - will be in line with the new course of the permanent border. There may be cases in which we move the fence eastward, there may be cases in which we move the fence westward, in line with what we agree upon."

    Olmert said his Kadima party, if elected, would move decisively in solidifying "Israel as a Jewish state, one in which there is a solid and stable Jewish majority, a majority which is not in danger."

    The guiding principle for delineating the permanent borders will be "ingathering [isolated residents of outlying settlements] into large settlement blocs, and thickening these settlement blocs.

    "I don't want to get into their precise definitions now, but everyone knows that Gush Etzion will remain within the state of Israel, and the Ariel bloc will remain within the state of Israel, and the Jerusalem Envelope [the city and its environs] will be part of the state, as well as Ma'aleh Adumim."

    Olmert refused to specify what a coalition government would look like should he be elected to form the next cabinet. He said he would not disqualify any Jewish Zionist party and that he would not invite an Arab party to the coalition. He also refused to promise that the security portfolio would remain in the hands of Kadima in the next government.

    "The only portfolio I will say is definitely staying in Kadima is the education portfolop, and that is following Sharon's promise to appoint Professor Uriel Reichman to Education Minister. If I become prime minister, Reichman will be education minister," Olmert said.
     
  5. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    I agree with all three of those.
     
  6. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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