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PAJU (Palestinian and Jewish Unity)
"One Of The Greatest Crimes"
Jimmy Carter calls the Israeli blockade of Gaza an atrocity
At a news conference in Wales, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter called Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip "one of the greatest human rights crimes now existing on Earth". Rejecting Israel's rationale for the blockade, he stated that, "There is no reason to treat these people this way."
Carter has spoken out on Gaza before. The 83-year-old has in the past branded Israel's blockade of Gaza a "crime and an atrocity". As a result, Israel's government boycotted Carter during his recent visit to Israel.
Israeli hostility towards Carter is extraordinary, given his past accomplishments on Israel's behalf. When he was president, Carter spared no effort to promote Mid East peace. The crucial peace deal he brokered 30 years ago between Egypt and Israel immeasurably increased Israeli security.
Israelis turned against Carter when he published a book entitled "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid". In it Carter compared Israeli policies in the West Bank to White South Africa's racist regime. As he demonstrated, the situation in the occupied West Bank begs this comparison to South Africa.
Carter is well versed in international affairs. He has seen first hand the Israeli system of separate roads in the West Bank for Jews and for Arabs. He has witnessed the lack of freedom of movement for Palestinians. He has seen Israel's control and confiscation of Palestinian land and Israel's continued settlement activity, which contravenes all the promises Israel made and signed.
In the peace agreement with Egypt that Carter brokered 30 years ago, Israel agreed to "full autonomy" for the occupied territories and promised not to settle there. These promises have been forgotten by Israel, but not by Carter.
Carter is trying to advance the cause of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. His methods of creating peace have been highly successful in the past and, in terms of results, Carter beats out any of those who ostracize him now. And for the peace agreement with Egypt, he deserves the respect reserved for royalty for the rest of his life. His advice deserves to be listened to with interest by Israel now.
Adapted from "Carter says Israel has arsenal of 150 nuclear weapons", printed on May 26, 2008 and "Our Debt to Jimmy Carter", an editorial column printed on April 15, 2008. Both texts appeared in Israel's leading newspaper Ha'aretz. See full texts at:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/987158.html and http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/974893.html
Distributed by PAJU (Palestinian and Jewish Unity).