"We'll make a pastrami sandwich of them. We'll insert a strip of Jewish settlement, right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years time, neither the United Nations, nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart."-Ariel Sharon to Winston Churchill III, 1971.
"The crisis facing Palestinians nowadays has been created by no other than some European philanthropists in concert with policy makers in Washington and Tel Aviv. But aside from the political and financial boycott mounted against the democratically elected Palestinian government, Israel has not shown readiness to go to a full truce in all of the Occupied Territories similarly to the truce that was holding in the Gaza Strip prior to this latest barrage of Qassam rockets and Israeli military retributions.
"Palestinians are in support of a full truce that would encompass both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank...
"While Palestinians are ready to be realistic they are not ready to surrender their rights.
"Our struggle is to end Israeli occupation once and for all and to secure the inalienable rights of our people."- Dr. Bernard Sabella, Christian member of Palestinian Legislative Council Representing Jerusalem, in an email received May 28, 2007.
"Lip service for peace abounds but in the end the test that peace is possible is laid back onto the Palestinian President and Palestinians in general. They are expected to deliver particularly on the security issue while the more powerful Israeli neighbor/occupier can continue with all kinds of policies and measures intended to contain and control Palestinians.
"So Palestinians are placed in the most difficult position: as they express genuine desire and eagerness for peace and as they are suffering a prolonged military occupation they are also asked to provide Israel with a hermetically guaranteed security. Only then would Israel feel comfortable and would possibly ready itself for talks with the "well behaved" Palestinians.
"Meanwhile Israel continues to exercise its prerogative agenda of separation, hundreds of checkpoints, expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and other measures of dispossession of Palestinians and their land. This situation certainly spells further frustration and disappointment among Palestinians as it seriously weakens not only the Presidential Institution but other Palestinian governing institutions as well. Israeli measures on the ground in the Occupied West Bank, whether by plan or serendipitously, are eroding both the possibility and feasibility of a two-state solution.
"The resulting cantonization of West Bank towns, villages and communities and their separation from each other and from their rural and commercial hinterlands would in the long run become ripe ground for the development of extremist groups bent on confronting Israeli occupation and the expanding Israeli Jewish settlement of Palestinian lands. On the Israeli side, Israel would increasingly be characterized as having turned its back to values so long cherished by its own people in their long and complex history and experience because of the ways of separation and control that it chooses to continue to exercise over the Palestinians and their land."- Dr. Bernard Sabella, May 22, 2007
On May 18, 2007, Jimmy Carter spoke with Gaby Wood of The Observer at the Carter Centre in Atlanta. Carter's 21st book since he left office in 1981, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid was topic one.
Carter remained firm in his view that:
"thanks to the current administration - the situation in 'the most volatile region of the world' is the worst it has ever been. The war in Iraq, he made clear, has cemented Arab animosity towards the United States and Israel, strengthened Iran, and given Hamas and Hizbollah new life. 'This is the first administration since Israel became a nation that hasn't made any real effort to have peace talks,' he told me. 'We haven't had a single day of peace talks now in six years and five months. It's left a vacuum there, and vacuums are always filled with increased violence.'"
In a phone interview with an Arkansas newspaper, Carter had been asked to compare Bush's foreign policy with that of Richard Nixon. He replied that 'as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history'. The same day, James Naughtie asked Carter on Radio 4's Today what he thought of Tony Blair's relationship with Bush. He said he thought it was 'abominable; loyal, blind, apparently subservient'." 2 [IBID]
The down side was Carter's television interview attempting to retract some of his statement, appearing to regret breaking the unspoken rule - that past presidents do not insult current incumbents, even when it is the truth.
"Since I left the White House, I've probably spent more time in Sudan than in the Middle East, because we can only go to the Middle East when I'm able to get permission from the White House. And, uh, that permission has been spasmodic, to say the least [but he is] immersed in the Mid-East situation constantly."
When Carter's book was published, the Anti-Defamation League, led by the pro-Israeli Abraham Foxman, ran large ads in all the major US newspapers attacking the book for engaging in anti-Semitism.
"If I thought I was wrong about anything I'm saying, I'd be devastated by the way I'm being attacked. But I believe in what I'm saying...[apartheid] the word is the most accurate available to describe Palestine. Apartheid is when two different people live in the same land, and they are forcibly segregated, and one dominates or persecutes the other. That's what's happening in Palestine: so the word is very, very accurate. It's used widely, and every day, in Israel."
"The US Jewish Establishment's onslaught on former President Jimmy Carter is based on him daring to tell the truth which is known to all; through its army, the government of Israel practices a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp."- Israeli Minister of Education, Shulamit Aloni quoted in Yediot Acharonot, December 20, 2006.
"There's no possibility in our country of a member of Congress or a candidate for President saying that they're going to take a balanced position between Israel and the Palestinians - or to speak out with concern about Palestinian human rights: that's impossible in this country."
Carter first traveled to Israel in 1973 as Governor of Georgia and felt that
"the 'plight' of the Arabs 'seemed of relative insignificance to me...the Arabs were not being persecuted then. There were a total of 1,500 Israeli settlers in the West Bank, and they had been on kibbutzim - individual farms that they had acquired - for decades. And that was before there was any massive effort by the Israeli government to colonize the West Bank in order to confiscate it. I met with the top leaders in Israel, and all of them presumed that that land belonged to the Palestinians, and there was no concept at that point, at least by the ones with whom I met, that they would simply take over that land and keep it permanently, as it seems to be now." [IBID]
In November 2005, this reporter attended the Gainesville, Florida, Anarchist’s Against the Wall Power Point Lecture by Jonathon Pollak, an intense young Israeli and committed activist and organizer for Anarchist’s Against the Wall/AAtW, a collaborative NONVIOLENT resistance and civil disobedience group of Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals dedicated to bringing the separation/apartheid wall down.
Pollak said, "During the negotiations of the so-called Oslo Peace Process from 1993-2000, Israel simply imposed its will on the Palestinians, using its overwhelming military and economic power, and US support. During seven years of supposed peace, Palestinians saw 200,000 new Israeli settlers arrive in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the same number of settlers that had arrived there in the previous 26 years.
"However, the recent grassroots struggle against Israel’s Wall has demonstrated that it may be possible to counter Israel’s overwhelming power, and its exploitation of negotiations, through nonviolent resistance. The Wall, one blatant recent Israeli attempt to impose its will, has become a focus for civilian resistance.
"Although Israel marketed the Wall as a security barrier, logic suggests such a barrier would be as short and straight as possible. Instead, it snakes deep inside the West Bank, resulting in a route that is twice as long as the Green Line, the internationally recognized border. Israel chose the Wall’s path in order to dispossess Palestinians of the maximum land and water, to preserve as many Israeli settlements as possible, and to unilaterally determine a border.
"In order to build the Wall Israel is uprooting tens of thousands of ancient olive trees that for many Palestinians are also the last resource to provide food for their children. The Palestinian aspiration for an independent state is also threatened by the Wall, as it isolates villages from their mother cities and divides the West Bank into disconnected cantons [bantusans/ghettos]. The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem conservatively estimates that 500,000 Palestinians are negatively impacted by the Wall.
"Faced with a history of suffering, Palestinians have no alternative but to struggle. The only question is how? Killing diminishes our humanity, and Israel’s occupation, which has killed thousands of Palestinians, shouldn’t be our teacher. It is time for both sides to refuse killing.
"We believe that, as with Apartheid South Africa, Americans have a vital role to play in ending Israeli occupation - by divesting from companies that support Israeli occupation, boycotting Israeli products, coming to Palestine as witnesses, or standing with Palestinians in nonviolent resistance.
"We are confident that Israeli occupation will one day be defeated, as were other US government supported repressive regimes - Apartheid South Africa, Pinochet’s Chile and racial segregation in the United States. There is no price too great to pay for freedom, and nothing will deter us from achieving this goal."
"If apartheid in South Africa ended, so can the occupation of Palestine. But, the moral force and international pressure will have to be just as determined." Bishop Desmond Tutu, The Nation, July 15, 2002.
- Memoirs of a Nice Irish-American Girl's Life in Occupied Territoryby Eileen Fleming, Chapter 5 "Anarchist's Against The Wall"
The good news is the international community is exerting pressure and it begins with the Global June 5th initiative:
Two States, Two People = One Peace
On June 5th, the AAtW will be in the streets of Tel Aviv painting the town and throughout the world people of all faiths and none are rising up and saying ENOUGH!!!
We the people for JUSTICE + PEACE will be in the streets of DC to light a FIRE under Congress June 10-11, 2007:
"If you are not a part of the solution; you are a part of the problem."-Eldridge Cleaver