Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jimmy Carter on Peace in the Holy Land, NPR Interview

Menachem Begin, Jimmy Carter, and Anwar Al Sadat, 1979, uploaded on Flickr by Jeff Kubina

NPR's Renee Montagne interviewed Jimmy Carter this morning on Morning Edition. Carter discusses his new book, We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land. Carter suggests a return to the 1967 borders before the Six Day War as viable solution.

President Obama and special envoy George Mitchell have spoken to Carter twice to discuss peace in the region. Good news, since Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Jimmy Carter, has been working on peace in the region for over thirty years.

Probably been thinking about it since the 1972 Munich Olympics when Palestinians took Israeli athletes hostage. It did not end well when German commandos botched the rescue attempt and all athletes were killed.

1972 Munich Olympics, photo uploaded on Flickr by ciatjj5

The tragic events and trial are covered in a great documentary, One Day in September, narrated by Michael Douglas. During the trial, one of the surviving Palestinians looks directly at the camera and says, "Before this, no one knew about Palestine. Now they do." Absolutely chilling to say the least.

Here is an excerpt of the NPR interview:

Morning Edition, January 27, 2009 · Nearly 30 years ago, Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty that holds to this day. Much of the credit for that treaty goes to former President Jimmy Carter.

In the decades since, Carter has pursued a much more elusive goal: a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. And he says there have been three recent developments that could help achieve it.

The first development was the election of Barack Obama as president, he tells NPR's Renee Montagne. For the Middle East, Carter said, that should mean "a balanced and aggressive commitment to bring peace. That's quite a change."

The former president also cited progress in his meetings with members of the Palestinian parties, Hamas and Fatah, in April and December of 2008.

"For the first time, the Hamas leaders pledged that they would accept any peace agreement negotiated between the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israel," Carter said — as long as Palestinians approve the agreement in a referendum.

And the recent violence between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which Carter called an "evolving tragedy," adds what he said is "another element of urgency to bringing peace to Israel."

Carter has written a new book on that topic, titled We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land. It follows his 2006 analysis, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, which sparked protests from supporters of Israel.

His latest book is subtitled, "A Plan That Will Work." And that plan, Carter said, is no secret: a two-state solution in which Israel's right to exist is recognized by its neighbors — within its pre-1967 borders.

Noting that those borders could be altered by negotiations, Carter said, "By the way, that's also what's been espoused most recently by the prime minister of Israel at this moment — that is, Ehud Olmert."

Carter said Olmert also realizes that Israel must withdraw from the West Bank, that Palestinians must be allowed to return to their land and that Israel must share Jerusalem.

I encourage readers to read or listen to the whole interview with Jimmy Carter on NPR.

Here is the link to the whole story on NPR:



Chris Ferrell said...

Thanks Mary,

I heard the interview as well and thought that Carter was perfectly reasonable and balanced (as usual). It is hopeful that Obama is including Carter in these talks. Thanks for posting this. I'll shout to get it dugg up.

Chris Ferrell

Mary Cuevas said...

thanks chris!!:)
i have always loved jimmy carter. he is a perfect person for obama and mitchell to speak with since he has been working on this issue for over 30 years. probably since the munich olympics in 1972.

and thanks for shouting it in digg.:) could use the traffic.:)

Eboni said...

You have just received the Lemonade Award. Stop by my blog to pick it up by copying the picture, picking ten blogs you like and posting it on your blog. I received mine this morning for posting the cornbread recipe. We are supposed to share.

Cialis said...

Incredible interview!