Skip to comments.Carter on Settlements: Gush Etzion Will Remain Israeli “Forever”
Posted on 06/15/2009 11:35:08 AM PDT by anotherview
Yesterday former U.S. President Jimmy Carter visited Neveh Daniel and met with Shaul Goldstien, who leads the Gush Etzion Regional Council, in Goldstiens home. Here are some of President Carters comments as reported by The Jerusalem Post:
"This particular settlement area is not one I ever envision being abandoned or changed over into Palestinian territory.
He added that the Jewish communities in Gush Etzion are among a number of West Bank settlements that I think will be here forever. The former President also thanked the Gush Etzion residents he met with:
"I recognize that their suffering is taking place in an area where strife and misunderstanding and animosity exists. I have been fortunate this afternoon in learning the perspective that I did not have. I explained to those listening of my long-time commitment to Israel. The most important element in my life in the last 30 years is to bring peace
What makes this statement so important is the fact that it came from President Carter, a political leader widely considered to be strongly pro-Palestinian and who has wrongly compared Israeli policies to South African apartheid. I have been harshly critical of Mr. Carter in the past but this time he absolutely gets it right.
President Carter has come to the same realiztion that Presidents Clinton and Bush have reached: the 1949 armistice line, to so-called pre-1967 borders were never intended to be borders at all and simply are not defensible. Israel can never return to those borders and the intransigent Palestinian position of refusing to budge from the armistice line or engage in land swaps is a real obstacle to any hope of peace in the future.
Even the use of the term settlements is often inaccurate and misleading. Here is what I wrote about the history of the Etzion bloc in March, 2006:
"Gush Etzion and pretty much the entire Etzion bloc were Jewish property and Jewish towns prior to 1948. Israeli forces had to evacuate the population when the Jordanian army conquered the area during Israels 1948-49 War of Independence. Why does 19 years of illegal Jordanian occupation turn Israeli Jewish towns into colonies? Why was Jordans occupation deemed somehow legitimate and Israels subsequent control of the area for the next nearly 39 years somehow illegitimate?
The fact is that all settlements are not equal. They do not all have the same history and are not somehow stolen Palestinian land. President Clinton recognized this in regard to the Jewish community in Hebron as well. From the same March, 2006 piece:
" the Jewish community of Hebron lived for many centuries in peace with their Arab neighbors. It was only the violence incited by then Palestinian Arab leader Haj Amin al-Husseini, the British appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and the subsequent Hebron massacre of 1929, that drove the Jewish community out. The settlers in Hebron have simply reclaimed homes and property that was Jewish for centuries and restored a community in a city that is holy to the Jewish people. Hebron is, after all, the site of the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the burial place of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. President Bill Clinton recognized this, proposing at Camp David in 2000 that Palestinians lease the Jewish enclaves in the city to the Jewish inhabitants and/or Israel indefinitely. His idealistic vision was one of Jews and Palestinian Arabs once again living together in peace. Does either the terrorism and slaughter of 1929 or the Jordanian occupation of Hebron from 1948 until 1967 negate the Jewish claims in the city and centuries of continued Jewish presence there?
Sadly it does not appear that President Obama understands this history in his call for a freeze to all settlement activity. If he was calling for no further expropriation of land from the Palestinian Arabs living in Judea and Samaria Id agree with the President. If he was talking about not expanding settlements geographically Id agree that such expansion would be damaging to any prospects for a meaningful peace process. That isnt what the President is talking about. He is opposed even to natural growth within Jewish towns and cities on land within those communities. President Obama is critical of Israel at a time when Israeli policies have allowed for negligible settlement growth or, in some cases, actual declines in population and as the Netanyahu government forcibly evacuates illegal outposts.
It is high time President Obama stops trying to determine the outcome of peace talks in advance at a time when the Palestinian leadership seems to have little or no interest in compromise or peace. It is particularly important that the President learns more of the history of the Jewish communities in question and comes to the same realizations that President Clinton, President Bush, and now even President Carter have come to. There are Jewish communities beyond the Green Line that are legal, legitimate, and here to stay.
The solution that makes the most sense is for Israel to annex all the territories, give the Arabs full citizenship rights, and decentralize into a Swiss stye confederacy thus protecting everyone’s rights. Of course, it will never happen! Everyone, except the hapless American taxpayers, seems to have vested interest in continuing this problem.
This piece demonstrates that Jimmy Carter doesn't know the true meaning of the word "Forever".
Shows Carter is more pro-israeli than Obama. LOL
If you'd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
Of course it won't. Your solution would lead to the Arabs slaughtering the Jews. Thanks, but no thanks.
Everyone, except the hapless American taxpayers, seems to have vested interest in continuing this problem.
Israel has no such interest. Most Israelis want peace. The Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and want to eliminate Israel by flooding it with Arabs. Nobody wants the status quo.
The American taxpayers will be grateful if Israel solves the Iranian nuclear issue for you. I will remind you that Iran now has enough enriched uranium to build at least two nuclear weapons according to the IAEA. Considering the IAEA bias they probably have more. They also can now launch a satellite into space which means they can also create long range ballistic missiles. How long before the Iranians, if unchecked, would destroy a city or two beloning to the "Great Satan" Clue: the "Great Satan" is the U.S., the only nation the Iranian mullahs hate more than Israel.
I’d like to think Carter was this smart, but I’ve seen him in action for the last thirty-five years. Sounds to me like he’s cramming for his finals, if you catch my drift.
In my dream someone takes this guy’s passport, and then slaps some duct tape over his mouth. I wake up in a sweat, trying to muster up an effort to actually care.
The American taxpayers will be more grateful if we end all foreign and that includes the Israel and the Arabs! Israel can take care of itself. Let’s butt out! If you want to voluntarily give such aid, of course, that is fine with me.
I see.. a Libertarian.
I think the U.S. has compelling interests in the Middle East and Israel is the one and only true friend (and guaranteed safe base of operations) the U.S. has in this part of the world.
I would also note that if U.S. aid dried up Israel would, for lack of choice, find another nation to cozy up with. You will remember that before 9/11 when President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon were at loggerheads the Sharon government started doing precisely that with China and India. After 9/11 President Bush changed its tune and suddenly the U.S. could veto any deal with China the U.S. did not like.
I prefer Israel allied with the United States and the west. I also think that the American taxpayers get a huge return on the aid, mostly in the form of loans, to Israel. Israel is one of the few nations who actually pay interest on and eventually pay off said loans. The U.S. taxpayer gets financial and foreign policy/defense returns on their investment.
Dependling on the settlements there are differences. As the blog post points out some were Jewish pre-1948, some weren’t. Some are clearly defensive in nature and can’t be yielded for that reason. If you go to Blogs of Zion and follow the link to the author’s 2006 piece you will see that she talks about the reasons places like Alfe Menashe and Gilboa were built. Some settlements are really quite large — cities and towns. Ma’aleh Adumim really is a city and it is within the security fence line. Nobody in their right mind would expect Israel to cede Ma’aleh Adumim.
There are small isolated settlements deep within Judea and Samaria that are effectively surrounded by Palestinians. Those are the ones likely to be evacuated if there ever was a peace agreement. I think the chances of any such agreement in my lifetime or yours are remote at best.
Does Carter understand all of this? I doubt it but at least he admitted learning something at Naveh Daniel. I don’t trust him at all but I am grateful for him finally saying something useful. When someone who is seen as an enemy of Israel says something like this it is extremely powerful.
One thing is clear: the author knows and understands the nature of the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria. She defends them well.
Carter is now pretty well known as an anti-semite with financial ties to Arab groups and Arab countries that fund his foundation. Carter is trying to fool people into thinking he is not the anti-semite he is by making this statement about one of the settlements. He’s trying to revise his lousy image before he croaks. It’s called tokenism. He is throwing the masses who might care a bone. Question is, are you going to chew on it and swallow it whole, or do the sensible thing and spit it out.
This senile old fool evidently has a few grey cells still working in reactive defense of his self-perceived "legacy" which he sees is being trashed more every day by right-thinking Americans.
Do you spy on your “true friends?”
This particular settlement area is not one I ever envision being abandoned or changed over into Palestinian territory.Caution: Carter's a known liar, and obviously has absolutely nothing to say about what does and doesn't remain Israeli territory.
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