Friday, September 14, 2007

Debate essential for Israel-Palestinian peace

With debate underway following the publication of the Mearsheimer & Walt book, The Israel Lobby, remember that former President Carter raised, publicly, what he described as the apartheid-like policies being pursued by the Israelis. Carter was hit by a storm of protest and invective, not the least from Alan Dershowitz, the person Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell's Chief of Staff describes as AIPAC's "attack dog".

Amy Goodman is the host of "Democracy Now" a daily international TV/radio news hour in the US. Here she writes on seattlepi.com of her having sat down with Jimmy Carter:

"I sat down with former President Carter last week at the Carter Center in Atlanta. The center was hosting a conference of human-rights defenders, people at the front lines confronting repressive regimes around the globe. After a quarter-century of humanitarian work through the Carter Center, monitoring elections, working to eradicate neglected tropical diseases and focusing on the poor, Jimmy Carter now finds himself at the center of the storm in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

After more than three decades of work on the Middle East, Carter released a book titled "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." The book's title alone has created a furor. But Carter is undeterred:

"The word 'apartheid' is exactly accurate. This is an area that's occupied by two powers. They are now completely separated. Palestinians can't even ride on the same roads that the Israelis have created or built in Palestinian territory. The Israelis never see a Palestinian, except the Israeli soldiers. The Palestinians never see an Israeli, except at a distance, except the Israeli soldiers. So within Palestinian territory, they are absolutely and totally separated, much worse than they were in South Africa, by the way. And the other thing is, the other definition of 'apartheid' is, one side dominates the other. And the Israelis completely dominate the life of the Palestinian people."

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