Tag Archives: Carter

Who “Won” War In Gaza?–The Dead?

Israeli newspapers say, “we’ve achieved what we wanted” while Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, boasts about a great victory. One is reminded of the old cartoon in which the last two people left on Earth are brandishing weapons and boasting about defeating their enemies and “winning.” Israel, for the moment, has been able to reduce rocket attacks, and Hamas, for the moment, is able to boast they are still alive and kicking. The people of Gaza are back at restoring their facilities, and destroyed tunnels are being rebuilt along with the return of smugglers who will make use of them. Hamas believes it is engaged in a long struggle which, ironically is the same attitude held by the Israelis.

The major problem confronting peace in the Middle East is the view now being held by more and more Israelis and Palestinians that compromise is not part of the story of “victory.” Logic suggests if two nations will not budge, there is no compromise. If two nations refuse to accept a positive view of the future, the present will become the future.

The other day in The New York Times a letter writer exclaimed that George Bush was the “greatest friend Israel ever had.” Is Israel today in a safer and more secure position than it was in 2001? The only American president who ever brought together Arabs and Jews in a treaty of peace that has endured was Jimmy Carter, the one president most Israelis hate. No wonder there is no peace in the Middle East.

Zimbabwe Blocks Visit Of Concerned Elders

The government of Zimbabwe denied the right of three concerned world leaders to visit their nation in order to ascertain the state of human rights. Former president Jimmy Carter, former UN head, Kofi Annan and Graca Machel, were told they were not welcome in the country which currently is experiencing a devastating famine and collapsed economy due to the incredible incompetency and brutality of the Mugabe government. After telling them they could not come, Foreign Affairs Minister Mumbengegwi said,” the government of Zimbabwe has not barred Mr. Annan and his team from coming to Zimbabwe” and accused Annan of misrepresenting the statement which said they could not enter the country.

The Zimbabwean government said it welcomes “all those of good will” which translates to mean all those who agree with the Mugabe version of what is happening in Zimbabwe. The three were denounced for holding a press conference in South Africa to demean a government which is responsible for a 2,000,000% inflation rate and has driven three million from the country and now has about five million who are threatened with starvation. The real problem facing their country according to Mugabe is “misrepresentation” by the evil three elders.

Jimmy Carter Condemns Gaza Blockade

Former President Jimmy Carter blasted inaction on the part of the European Union and the so-called Quartet for its refusal end the blockade of Gaza. He termed the blockade “one of the greatest human rights crimes on Earth” and claimed many families in Gaza are eating only one meal per day. He urged the European Union to reassess its stance on Hamas if the group agreed to a cease fire. “Let the Europeans lift the embargo and say we will protect the rights of Palestinians in Gaza and even send observers to Rafah gate to ensure the Palestinians don’t violate it.” He termed the idea of refusing to talk with Hamas as unrealistic one and pointed out that Israel has been in contact with Hamas representatives and is cooperating with the Egyptian mediator, Omar Sulleiman, in trying to arrange a cease fire.

Carter charged that Bush adviser, Elliot Arbrams, is the author of not talking with Hamas, a charge that is most probably not accurate. There are plenty of right wing hardline groups in Israel which refuse to negotiate with Hamas to ever believe the idea was concocted in the White House. Jimmy Carter raised many important issues but his failure to condemn Hamas for firing rockets into Israel opens the door to charges his approach is one-sided.

Carter, who is a superdelegate, refused to indicate which of the two candidates he will support, but suggested the race was over and it was time for Clinton to end her campaign.

Five Arab Newspaper Reactions To Carter Visit!

We present today, reports from Arab newspapers pertaining to the visit by former President Jimmy Carter to the Middle East. We will report what they say and refrain from making negative comments since the public is entitled to know how Carter’s visit was seen by many Middle Eastern nations. We believe in the importance of dialogue with ALL groups. However, we do not necessarly agree with all statements that are printed today.

Syria Times: Editorial

“Despite strong criticism by the US and Israel, Carter was able to break up restrictions imposed by the Israelis to meet senior Hamas officials in Cairo…Carter is brave and quite right when he stressed that attempts made by the US to undermine Hamas were counterproductive and that Israel’s arbitrary blockade on the Gaza Strip is a crime…However, Carter’s nine-day tour of the region ….is plausible in the sense that a lasting peace he is seeking based on ending all forms of occupation and agression and on returning rights to their legitimate Arab owners. The tour is perhaps an opportunity for the US to reconsider its imbalanced ME policy and to put things in the right course before futher calamities befall on peoples of the region as well on the Americans and Israelis.”

Oman Tribune: Editorial

Carter is doing what is logical and realistic. He is talking with Hamas. Having been the architect of one historic peace deal, the Nobel Laureate has his ears to the ground in the region and has the confidence and trust of many Arabs. …Unlike the blind bigwigs in the higher echelons in Washington, he knows that Hamas, which won parliamentary elections considered free and fair, has widespread support and hence cannot be ignored. And it is possible that this trip can pave the way for seismic shifts in the Middle Eastern scenarios if the Democrats come to power in the November presidential elections. But, under the present circumstances, with the Israel brutalization of the Gazans and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s shennanigans, an accord before January 20th next year, when George W. Bush leaves office, is the stuff of day dreams.”

Saudi Gazette: News story

“…former US President Jimmy Carter said that Hamas is prepared to accept the Jewish state’s right to “live as a neighbor next door in peace.” Carter met twice with (Khaled) Meshaal over the weekend. Commenting on efforts to persuade Hamas to back peace talks between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel, Meshaal said his group would ‘respect Palestinian national will even if it was against our convictions.’ But Meshaal told reporters in Damascus that Hamas had informed Carter it could not declare a unilateral ceasefire with Israel as the former US president had requested in the Syrian capital because similar moves in the past failed to stop what Hamas describes as Israeli aggression. Meshaal’s remarks appeared in line with comments made by Carter in Jerusalem Monday following talks with the Hamas leader Friday. Carter said Meshaal told him that Hamss would a ccept a peace deal creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel if it was approved by Palestinians in a referendum. ”

Daily News of Egypt: News Story

“Former US president Jimmy Carter said on Monday the Islamist Hamas movement had told him it would recognize Israel’s right to live in peace if a deal is reached and approved by a Palestinian vote. ‘They said that they would accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders if approved by Palestinians and that they would would acceept the right of Israel to live as a neighbor, next door.’ In a letter read out by Carter, the Islamists said they were also willing to form a new government with the mdoerate Abbas-their arch foe and the leader of the secular Fatah party. ‘We are ready to negotiate with president Abbas on forming a coalition governmen and to have a professional police force and to form a government not from Hamas or Fatah but from technocrats.’ Carter stressed there was near universal consensus that no progress had been made in peace talks since they were restarted at a US conference in November, and that Palestinians are increasingly angry as Israel continues to develop settlements and maintains hundreds of roadblocks in the occupied West Bank. He insisted Hamas and Syria had to be involved in any attempt to resolve the Middle Eastern conflict. ‘The preesent strategy of excluding Hamas and excluding Syria is just not working. It only exacerbates the cycle of violence, misunderstanding and animosity,’ said Carter. ‘We believe the problem is not that I met with Hamas in Syria, the problem is that Israel and the United States refuse to meet these people,’ he told the Israel Council on Foreign Relations think-tank.”

Kuwait Times: News Story

Hasmas leader Khaled Meshaal said. “We have offered a truce if Israel withdaws to the 1967 borders, a truce of 10 years as a proof of recognition. Meshaal used the Arabic word, ‘hudna’ meaning truce, which is more concrete than ‘tahdiya, a period of calm’ which Hamas often uses to describe a simple ceasefire. Hamas implies a recognition of the other party’s existence. Washington, which refuses to deal with Hamas and has not backed Carter’s mission, said it saw no change in the group’s positions…Carter has also said direct Israel-hamas talks could facilitate the release of a captured Israeli soldeir, Cpl. Gilad Schalit, who has been held in Gaza for nearly two years. Israel agrees in principle to trade 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Schalit, but after back-and forth talks through Egyptian intermediaries, has approved only 71 of the specific prisoners that Hamas wants freed. Meshaal yesterday appeared to acquiesce with that number, saying that once Israel releases the 71 Palestinians, Hamas would hand over Schalit to the Egyptians and then continue negotiations until the number of prisoners reaches 1,000.”

Jimmy Carter Talks With Hamas Leaders In Damascus

Former President Jimmy Carter met with exiled Hamas leader, Khaled Mshaal in the Syrian captial despite angry protests from Israel and the United States. the meeting is designed to discvuss ways in which a truce can be arranged between Hamas and Israel as well as issues related to the release of a captured Israeli soldier and Palestinian prisoners held in Israel jails. The two men expressed their hope “their support for dialogue in arriving at politcal solutions to problems.” Carter was refused permission to meet Hamas leaders in Gaza and had to dialogue with them in Cairo.

US Assistant Secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, David Welch, denoun ced the Carter discussions and wanted to make clear that Carter did not represent the United States. “We see no intention on the part of Hamas” to pursue the path to peace. Ironically, Israeli Minister Eli Yishai said he would meet with Hamas leaders to discuss the issue of release of prisoners.

Israel and American politicians who denounced Jimmy Carter for talking with Hamas leaders are unable to explain how their approach to dealing with that organization has produced any beneficial results other than more violence and death.