Palestine : peace not apartheid

by Jimmy Carter

Paper Book, 2006

Status

Available

Publication

New York : Simon & Schuster, c2006.

Description

"President Carter, who was able to negotiate peace between Israel and Egypt, has remained deeply involved in Middle East affairs since leaving the White House. He has stayed in touch with the major players from all sides in the conflict and has made numerous trips to the Holy Land, most recently as an observer in the Palestinian elections of 2005 and 2006." "In this book President Carter shares his intimate knowledge of the history of the Middle East and his personal experiences with the principal actors, and he addresses sensitive political issues many American officials avoid. Pulling no punches, Carter prescribes steps that must be taken for the two states to share the Holy Land without a system of apartheid or the constant fear of terrorism.""The general parameters of a long-term, two-state agreement are well known, the president writes. There will be no substantive and permanent peace for any peoples in this troubled region as long as Israel is violating key U.N. resolutions, official American policy, and the international "road map" for peace by occupying Arab lands and oppressing the Palestinians. Except for mutually agreeable negotiated modifications, Israel's official pre-1967 borders must be honored. As were all previous administrations since the founding of Israel, U.S. government leaders must be in the forefront of achieving this long-delayed goal of a just agreement that both sides can honor."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member cbradley
One of Carter’s most significant books. Former president Carter combines the three things that any book about turmoil in the Middle East needs; understandable history of the problem, attempts at solutions and the results of those attempts, and suggestions for the future. Carter manages to accomplish these three things while still managing to write a book that someone with no knowledge of the Israeli/Palestinian situation can understand. Carter tries to break down the wall of ignorance surrounding the problems in Israel and Palestine, educating his readers about a crisis that many do not fully understand.
After reading Palestine: Peace not Apartheid I felt a great sympathy for the Palestinian people who suffer every day because of a political situation that the vast majority of Palestinians have no control over. Carter manages to keep hope on the table despite the history of violence in the region. He outlines what needs to be done and advocates for the implementation of a much talked about two-state solution. When he was president, Carter tried to achieve peace with the Camp David Accords. Even now he seems to be the leading voice for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian situation.
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LibraryThing member Katethegreyt
A clear timeline of the problems in the Middle East. Ironically, I read this immediately before starting to read the novel, DeNiro's Game by Rawi Hage. I would never be getting as much out of Hage's novel without the background provided in Carter's book. The appendices are very helpful.
LibraryThing member solla
Setting out to read about the creation of Israel and Arab-Israeli relations since, which I knew something about, but not a lot of details, I picked up a book by Chomsky at the library. That book turned out to be a little of a rant against Israel, though that didn't necessarily mean it was untrue, because, in fact it was in line with much that I did know already. Still, I decided to back off and read some other works first. This one by Jimmy Carter was one of them.

Reading the first chapter, when he described early visits to Israel, which occurred before his presidency, I began to feel that Carter was naively pro Israel, presenting it as a democracy in the midst of more restrictive societies. I was a little afraid I was wasting my time with an Israeli whitewash rather than a balanced picture. This rapidly changes, however, as he covers historical events that occurred after the six days war, beginning with Egyptian president, Sadat's, overtures towards peace with Israel that culminated in the Camp David agreement that supposedly accomplished three things, 1. Egypt's recognition of Israel's right to exist; 2. Israel returning the Sinai Peninsula, taken during the six days war, back to Egypt; 3. a plan to establish a Palestinian homeland based on a division of about 77% of the total area of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza strip, for Israel, and the rest for a Palestinian state. (this is already less than the 45% for the Palestinian state that was set by the UN around 1947). Also, east Jerusalem was to be open to all faiths.

What follows is an account of what has happened since, which, to me, reminds me of the United States in the 1800 - 1900's and the concept of manifest destiny. Basically, the U.S. felt it was its destiny to fill the entire area, from coast to coast, and it was not really considered that the Native American had any rights. Of course, that a generalization of a range of events, treaties, attitudes, but it covers pretty well what actually happened. And, in Israel, despite a series of agreements in regard to a Palestinian state, what has actually happened, is that since the Camp David accords, there has been little break in the influx of Israeli settlers into the West Bank, the area, along with the Gaza Strip near Egypt, which was to be the Palestinian state. Some Israelis say outright that they feel they have a right to the entire area as their historical homeland, but based upon actions that seems the clear intent. The Carter book is not a rant, and presents sources for the statements that he makes, but the statements of what is occurring is pretty near what the Chomsky book was asserting. There were some 250,000 Israelis settled in the West Bank when Carter wrote the book. They used a a disproportionate share of the resources of water and land available to the people of the area. Israel engaged in tactics like razing houses if there was suspicion of involvement in anti-Israeli actions and frequently if not. Notice was given about 3% of the time, according to an investigation cited by Carter. The settlements are joined to Israel and to each other by highways that take even more land from the Palestinians but the Palestinians are forbidden from using them, and instead encounter ever more checkpoints traveling not only outside of the West Bank, but within it as well. Palestinians as a group are held accountable for individual acts of violence and the occurrence of even individual acts is used as an excuse not to continue with plans for greater autonomy. While the Palestinian authorities are supposed to protect Israeli settlers, they have no authority over them, and the army, which does, does not do a good job of protecting Palestinians from the settlers.

Then there are the barriers. Gaza is isolated from the sea, from Egypt and from Israel by barrier. In the West Bank, areas of it are being isolated from other areas, including, for instance, a church from its congregation.

Carter mentioned briefly that the US gives Israel about $4 billion in aid each year, and supplies weapons although they are only to be used for defense. He didn't spend much time discussing what he thought the US should be doing aside from becoming involved again with the peace process.
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LibraryThing member JBGUSA
An awful, ahistorical book by a treasonous ex-President.

Carter re-invents history to minimize the Jewish historical footprint on the Near East, with the aim of delegitimizing Israel as a Jewish state.
LibraryThing member plappen
The author has been very interested, and very involved, in helping to bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians for many years, dating back to before he became President. This book recounts his experiences, including several recent trips to the region, and includes his assessment of what needs to be done in the future on both sides.

An example of how things have gotten worse over the years is at the Allenby Bridge, the main crossing point from Israel to Jordan. In 1973, there was a flood of people going in both directions. Thousands of Arabs were freely visiting Israel. The checkpoint was more symbolic than actual. In 1983, the flood had slowed to a trickle. Israeli soldiers were everywhere. There were lines of people a hundred yards long, some of whom had been there for days. Any Palestinian produce intended to be sold in Jordan had a tiny chance of getting there before it rotted.

The book also talks about Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land, the holding of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails for long periods of time under "administrative detainment," and the destruction of Palestinian homes, with little or no notice, more often than not, for no reason at all. The separation barrier (or wall) is being built around the West Bank to make it harder for Palestinian militants to launch attacks on Israel. If it was built on the Green Line, the unofficial Israel-Palestinian border (because Israel has never officially delineated its border), there would be some grumbling. Parts of it are built miles inside Palestinian territory, taking more land. The cleared land, the access roads, the trenches, etc, that go along with the wall are always on the Palestinian side, not the Israeli side.

Palestinians do not escape criticism in this book. The killing of Israeli civilians by suicide bombers does nothing to advance the cause of peace; it only leads to more Israeli retaliation. The lack of a unified Palestinian "voice" is no help.

Among the actions needed to advance peace are: Arab recognition of Israel's pre-1967 sovereignty, openly and publicly. All Arab violence toward Israel must end. Israel must also delineate its final border. In recent opinion polls, large majorities of people on both sides are ready and willing to accept a two-state solution. The politicians have not gotten the message.

Another obstacle to a lasting peace is the lack of a real debate here in America, something more than just "Israelis good, Palestinians bad." If there is ever to be such a debate, books like this are much needed, and are very much worth reading.
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LibraryThing member addict
Following his #1 New York Times bestseller, Our Endangered Values, the former president, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, offers an assessment of what must be done to bring permanent peace to Israel with dignity and justice to Palestine.

President Carter, who was able to negotiate peace between Israel and Egypt, has remained deeply involved in Middle East affairs since leaving the White House. He has stayed in touch with the major players from all sides in the conflict and has made numerous trips to the Holy Land, most recently as an observer in the Palestinian elections of 2005 and 2006.

In this book President Carter shares his intimate knowledge of the history of the Middle East and his personal experiences with the principal actors, and he addresses sensitive political issues many American officials avoid. Pulling no punches, Carter prescribes steps that must be taken for the two states to share the Holy Land without a system of apartheid or the constant fear of terrorism.

The general parameters of a long-term, two-state agreement are well known, the president writes. There will be no substantive and permanent peace for any peoples in this troubled region as long as Israel is violating key U.N. resolutions, official American policy, and the international "road map" for peace by occupying Arab lands and oppressing the Palestinians. Except for mutually agreeable negotiated modifications, Israel's official pre-1967 borders must be honored. As were all previous administrations since the founding of Israel, U.S. government leaders must be in the forefront of achieving this long-delayed goal of a just agreement that both sides can honor.

Palestine Peace Not Apartheid is a challenging, provocative, and courageous book.
… (more)
LibraryThing member mldavis2
This is a must-read for anyone who has an interest in Middle East peace. Carter, an honest man of professed Christian faith, long removed from partisan politics and internationally recognized as a man of peace, has worked over decades with and known personally the evolving leaders of both Israel and Palestine as well as other Middle Eastern countries.

In this book, Carter gives a brief history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and gives an honest look into the errors and intentions from both sides of the border. Views outlining Arab concerns are usually suppressed by AIPAC and friends of Israel in the U.S. which has rendered unbiased analysis and discussion a rarity and which has, according to Carter, unfairly influenced U.S. policy in the Middle East.

It is Carter's belief that U.S.-Israeli policy in the Middle East is the prime factor igniting terrorism in the region and against the U.S. His experiences with Palestine and Israeli leaders is definitive in his argument that peace is possible and that U.S. policy in the Middle East must change in order for that to occur. You may or may not agree with Carter's premise, but you must read this book if you think you know Middle East conflicts. No one has had more experience at the international level.
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LibraryThing member bettyjo
The last two paragraphs of this book are the key. Jimmy Carter says what he feels and is willing to help those in power walk the walk for world peace.
LibraryThing member Darrol
I bought this book because he was sued.
LibraryThing member mamorico
This book gives one of the best general histories of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that I have read. I've studied this subject in some detail. Perhaps I feel some sort of tie to this situation because of my birth date being June 5th, 1967. This book is easily digested without being bogged down in the minutia of the back and forth grievances that each part has. I highly recommend this book to anyone in need of an explanation of these important events. This conflict is THE key in my opinion to pacifying the Middle East.… (more)
LibraryThing member fulner
This audio book was good. Carter has a unique perspective on the middle east turmoil as a born again Christian, a liberal politician, and the individual who almost single handedly negoited the only long lasting peace agreement between Isreal and an Arabic nation.

He begins with a very brief history of the region, from biblical times, to the safe haven from Nazi Germany, to today.

He went through all the various players, from the KJews, to the Palestienians to others throughout the world.

Unlike myself CRter gives great respect to the United Nations, but that's not enough for me to ignore all he says. The title is certainly meant to be controversial but the innerspring of the book are much more middle ofbthe road and shows how we all can work together.

But particularly foe American Christians that have been conservative PRO isreafrom the pulpit, it may be surprising to realize how many Palestienians are Christians and how the local government treats them so second class citizens.

Hamas has been listed as a terrorist organization by the United.S. Government, even though they provided social services before anything resembling a Palestienians state existed,and they've been democratically elected. It made me wonder how many other governments would label the GOP as a terrorist organization if given the chance.

While I am still a firm believer that the Holy Land needs a No State solution, Carters work provides good insight regardless of your political or religious persuasion and I recommend it in audio or dead tree format.

The book makes references to several maps, which obviously I can't do on audio, though the audio book indicates that the latter CD includes electronic resources such as a map, but I didn't bother putting it in my PC to verify.
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LibraryThing member MontzaleeW
Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter is a book I bought new ten years ago. Yes, it is that old. The middle east has more issues now but this book is about the Arab/Israeli situation then. The book starts out giving a history of the region going back thousands of years and how the region has changed leadership. President Carter then speaks personally about his trips to the middle east and what he sees, how he feels, what is said, who he talks with, etc. He is open and honest and shows the reader what he is up against politically and socially. It is a good lesson on both. Throughout the book, his love for peace and prosperity for both sides comes through. Not for one side over the other. I am not sure how the negative reviews found these things, I looked. I found none of this. Jimmy Carter presented himself as a President as someone that the USA could be proud of and he continues to do so. He is sweet and tenderhearted, working for the underdog, for peace, prosperity world wide, and has since he has left office. He didn't have to, he could just be sitting around and golfing but he is driven to do good for mankind and this book's pages express this. He is not the best writer but what he does write tells this. He let's his feels show honestly. He is a man that continues to this day, even with cancer, working for others. That is why I chose to read this book on his birthday, after all these years, because he may not be here much longer, and I wanted my review up to show that I did read it and I agree. Peace, not apartheid. Thank you Mr President for being a role model for all.… (more)
LibraryThing member 8heist
It could have been great but came across a bit self-righteous. However, overall, President Carter should be commended for the effort all the same.
LibraryThing member mmmorsi
This book is dead honest. It's a must read if you are interested in the Palestinian quest for freedom. It's not a road map nor is it a solution but it's consideration of what is sustainable. The Palestinian people deserve to be free to live a life free of segregation and oppression and this book highlights in simple terms what it means to replace an increasing moral decay, brought by decades of Zionist ideology and brainwash, with a peace. Co-existence in which ever form IS possible but it is only possible when the Zionist apartheid regime is replaced with a government that promotes a radical change in the way Israeli view or should view their brothers and sisters the Palestinians. And that would be the first small step in a giant leap towards a reconciliation that certainly doesn't need any more water under the bridge.
Jimmy Carter is the only honourable president the USA has ever had. He's not the best writer but his heart is in the right place. He has shared his thoughts and views and facts about one of the most pressing political and humanitarian issues of our time, the freedom for the Palestinians and the end of the apartheid in Israel.
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LibraryThing member richardderus
Book Circle Reads 16

Rating: 3.5* of five

The Book Description: Following his #1 bestseller, Our Endangered Values, the former president, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, offers an assessment of what must be done to bring permanent peace to Israel with dignity and justice to Palestine. President Carter, who was able to negotiate peace between Israel and Egypt, has remained deeply involved in Middle East affairs since leaving the White House. He has stayed in touch with the major players from all sides in the conflict and has made numerous trips to the Holy Land, most recently as an observer in the Palestinian elections of 2005 and 2006.

In this book President Carter shares his intimate knowledge of the history of the Middle East and his personal experiences with the principal actors, and he addresses sensitive political issues many American officials avoid. Pulling no punches, Carter prescribes steps that must be taken for the two states to share the Holy Land without a system of apartheid or the constant fear of terrorism.

The general parameters of a long-term, two-state agreement are well known, the president writes. There will be no substantive and permanent peace for any peoples in this troubled region as long as Israel is violating key U.N. resolutions, official American policy, and the international "road map" for peace by occupying Arab lands and oppressing the Palestinians. Except for mutually agreeable negotiated modifications, Israel's official pre-1967 borders must be honored. As were all previous administrations since the founding of Israel, U.S. government leaders must be in the forefront of achieving this long-delayed goal of a just agreement that both sides can honor.

Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid is a challenging, provocative, and courageous book.

My Review: I do not have a dog in this fight. I'm not Jewish, I'm not Palestinian, and I'm not Christian so this isn't homeland or holy land to me.

But I'm a human being, and a very committed secular humanist. Israel's right to exist should be inarguable. The Palestinian homeland should be self-governing. But NEITHER should be run by gawd, since such an entity doesn't exist, and the rule books that the religions here in conflict use are both so revolting and reprehensible.

President Carter is a wise man, and his book is packed with commonsensical compromises. For those reasons alone, there is no chance whatsoever that anyone in power will listen to him. Wisdom is the garlic to the vampires of politics, and common sense can't get any traction where gawd is in the debate.

One side or the other must lose. There is no compromise that will make both sides happy enough to stop killing each other in gawd's name. So the inevitable must occur: Victory for one, defeat for the other, and many more generations of blood spilled over a scrap of desert with little to recommend it.

This is what religion does, people: It makes hate roil the never-calm waters of the human soul. Its purpose is to divide, separate, blame, vilify. It is very very good at those things. The reason is that it was created by humankind in humankind's own worst image. There is nothing "divine" about it...just humans bein' themselves, murdering apes.
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LibraryThing member AuntieClio
Jimmy Carter caught an enormous amount of flack both for the title of his book and for his main thesis that Israel’s policy against the Palestinians is what blocks the way for peace. Having spent a great deal of his life on the topic of peace between Israel and Egypt and the Palestinians, Carter uses this book to explain the history and the many failed attempts at peace treaties. In plain-spoken, straightforward language, this is one of the clearest explanations of what’s going on between Israel and Palestine I’ve found. It lays a good foundation for deeper exploration on the topic, should someone want to study it further.… (more)

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