Monday, September 03, 2007

Peace in Palestine

August 2007 I read Palestine : peace not apartheid / Jimmy Carter.

Yes the Jimmy who was President of USA 1977-1980 and who negotiated with Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin to obtain the Camp David accord which brought peace between Israel and Egypt.

repeats the first points that Jimmy makes in his Summary chapter

[1] Some Israelis believe they have the right to confiscate and colonize Palestinian land and try to justify the sustained subjugation and persecution of increasingly hopeless and aggravated Palestinians; and
[2] Some Palestinians react by honoring suicide bombers as martyrs to be rewarded in heaven and consider the killing of Israelis as victories.

It is hard not to agree with those points. Recently I saw a doco and a Jewish West Bank settler was very strong on her rights to be where she was. But UN Resolution 242 is clear on withdrawal to 1967 borders and Israel really has to face up to that. What those borders are in detail should be open to negotiation.

And then I just do not understand the "mad" behaviour of some Palestinians. I just cannot accept their continued resort to such extreme violence.

I knew about the Wall that Israel has been building and thought it divided Israelis from Palestinians BUT Jimmy writes that the Wall is not just one line but several and that it goes around Palestinian villages and separates them from their farms. And is also along the Jordan valley. This does not sound a reasonable project at all.

Jimmy lists key requirements for the Roadmap to Peace
a. the security of Israel must be guaranteed
b. the internal debate within Israel must be resolved in order to define Israel's permanent legal boundary
c. The sovereignty of all Middle East nations and sanctity of international borders must be honoured

My only trip to Israel was in 1965. Christine and Ron met on a cruise that stopped at Haifa and we were getting to know each other during a few days in the Holy Land. Old Jerusalem was then part of the Kingdom of Jordan and off bounds for tourists in Israel. We did visit Galilee and Nazareth and Capernaum. The Arabs we saw in Israel seemed to be at peace. Although I understood about the Palestinian refugees and that problem seemed to me to be caused by the surrounding Arab nations who encouraged the war against Israel and then when the war was won by Israel took over land that might be considered Palestinian and treated the Palestinians ,who had fled from territory that was now Israeli because of the war they wanted, as refugees rather than as fellow Arabs.

Israel seemed to be under threat from its neighbours and around Lake Tiberius it was awful that Syria could shell them the Golan Heights. Then 1967 it looked like Egypt and Syria were going to attack Israel and we now know of course that Israel decided to attack first and were able to seize so much land including Jerusalem. Some land was given back but so much remains under Israel control.

None of this has easy solutions - Israel "needs" the Golan Heights for security and Jerusalem it would be unthinkable for them not to be there. Note: Islam has authority over its mosques on Temple Mount. But the other land looks like it needs to negotiated and not gradually settled. Jimmy makes a strong case.


  1. b. the internal debate within Israel must be resolved in order to define Israel's permanent legal boundary

    I'm confused by this... was Jimmy saying it's Israel's job to sort out it's boundaries? I thought international boundaries with Israel were established by the UN?

    I'm glad to hear you have problems with the more arbitrary and unfair sections of the wall.

    Indeed, as we were discussing recently, the recent Christian talk I heard about the whole middle-east thing expressed a sense of unfairness that the region was ever carved up between Jews and Palestinians when in the late 1800's there was still only 1 in 20 Jews there. Now that Zionism has had a hundred years of activity in the region and established a religious and ethnically based "State" (although how Western and liberal can it be given it's ethnically and religiously based!?), and given that the holocaust has lent a lot of sympathy for Jewish security, it appears that the solution now is to immediately have the UN SORT the boundaries and create a Palestinian state, and stop this land-grab the Israeli's are calling the "defensive wall". If it were only a boundary marking national borders it would be one thing. Running rings around little settlements and separating Palestinians from their work, local schools, fields, farms, ... it's a crime.

  2. Jimmy seemed to be saying that boundaries are not clear. It was subject to negotiation.

    The wall situation I now know is worse from another book I am reading. A new road has been built for tourists into Bethlehem so they are clear of the road blocks ie guardposts. This road goes between the houses of two brothers. And has a wall. So how do the brothers get to see each other. Bethlehem is surrounded by "settlements" and a hill with a forest is being cleared also.

    Unfairness re late 1800s is difficult to clarify. Applying history and fairness to the area causes strong divisions. Are the Palestinians the Caananites, the Philistines or are they Arabs who arrived in AD times. Should Israel have rights because they were there until moved out by the Romans.

    1800s the area was part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. That collapsed in WW1 and deals were made as to how the land would be split up. After 1948 the West Bank was part of Jordan and not a Palestine state. Now I hear like it was Palestinian land seized in 1967 .

    They need to resolve all this and I pray that something will come forth at the November Summit,7340,L-3451044,00.html

    Some Christian groups supporting Israel are very concerned

  3. Yes, I say AMEN to your prayers and wrote this in response to those Christians that are concerned. Thanks for the link.

    Left Behind is Dangerous


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