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Author Topic: Jimmy Carter's "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid."
Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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I'm surprised we haven't done this before.

Former US President Jimmy Carter has caused some controversy in the US with his new book Palestine : Peace Not Apartheid which has ruffled the feathers of pro-Israel individuals and organisations such as CAMERA and lawyer and torture afficionado Alan Dershowitz.

Here's an excerpt from the book.

quote:
There are two interrelated obstacles to permanent peace in the Middle East:

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.

In turn, Israel responds with retribution and oppression, and militant Palestinians refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Israel and vow to destroy the nation. The cycle of distrust and violence is sustained, and efforts for peace are frustrated. Casualties have been high as the occupying forces impose ever tighter controls. From September 2000 until March 2006, 3,982 Palestinians and 1,084 Israelis were killed in the second intifada, and these numbers include many children: 708 Palestinians and 123 Israelis. As indicated earlier, there was an ever-rising toll of dead and wounded from the latest outbreak of violence in Gaza and Lebanon.

The only rational response to this continuing tragedy is to revitalize the peace process through negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, but the United States has, in effect, abandoned this effort. It may be that one of the periodic escalations in violence will lead to strong influence being exerted from the International Quartet to implement its Roadmap for Peace. These are the key requirements:

a. The security of Israel must be guaranteed. The Arabs must acknowledge openly and specifically that Israel is a reality and has a right to exist in peace, behind secure and recognized borders, and with a firm Arab pledge to terminate any further acts of violence against the legally constituted nation of Israel.

b. The internal debate within Israel must be resolved in order to define Israel's permanent legal boundary. The unwavering official policy of the United States since Israel became a state has been that its borders must coincide with those prevailing from 1949 until 1967 (unless modified by mutually agreeable land swaps), specified in the unanimously adopted U.N. Resolution 242, which mandates Israel's withdrawal from occupied territories. This obligation was reconfirmed by Israel's leaders in agreements negotiated in 1978 at Camp David and in 1993 at Oslo, for which they received the Nobel Peace Prize, and both of these commitments were officially ratified by the Israeli government. Also, as a member of the International Quartet that includes Russia, the United Nations, and the European Union, America supports the Roadmap for Peace, which espouses exactly the same requirements. Palestinian leaders unequivocally accepted this proposal, but Israel has officially rejected its key provisions with unacceptable caveats and prerequisites.

Now, Carter has been roundly pilloried by all sides, even the 'anti-Semitic Left,' with Nancy Pelosi saying

quote:
"to suggest that the Jewish people would support a government in Israel or anywhere else that institutionalizes ethnically based oppression, and Democrats reject that allegation vigorously."
(This is of course notwithstanding the presence as a coalition partner in the Israeli government of Avigdor Lieberman, whose Yisrael Beiteinu party most assuredly does advocate a programme of ethnically based oppression, including the forced expulsion of Arab Israelis and the execution of Arab Knesset members for meeting with Hamas.)

But, for all that Carter's book has a provocative title, is it going to achieve its goal of stirring up a debate about the Israel-Palestine conflict in the US?

Or is it going to fall into the same trap that any criticism of Israel, however mild, seems to, and be labelled anti-Semitic and ergo dismissed?

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
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Silas Sparkhammer
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The "apartheid" comparison is stupid...but it is true that the West Bank settlements are a grievous threat to peace, especially when they are expanded, most especially when they expand to take over land that is currently occupied by others.

The very, very bitter pill is that peace will necessarily involve the dismantling of some of the West Bank settlements, just as happened in Sinai and Gaza.

The Palestinians, for their part, will have to drink down the wormwood and gall of accepting and guaranteeing Israel's existence and of forfeiting their claim to return.

It can be done...but only if they want peace more than they want war. Both 'em.

Silas

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Archie2K
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Abbas and moderate Palestinians want peace, security, and a homeland. I've little doubt that the Palestinian Authority and current Israeli government could thrash out a deal, but that's going to be difficult to implement when Palestine's army isn't controlled by the government, it is controlled by a group which unequivocally refuses to recognise the right of Israel to exist in any form.

The peace process between Arafat and Barak broke down after Arafat rejected the offer which for the first time included a portion of Jerusalem/Al-Quds. The negotiations between Sharon and Arafat broke down after a Hamas suicide bombing killed 20 at an Israeli hotel.

I would class the comments as unduly optimistic. There does seem to be a belief in some quarters that if only there were continued negotiations, all would be good in Israel and Palestine without looking at the reasons for the failures of past negotiations. Even so, I'm sure the book is a good read.

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Steve
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quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
But, for all that Carter's book has a provocative title, is it going to achieve its goal of stirring up a debate about the Israel-Palestine conflict in the US?

Or is it going to fall into the same trap that any criticism of Israel, however mild, seems to, and be labelled anti-Semitic and ergo dismissed?

I'm not sure that it will be labelled anti-Semitic by all, by I have a hard time believing that it will really start a discussion. My guess is that the Pelosi view will be the predominant one.

And much as I dislike Dershowitz, I have to say he has a point about Carter's lack of citations. I was surprised that he didn't substantiate some of his claims. Granted it's better than Dershowitz's own, er, questionable methods on citations, but still, Carter could have done better.

But the book was well written. It's good to see a former American president who doesn't mind pointing out that the horrible conditions in the Palestinian territories might have something to do with Israel. I certainly hope the book starts a discussion, but I have my doubts.

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I'mNotDedalus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
But, for all that Carter's book has a provocative title, is it going to achieve its goal of stirring up a debate about the Israel-Palestine conflict in the US?

Probably not. The Iraq War has essentially trumped this issue in media presentation and government resources, to the extent that the summer invasion of Lebanon was carelessly presented with little scope.

I flipped through Carter's book and found really nothing in the way of novelty. Personally, I'm more interested in reading Noam Chomsky's and Gilbert Achcar's co-authored book, Perilous Power: The Middle East & U.S. Foreign Policy: Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice, which was recently released.

More so, I agree with Steve's affirmation of Dershowitz's criticism: the lack of documentation is ridiculous. Although, when Dershowitz criticizes a “pro-Palestinian” text that is laden with citations, his usual birdcall is, “the author is selectively quoting!” You can never win with that fool unless you’re in full agreement with his tunnel vision.

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
Former US President Jimmy Carter has caused some controversy in the US with his new book

quote:
The unwavering official policy of the United States since Israel became a state has been that its borders must coincide with those prevailing from 1949 until 1967 (unless modified by mutually agreeable land swaps)

This is misleading. US policy before the Johnson adminstration was to favor a territorial compromise between the borders Israel then had and the borders the Arabs states demanded (none). While this could conceivably mean Israel gaining land in a few spots, the main US idea was for Israel to get smaller. See, for example, "US Again Prods Israel and Arabs," New York Times, November 19, 1960, page 1.

The kind of settlement Carter favors would actually create more conflict IMHO. Much, I think most, of the Arab world would be extremely angry at Palestinian leaders for having treated with the Zionist enemy. The Palestinian people themselves would hardly respect their own leaders after they had given in to the Western pressure for compromise. Israelis, perhaps, wouldn't much like their own leaders for having given in to foreign pressure either. Remember what cheers Arafat got, for having stood up to Bill Clinton's pressure, when he returned from Camp David with nothing. And yet, Camp David was just the kind of counterproductive pressure that Carter proposes to put on both sides.

--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Steve
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
And yet, Camp David was just the kind of counterproductive pressure that Carter proposes to put on both sides.

Have you read the book? Because Carter proposes that Israel gives more to the Palestinian territories than was ever discussed at Camp David. So I'm not sure what you mean.

Edited to make myself seem marginlly literate.

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
And yet, Camp David was just the kind of counterproductive pressure that Carter proposes to put on both sides.

Have you read the book? Because Carter proposes that Israel to give more in the Palestinian territories than was ever discussed at Camp David. So I'm not sure what you mean.
No I haven't read the book, and don't plan to. It's always a question whether to post under those circumstances, but I think there was enough context for me to understand the side-point I criticized.

As for the great difference between how Jimmy Carter would encourage the parties to reach a compromise accord, and how Bill Clinton did it, isn't it more a matter of spin than anything? Despite all the allegations that Carter is anti-Israel, he favors Israel remaining within borders it won by force in the Israeli War of Independence (the Palestinian catastrophe), and wants the return of Palestinian refugees subjected to what he calls strict limits. Basically, Jimmy Carter is trying to gain an almost complete permanent victory for Israel in its fight with the Arabs.

Carter is more sympathetic to Palestinian POV's than are other former or present Presidents. But if you look at what he actually favors in my last-paragraph link, and compare it to the kind of Israeli concessions that would really resolve the conflict (see posts here by Troberg), Carter is a lot closer to Bill Clinton than he thinks.

Where Carter, Bill Clinton, and other optimists are mistaken is in thinking the Palestinian leadership has a real option of throwing away the right of their people to return to homes they believe to have been lived in by their grandparents. Actually, making such a concession would be political suicide.

One big barrier to a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, not taken into account by the optimists, is that a final settlement is likely subject to referendums by both people. The Palestinians are not going to vote to limit the right of return any more than the Israelis are going to vote for giving the Jewish areas of ancient Jerusalem back to the Arabs -- especially if the perception is that they were forced into this by foreign pressure.

--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Steve
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waffles
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Steve
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:


Despite all the allegations that Carter is anti-Israel, he favors Israel remaining within borders it won by force in the Israeli War of Independence (the Palestinian catastrophe), and wants the return of Palestinian refugees subjected to what he calls strict limits. Basically, Jimmy Carter is trying to gain an almost complete permanent victory for Israel in its fight with the Arabs.

Well, even Noam Chomsky has given up on the right of return so I don't think that's a sign of much. There are now a few million Palestinians, and I don't think that anyone believes that Israel will give them the right of return. ETA: This was pretty poorly phrased. There are those who think it. But I have trouble believing anyone would find it nonnegotiable.

But I don't know what you mean by pointing out that Carter accepts the borders Israel won in 1949. Aren't those borders the basis of interantional law? We can discuss the justice of them, of course, but I've never heard it seriously proposed recently that Israel go back to the original mandate.

quote:

Carter is more sympathetic to Palestinian POV's than are other former or present Presidents. But if you look at what he actually favors in my last-paragraph link, and compare it to the kind of Israeli concessions that would really resolve the conflict (see posts here by Troberg), Carter is a lot closer to Bill Clinton than he thinks.

I hesitate to discuss a poster who hasn't posted on this thread, but suffice it to say, I'm not sure that Troberg's thoughts are the only ones that would be acceptable to the Palestinians.
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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
Despite all the allegations that Carter is anti-Israel, he favors Israel remaining within borders it won by force in the Israeli War of Independence (the Palestinian catastrophe), and wants the return of Palestinian refugees subjected to what he calls strict limits. Basically, Jimmy Carter is trying to gain an almost complete permanent victory for Israel in its fight with the Arabs.


You must've misread the excerpt of the book posted above. Here, I'll quote a bit for you:
quote:
The unwavering official policy of the United States since Israel became a state has been that its borders must coincide with those prevailing from 1949 until 1967 (unless modified by mutually agreeable land swaps), specified in the unanimously adopted U.N. Resolution 242, which mandates Israel's withdrawal from occupied territories.


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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Troberg
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quote:
I hesitate to discuss a poster who hasn't posted on this thread, but suffice it to say, I'm not sure that Troberg's thoughts are the only ones that would be acceptable to the Palestinians.
Don't worry, I make no claims to speak for the views of an entire population.

However, I'm fairly confident that

quote:
The very, very bitter pill is that peace will necessarily involve the dismantling of some of the West Bank settlements, just as happened in Sinai and Gaza.
will not be enough.

At the very least, all settlements in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon must be abandoned and all israeli military presence (and the settlements are very military installations, just check out the area in Google Earth and look at the difference between the sprawling Palestinian villages in the valleys and the fortified israeli settlements on the hilltops, it's a striking difference) in those nations must cease. Without that base line of international respect, I really can't see any solution.

Yes, of course that process will cost lives. It will probably cost hundreds of lives, maybe thousands. But how many lives will it cost to continue as it is now?

--------------------
/Troberg

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Freshman
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What do you mean by costing lives, Troberg?

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Troberg
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quote:
What do you mean by costing lives, Troberg?
I mean that some of the settlers will not move volontarily. I mean that there will be a period after the official agreements are made before fighting will stop, a period during which attacks must not be responded to in order to stop them from escalating. This is just a period that has to be suffered through until the attackers on both sides lose their popular support.

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/Troberg

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Steve Eisenberg
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
At the very least, all settlements in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon must be abandoned and all israeli military presence (and the settlements are very military installations, just check out the area in Google Earth and look at the difference between the sprawling Palestinian villages in the valleys and the fortified israeli settlements on the hilltops, it's a striking difference) in those nations must cease.

What happenned to expelling Israeli Jews back to Western countries from which they may or may not have come? Do you now favor peace on the basis of making the results of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence AKA Nabka (catastrophe) permanent?

Certainly there are Palestinians who would be glad to end the conflict and become a normal state on this basis. The Arabs get what is admittedly, as a result of the 1948 war, a smaller partition of Palestine than do the Jews, but in return the Jewish partition has to accept an Arab minority, while the Arab partition becomes, once again, free of Jews. From time to time, Palestinian Arabs who would accept this as their long-term national future may even form a majority. Likewise, from time to time, Israelis who would accept it also likely form a majority. However, what I don't think there is a majority for on either side, ever, is a majority for giving in to a plan imposed by foreign powers.

--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
Despite all the allegations that Carter is anti-Israel, he favors Israel remaining within borders it won by force in the Israeli War of Independence (the Palestinian catastrophe), and wants the return of Palestinian refugees subjected to what he calls strict limits. Basically, Jimmy Carter is trying to gain an almost complete permanent victory for Israel in its fight with the Arabs.


You must've misread the excerpt of the book posted above. Here, I'll quote a bit for you:
quote:
The unwavering official policy of the United States since Israel became a state has been that its borders must coincide with those prevailing from 1949 until 1967 (unless modified by mutually agreeable land swaps), specified in the unanimously adopted U.N. Resolution 242, which mandates Israel's withdrawal from occupied territories.

Missed it? I, earlier in this thread, refuted it with my correct description of the "unwavering official policy of the United States" pre-1967 as favoring peace on the basis of negotiated territorial compromise, with Israel becoming smaller than its 1949 won-in-war borders.

As a previous poster noted, nobody today, even Hamas, calls for Israel to return to the borders laid out for it by the UN in 1947. That's because the conflict isn't a border dispute, but over principles that can't be compromised, such as the right of communities to control their holy places, and right of return.

--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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The cite in your "refutation" does not support your claim.

--------------------
"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Troberg
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quote:
What happenned to expelling Israeli Jews back to Western countries from which they may or may not have come? Do you now favor peace on the basis of making the results of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence AKA Nabka (catastrophe) permanent?
No, I still favour a complete restoration of Palestinian rule of the area. What I wrote above was what I consider the bare minimum for some kind of peace.

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/Troberg

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
The cite in your "refutation" does not support your claim.

Are you talking about the November 20, 1960* New York Times front page story, the one where the Eisenhower administration is described as saying that "for Israel the compromise would be the delineation of realistic frontiers"?

Jimmy Carter claimed that consistent US policy before 1967 was to support the 1949 lines as Israel's permanent borders. It's not a mistake of earthshaking importance, but he's wrong. Is that the issue here, or were you writing about something else?

If that is the issue, you could also look at page 21 of the July 10, 1955 New York Times:

quote:
. . . US officials added that progress towards peace would require concessions from both sides. A settlement cannot be brought about if one side insists that it will not budge from its present position in any way whatsoever, they said.

Israel has taken the position that while she was willing to consider minor, mutual border corrections, adjustments or revisions, she refuses to make territorial concessions.

The US also wanted Israel to take back lots of hostile refugees into the new tinier state. Is that what you are saying I distorted?

_________________
* Previously I gave a Nov. 19 date. The story was dated Nov. 19 but appeared in the Nov. 20 paper.

--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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trollface
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I'm not doubting you, Steve, I'm just curious. Do you just happen to have half-decade old copies of the New York Times lying around to hand?

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Logoboros
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If the searchable online NYT database counts as "lying around to hand," then I'd suspect he does...

--Logoboros

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"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

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trollface
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Ah, I thought it might be something like that, but then that makes me wonder why he didn't link to it.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
I'm not doubting you, Steve, I'm just curious. Do you just happen to have half-decade old copies of the New York Times lying around to hand?

My public library web site links to a complete free New York Times archive, but you have to have codes they give residents.

--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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trollface
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But I mean, did you read this thread, decide what you were going to reply with, go to the library, look it up, copy down the relevant bits, go back home and post, or was it something that you were pretty sure you knew off the top of your head and checked it afterwards, or what? I'm just curious.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
I'm not doubting you, Steve, I'm just curious. Do you just happen to have half-decade old copies of the New York Times lying around to hand?

Half-decade old would be great.

Half-century old is another story altogether.

And Steve, since I do not have handy 50 year old copies of the NYT, could you provide the relevant passages that actually refute what President Carter said that was quoted here? Something that says, in effect that the United States supports something other than "[Israel's] borders must coincide with those prevailing from 1949 until 1967." That is the President's claim.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Steve Eisenberg
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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
But I mean, did you read this thread, decide what you were going to reply with, go to the library, look it up, copy down the relevant bits, go back home and post, or was it something that you were pretty sure you knew off the top of your head and checked it afterwards, or what? I'm just curious.

With the bar code from my library card, I can get to an archive of the New York Times from any internet-connected computer. It is pretty common in the states for there to be some public-library-sponsored access to non-open-internet periodicals available to local residents. Everyone in Pennsylvania has access to something called EBESCO Host, although the one I used was Proquest. University students often have even deeper access to otherwise paid services.

As to whether I thought Carter was mistaken, and then looked up sources to show this, yes, I did that. AnglRdr thinks my quotes don't show it, but I've already made what to me seems a reasonable case, so she and I can agree to disagree.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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I guess I don't understand your interpretation of the "prevailing from 1949-1967," Steve Eisenberg.

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Steve
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AnglRdr,

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Steve Eisenberg says that Carter favors Israel remaining within borders it won by force in the Israeli War of Independence and you point out that Carter says "[Israel's] borders must coincide with those prevailing from 1949 until 1967." It might be my own ignorance, but I think these two things mean the same thing. I'm curious what you mean.

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Echinodermata Q. Taft
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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
The "apartheid" comparison is stupid...

Just as a brief clairification of this:

I haven't read the book, but I did hear an interview with Carter this week. He explained that he didn't refer to the conditions within Israel itself, which is very free and democratic, and where many persons of Arab descent are in positions of prosperity and power. However (he claims), in the occupied territories, in the West Bank and Gaza, it's another story entirely. Carter claims the oppression of Palestinians there is, in his opinion, worse than the oppression of blacks during apartheid.

I don't have anything close to enough knowledge to judge his claim, but it should be made clear that he is not referring to the entire state of Israel when he uses the term.

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trollface
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
With the bar code from my library card, I can get to an archive of the New York Times from any internet-connected computer. It is pretty common in the states for there to be some public-library-sponsored access to non-open-internet periodicals available to local residents. Everyone in Pennsylvania has access to something called EBESCO Host, although the one I used was Proquest. University students often have even deeper access to otherwise paid services.

Nifty, thanks.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Steve
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If anyone's interested, Carter is on C-SPAN2 now (noon-3:30 EST) to discuss all his books. You even get to call in if interested.
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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
AnglRdr,

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Steve Eisenberg says that Carter favors Israel remaining within borders it won by force in the Israeli War of Independence and you point out that Carter says "[Israel's] borders must coincide with those prevailing from 1949 until 1967." It might be my own ignorance, but I think these two things mean the same thing. I'm curious what you mean.

A couple of statements were made that lead me to believe that Steve Eisenberg does not think the two are the same.

The first was in response to the "prevailing from 1949-1967" borders Carter made, in which Steve Eisenberg said:
quote:
This is misleading. US policy before the Johnson adminstration was to favor a territorial compromise between the borders Israel then had and the borders the Arabs states demanded (none). While this could conceivably mean Israel gaining land in a few spots, the main US idea was for Israel to get smaller. See, for example, "US Again Prods Israel and Arabs," New York Times, November 19, 1960, page 1.
The impression I am getting is that Eisenberg believes that the US supported some altogether different set of borders.

Then he made the following comment:
quote:

I, earlier in this thread, refuted it [Carter's statement about borders prevailing from 1949-1967] with my correct description of the "unwavering official policy of the United States" pre-1967 as favoring peace on the basis of negotiated territorial compromise, with Israel becoming smaller than its 1949 won-in-war borders.

So I guess I don't really know what it is he is saying.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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I'mNotDedalus
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
If anyone's interested, Carter is on C-SPAN2 now (noon-3:30 EST) to discuss all his books. You even get to call in if interested.

The entire 3 hours are posted here for free viewing. InDepth is one of my absolute favorite programs on television; the interviews with Cornel West, Harold Bloom, Noam Chomsky, Susan Sontag, Bob Woodward, Stanley Crouch, Arthur Schlesinger, etc. are all wonderful. More so, wasn't CSPAN created by Carter's initiative? Fitting presence.

I watched most of the Carter interview and was quite depressed to see the infamous "question" that was phoned in come from my city (Aurora): the woman who called Carter a "black-hearted anti-Semite." Disgusting. He handled it gracefully, though, as expected. There’s something about Carter that strikes me as more genuine than most politicians. Of course, he has the advantage of being a former President, a figure not seeking office.

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Silas Sparkhammer
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quote:
Originally posted by E. Q. Taft:
quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
The "apartheid" comparison is stupid...

Just as a brief clairification of this:

I haven't read the book, but I did hear an interview with Carter this week. He explained that he didn't refer to the conditions within Israel itself, which is very free and democratic, and where many persons of Arab descent are in positions of prosperity and power. However (he claims), in the occupied territories, in the West Bank and Gaza, it's another story entirely. Carter claims the oppression of Palestinians there is, in his opinion, worse than the oppression of blacks during apartheid.

I don't have anything close to enough knowledge to judge his claim, but it should be made clear that he is not referring to the entire state of Israel when he uses the term.

Well, that helps a lot... But it still leaves out a basic question of definitions.

Is the West Bank occupied as a military buffer zone, or as an annexation of colonization?

The U.S. occupied Germany and Japan, and imposed restrictions more severe than the South African Whites upon the South African Blacks. But...that was after a war.

The Israelis occupied the West Bank...after a war.

If the "settlements" are self-sufficient military defensive outposts, in the middle of formerly enemy territory, that would be one thing. If they are civilian colonies encroaching upon conquered territory (by right of conquest) that's another.

But even in the latter case -- which I think we pretty much all agree is illegal and must be stopped -- the "apartheid" claim falls apart. Such settlements would not be seen as "Palestinian Land from which the Palestinians are excluded," but as "Conquered Israeli Land."

If you don't make that distinction, then California is even a *worse* example of apartheid, because of the land that was seized from Mexico and how it was given to Americans.

So, yes, I think the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are bad. But they do not constitute "apartheid" because they aren't treated as "occupied" land, but as "seized" land.

If Jimmy Carter were to refer to it as a case of "ethnic cleansing," I would agree. The Palestinians were scoured from the lands that were seized as settlements. But "apartheid" is simply the wrong word to describe what's happening. The Palestinians in the West Bank are *not* citizens of the settlements; Black South Africans *were* citizens of South Africa.

Silas

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
The U.S. occupied Germany and Japan, and imposed restrictions more severe than the South African Whites upon the South African Blacks. But...that was after a war.


Silas

Really? There were some pretty severe restrictions for a brief period of time in both Germany and Japan, but this smacks of hyperbole to me. The US didn't prevent Germans or Japanese from speaking their languages, or segregate where they lived based upon skin color.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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