Jimmy Carter on: Israeli Apartheid, Colonisation and Ethnic Cleansing of the Palestinians

President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) has written a courageous book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its title, Palestine Peace not Apartheid is illustrative of his ethical compass in the work. It is written in a moderate tone and frequently denounces terrorism against Israel. It repeatedly advocates a secure and internationally recognized Israeli state consistent with its pre-1967 borders.

On three occasions the president describes Israel’s subjugation of the Palestinian people as apartheid. While explicitly rejecting it as a product of racism, he nevertheless compares its results to South Africa, even if based upon a land grab by the Zionists.

p.189 Israel is “imposing a system of partial withdrawal, encapsulation and apartheid on the Muslim and Christian citizens of the occupied territories.”

p. 215 “A system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights.”

p. 216 In the last sentence, the president writes: “It will be a tragedy–for the Israelis, the Palestinians, and the world–if peace is rejected and a systemn of oppression, apartheid, and sustained violence is permitted to prevail.” {Emphasis added}

On three occasions, pp. 53, 162, 208 the author refers to Israeli colonisation of Palestine. Example: Israel “must refrain…from colonizing the West Bank.” To attribute Israel’s actions as colonising is most telling. I have often claimed that Israel is one of the last European colonisers. The world of colonialism unraveled after World War II with the demise of African and Asian colonies. Yet instead of the British, French, German or Spanish subjugating the black and brown periphery, we have Israel, the founding state of Eastern European Jewry, that has perpetuated colonialism in the region.

The 39th president of the United States:
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His book contains many maps, a brilliant chronology of events from ancient times to the present and a rather extensive appendix with key documents such as the 1967 United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. It requires Israel to abandon its conquest of land following its preemptive war of 1967 and the recognition of all states in the region.

“Emphasising the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war…”

“Affiirms…Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflicts.”

“Affirms…the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area…”

The U.N. resolution requires “a just settlement of the refugee problem.” Yet when Israel was created so Jews could have their homeland, they picked an area in the middle of the Middle East teeming with Palestinians who had been there for centuries. Seven hundred thousand, yes that’s 700,000 Palestinians, were terrorised, relocated and ethnically cleansed from Palestine in 1948 so the Jews could have their country. In addition 420 Arab villages were destroyed and devastated as this tragic people were forced into refugee camps. The diaspora included Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza. Generations of Palestinians have grown up stateless and homeless in these camps of woe and racism.

The founding of Israel, as were many others such as the United States, was a crime against humanity because so many suffered as a result. Innocent people, who had nothing to do with Hitler, the concentration camps, the pogroms, the pales of settlement were forced into permanent exile and immiseration because of the Zionist dream of a homeland.

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