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RealClearPolitics - Articles - Rachel Neuwirth

Last Build Date: Tue, 23 May 2006 12:09:56 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2007

A Reply to Jimmy Carter

Tue, 23 May 2006 12:09:56 -0600

No one in his right mind would read UN Resolution 242 in those terms, implying a return to the 1949 armistice line. But Jimmy Carter's latest article - published in USA Today on May 15, 2006, with the provocative title "Israel's new Plan: a Land Grab" - is definitely a tour de force of innuendos, half-truths, distortions and blatant lies. It is said that putting someone to shame, especially a world-renowned individual, is neither fair nor elegant. But when a former President of the United States manages to include two major errors in his introductory paragraph and then goes on with a crescendo of distortions, perhaps we should dispense with the usual niceties accorded to his rank. President Carter either doesn't know what he is talking about or, worse, is knowingly and shamelessly peddling falsehoods. He introduces his article with phrases like "the Palestinian West Bank" and the "the internationally recognized boundary between Israel and Palestine." When did the "West Bank" become Palestinian? Even UN Resolution 338, written as late as 1973, and all the preceding UN Resolutions, never mention the word "Palestinian". No such international recognition was ever granted, as clearly shown in UN Resolution 242. These allegations by President Carter are nothing short of deceitful since they imply, wrongly, that Israel took over territory rightfully belonging to another nation. He then goes on to further mislead the uninformed by saying that "the only division of territory between Israel and the Palestinians that is recognized by the United States or the international community awarded 77% of the land to the nation of Israel." This, from a former U.S. president, who should know (and probably knows) that no such ratio was ever recognized and that, in fact, the international community allocated in 1922 the entire territory between the Jordan River and the sea to the future Jewish State. It is also ironic that President Carter views the Gaza Strip (where there have been no Jews since August 2005) as a "politically and economically non-viable region." Gaza may be considered an experiment in Palestinian self-government which is failing owing to strife within the Palestinian community, but there is no inherent reason why small populous territories cannot be viable. Look at the success of Singapore. Perhaps the former president could explain how "Palestine" could be made more viable when the same Jew-free status is extended to the West Bank. President Carter is obviously against the Olmert Plan of partial disengagement from the "West Bank." He is not the only one to oppose this plan. But if Carter finds it unacceptable, Probably it is because he still clings to the widely discredited Oslo-type paradigm which has only brought bloodshed since its inception. The provisions of the Oslo Accords and the later Roadmap routinely have been breached by the Palestinians, who have shown time and time again that their real objective is not to create a viable state but to destroy Israel in whatever number of phases it would take following successive territorial concessions. The present situation in Gaza, with its simmering chaos and the rocket attacks against Israel, is a corroborating proof of the Palestinian strategy. President Carter would make us believe that "the nation of Israel was founded [by] U.N. Security Council resolutions." This assertion is simply astounding. Like many of his Arab supporters, President Carter's historical horizon seems to be conveniently limited to 1967 or, at best, to 1948. It is hard to believe that a former world leader of this stature would be so ignorant of history. For President Carter, any partial withdrawal from the "West Bank" is tantamount to "confiscation and colonization." Of course, having established at the outset that "Palestine's internationally recognized boundaries" would be violated by such a partial withdrawal, why is he talking about "colonization" - like the Belgians in Congo, the British in India, or the French in Indochina? How could anyone expect truth resulting [...]