By Geoffrey Cook, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)
Berkeley–In my opinion Jimmy Carter was the most moral Presidentâ€“after Abraham
Lincoln–of the United States.
Carter was invited by the students of the University of California to give a speech on his new controversial book, Peace not Apartheid. The talk here (like most public talks on this work) was met with Zionist demonstrations.
Carter has over the course of his career monitored Palestinian elections and negotiated with high-level Israeli officials to bring the two sides closer together.
His purpose for writing this book was to show the Palestinian side of the conflict. The Apartheid he is talking about is not religious, but rather the fact of a small number of Israelis trying to grab land for themselves. â€œTheir cruel oppression does not represent the values of the majority of the Jewish nation,â€ but a minute number of Jews favor the removal of Arabs from their country for a greater Israeli nation.
Huge walls segregating Arab lands have made the Palestinians furious. Strong support of Tel Aviv comes through American Christian â€œZionists.â€ Under the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committeeâ€™s) control of the press debate is impossible here.
Curiously, in any three-way talks between the U.S., Israel and Palestine, only the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) not the PA (Palestinian Authority) is recognized. The States must become more the brokers towards peace — not hold prejudices against the Palestinians, but present president Bush does not permit this.
Israel will never find peace until it withdraws from Palestinian lands. Where settlements are already in place, Carter suggests land swaps. As with the Palestinian people, â€œThe majority of the Israelis wish so,â€ too, except for a small number in their government and AIPAC in the States.
The birth of Islamic extremism came out the lack of peace in the Holy Land. Both Palestine and Israel desire peace. The question is how do we do our part to help them achieve it?
President Carter suggested that we guarantee security for Tel Aviv with justice for Ramallah. Apartheid â€œis two people living on the same land with one of them dominant.â€ Most Jews support a change, but, at the same time, â€œmany people in the U.S. say it is impossible to criticize Israel.â€ Jimmy Carter feels to be a friend of Jerusalem is to search for peace in the Holy Land.
Terrorism in the Middle East is born out of the Colonization of Arab civilization.
An Israeli â€œWallâ€ now surrounds Bethlehem, the birthplace of the prophet Jesus (as). Animosity in the Middle East comes out of the struggle between Palestine and Israel and the United States and Iraq. â€œIf these could be solved, terrorism would end.â€
It is often claimed that Israel has the only democracy in the Levant, but Carter, through election observations, claims, â€œPalestine has an almost perfect democracy.â€
In the war of last summer, three Israelis were held while hundreds of men, women and children were in Jewish camps. There can be â€œNo hope for the Middle East while Bush is in power!â€
The two overriding problems are the rights to Jerusalem and the right of return. It would be a catastrophe for us to attack Iran. We would lose whatever shrinking support we have in this world. We have to go back to traditional American values! â€œThe greatest [domestic] problem is the chasm between our rich and poor.
Curiously, Carter supports Al Gore for his partyâ€™s Presidential candidate, but Gore refuses to put his hat in the ring.