Editor’s Note: This book dates back to 2006, but its importance is as “NEW” (acute) as ever.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is accusing Israel of creating an apartheid system in the West Bank and Gaza. The charge comes in his new book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.” We play an address by Carter talking about the Palestine-Israel conflict, the role of the United States and much more. Carter says, “Palestinians are deprived of basic human rights, their land has been occupied, then confiscated, then colonized by the Israeli settlers.” [includes rush transcript]
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is accusing Israel of creating an apartheid system in the West Bank and Gaza. The charge comes in his new book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”
The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been deeply involved in Middle East policies for the past three decades. As president he negotiated the Camp David Accords–which secured a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt.
In his new book, Jimmy Carter writes, “Israel’s continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land.”
Carter criticizes Israel for building what he describes as an imprisonment wall through the West Bank. He accuses Israel of strangling the residents of Gaza where the poverty rate has reached 70 percent and where the malnutrition rate mirrors countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. And Carter is critical of Washington’s role. He writes, “The United States is squandering international prestige and goodwill and intensifying global anti-American terrorism by unofficially condoning or abetting the Israeli confiscation and colonization of Palestinian territories.”
Some of the most vocal critics of Carter’s book have been fellow Democrats. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “It is wrong to suggest that the Jewish people would support a government in Israel or anywhere else that institutionalizes ethnically based oppression, and Democrats reject that allegation vigorously.”
John Conyers, the incoming chair of the House Judiciary Committee, urged Carter to change the title of the book, which he described as “offensive and wrong.”
Meanwhile, the nation’s newspapers have largely ignored Jimmy Carter’s book since its publication two weeks ago. The book hasn’t even been mentioned in the news pages of the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Boston Globe or Los Angeles Times.
Today on Democracy Now we are going to hear Jimmy Carter in his own words. On Tuesday night he discussed his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” at an event in Virginia.
Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President, speaking November 28th, 2006.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: Today on Democracy Now!, we’ll hear Jimmy Carter in his own words. On Tuesday night, he discussed his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, at an event in Virginia.
JIMMY CARTER: Some people have said the title is provocative, and I accept that categorization, but I don’t consider the word “provocative” to be a negative description, because it’s designed to provoke discussion and analysis and debate in a country where debate and discussion is almost completely absent if it involves any criticism at all of the policies of Israel. And I think the book is very balanced.
Secondly, the words “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” were carefully chosen by me. First of all, it’s Palestine, the area of Palestinians. It doesn’t refer to Israel. I’ve never and would imply that Israel is guilty of any form of apartheid in their own country, because Arabs who live inside Israel have the same voting rights and the same citizenship rights as do the Jews who live there.