Sunday, September 19, 2010

Carter Continues Trashing Israel, Successors On MidEast Peace Process

Former President Jimmy Carter can't seem to get enough of the spotlight, and still revels in the idea that his foreign policy statements have merit.

He couldn't be more hopelessly wrong.

Carter was a failed presidency who failed to deal with the key issues during his Administration: the Iranian hostage situation was a major debacle, but so too was the crippling economic situation (the misery index) and his inability to get his own political party to buy into his worldview.

The one success he can take away wasn't even really his: the Camp David Accords was the result of Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat going to Jerusalem with an interest in making peace; without which no deal would ever have been possible. Carter was along for the ride.

In his latest book, he think that Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama didn't do enough to pressure Israel to stop building homes in the West Bank. Carter continues to believe in the nonsense that those houses are the impediment to peace.

Carter ignores the Palestinians' longstanding refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist. He ignores that when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, the Palestinian response was not to build an economy and utilize the infrastructure left behind as part of agricultural and business improvements, but rather started a rocket war, using those very greenhouses as terror training camps.

Carter ignores that Israel has made numerous attempts to make a peace deal with the Palestinians, but successive leaders of the Palestinian Authority (Yasir Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas) have not only refused those deals, but have failed to make counteroffers to the proposals.

The Palestinian leadership has not fulfilled its obligations under Oslo to stop inciting Palestinians to violence. Indeed, earlier this year, Israel dedicated a new synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, and top Palestinian authorities claimed that this was the first step to destroying the Dome of the Rock and al Aqsa mosques on the Temple Mount.

The Palestinian leadership isn't even united in an interest of carrying on talks; Fatah is pursuing talks but doesn't speak for all Palestinians and isn't even legitimate in the eyes of Palestinians given that elections haven't been held and Hamas controls Gaza and has the majority in the Palestinian parliament.

It is necessary to be realistic about the Palestinian intentions, positions, and statements - not just in English, but in Arabic and how they are shaping Palestinian opinions back home and in their disapora. If they continue calling for an unequivocal right of return, that's a signal that the Palestinians aren't interested in peace - or recognizing Israel's right to exist.

If they continue calling for Jerusalem as their capital and produce maps that do not show a two-state solution, that's a sign that the Palestinians aren't interested in peace. If they continue to mount terror attacks at every opportunity, it's a sign that they have no interest in peace and are engaging in their usual triangle offense that allows the Palestinians (Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, etc.) to cast blame on others for attacks while continuing to make demands at the bargaining table.

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