Jimmy Carter needs to go back to building houses and just shut up about the Middle East. He had his chance and he blew it. From Betsy's :
He whines for the rest of the column about how Jews have criticized his book and he can't get invitations to speak on college campuses with large Jewish enrollment. He criticizes the media for ignoring the problems of the Palestinians.
The book describes the abominable oppression and persecution in the occupied Palestinian territories, with a rigid system of required passes and strict segregation between Palestine's citizens and Jewish settlers in the West Bank. An enormous imprisonment wall is now under construction, snaking through what is left of Palestine to encompass more and more land for Israeli settlers. In many ways, this is more oppressive than what blacks lived under in South Africa during apartheid. I have made it clear that the motivation is not racism but the desire of a minority of Israelis to confiscate and colonize choice sites in Palestine, and then to forcefully suppress any objections from the displaced citizens. Obviously, I condemn any acts of terrorism or violence against innocent civilians, and I present information about the terrible casualties on both sides.
That "imprisonment wall" that he so condemns is being built to prevent Palestinians from blowing up teenagers eating a pizza, or students getting on a bus, or families shopping together in Israel. The wall has already greatly decreased terrorist activity. Passes are needed to block terrorism. Perhaps if Palestinians weren't so devoted to the destruction of Israel that even grandmothers strap on bombs to try to kill Israeli civilians, there would not be these barriers to Palestinian travel. Carter apparently doesn't understand cause and effect, but he is ready with the moral equivalence for "any acts of terrorism or violence against innocent civilians and...the terrible casualties on both sides."
Perhaps Jimmy Carter has missed what has been happening among Palestinians recently as they fight amongst themselves over their government. Is that Israel's fault also? Can he point to anything positive that Yasser Arafat and his gang ever did for the benefit of the Palestinians? Any attempt to build up an economy? Was it Israel's fault that Arafat was a kleptocrat who resorted to efforts against Israel as a method for holding onto his own power?
Meanwhile, Alan Dershowitz exposes how Carter thinks that Israel's "persecution" of Palestinians is worse than the genocide in Rwanda. The man is an amazing and bigoted void of perspective on the entire history of the Middle East. And he demeans the victims of genocide in Rwanda by his false comparison to Israel defending itself against attacks. As Dershowitz writes,
The comparison is breathtaking and wrong. Here are the facts:
In April through July of 1994, Hutu militias slaughtered an estimated 800,000 Tutsis (and raped thousands) in an attempt to eradicate those people from the country. In just around 100 days, the Hutus killed at a rate faster than any previous or subsequent genocide in world history. During any comparable period, the number of Palestinian casualties has never exceeded the hundreds, and for the most part, they have been either combatants, human shields, or civilians inadvertently killed in efforts to kill combatants. These deaths have come in the course of Israel defending itself against three wars of annihilation in which the Palestinians openly and actively sided with the Arab invaders (1948, 1967, and 1973), two intifadas (both prompted by Israeli peace gestures), and a general war of terrorist attrition against Israeli citizens in the meantime. The worst that one could accuse Israel of is occasionally employing too much aggression in its defensive tactics - a far cry from the willful genocide of nearly a million people. Further, the Tutsis never had a chance to prevent their slaughter, whereas the Palestinians initiated the violence against Israel and repeatedly refused - and continue to refuse - to recognize Israel's legitimacy, let alone to agree to any sort of peace agreement, be it the Peel Commission, the UN Partition Plan, or the 2000 Camp David proposals.
Not to mention the Road Map to Peace and the two state solution. I think a great deal of the world has given up on a solution.
The Israelis are not saints, who is? And I have no doubt that there are Palestinians stuck in the middle of all that who want nothing more than to be left alone. Of course if they make a point of that in public they might end up hanging from a lamp post. Some people say the election of Hamas made things worse. I disagree. One thing Charles Krauthammer said that I think is true, is that the election was "honest" in that it tells us how the majority feel and with that comes a certain accountability. They picked these guys, now let the Palestinians live with the consequences.
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