Jimmy Carter

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This is an insightful and well-written article. Certainly negotiating with Hamas is the only way forward. 

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if there is a radical faction and a moderate faction you should always negotiate with the radical faction first. If you can reach agreement with the radicals, the moderates will join you too. If you only reach agreement with the moderates, you still have the radicals to deal with.

It is true that Hamas’ charter is horribly anti-Semitic. Even so, as the author points out, Mashal has shown himself to be a pragmatist and does not seem to be bound by the charter. My first martial arts instructor taught me “Your mouth can lie but your body can’t lie”. It’s true. Regardless of the words of any charter, the important thing is what Hamas actually does, and there is every indication that Hamas is willing to be realistic about accepting a tw0-state solution within the pre-1967 borders. The real question is whether Israel is willing to accept this.

Father Dave

Khaled Meshaal

Khaled Meshaal

source: www.policymic.com…

Khalid Mishal and Hamas Are Keys to the Israel-Palestine Conflict

Earlier this week, the Shura council of Hamasre-elected Khalid Mishal as the political head of their organization for a fourth straight time. Last year Mishal had vowed to step down from his post which many criticized within the party, asserting that he stay at the helm.

With the election of Khalid Mishal, Hamas has shown its willingness to be more pragmatic, further asserting the need to include it in future negotiations on the decades long conflict.

Mishal’s ascendancy to the highest office was sparked by Israel’s attempt to assassinate him back in 1997. Under direct orders from then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mossad planned a hit on Mishal while he was residing in Jordan at the time. The incident caused an international uproar, requiring a direct intervention by President Bill Clinton. Ever since, Mishal’s repute amongst Palestinians has reached new heights with every passing year.

While Mishal has been leading the organization since a good part of the last decade, he returned to Gaza last year for the first time in 45 years, welcomed by thousands of his supporters, displaying the height of his unquestionable popularity. Prominent analysts and critics have highlighted Mishal’s unique role in brandishing the image of Hamas from one consisting of an army of suicide bombers to a democratic entity that deserves a say in the future of its fellow Palestinians.

While many now see Hamas’s rise and evolution as promising, prospects of negotiating with the group has been futile. The Israeli government has had a zero tolerance policy towards Hamas, who they consistently accuse of seeking to destroy Israel, citing Hamas’s manifesto. Following cue, the Americans have shut any doors to including Hamas regarding negotiations on Israeli settlements and Israel-Palestine peace deals.

Mishal has never moved away from the position that resistance, and armed resistance is a right for Palestinians as long as the occupation continues. Mishal has supported suicide bombings and rocket launches into Israel, justifying the attacks as a legitimate source of opposition to the brutal tactics of the Israeli state. Many in Hamas describe it as an act of desperation in the face overwhelming Israeli military power.

However, since Hamas’ rise to power, and especially after their election win in 2006, it has readily abandoned the practice of suicide bombing in the past years, citing it to be detrimental to their cause. Nevertheless, in November last year, they threatened to renew the practice in retaliation to the highly provocative killing of one their top commanders by the Israeli establishment. Mishal and Hamas have also successfully negotiated and maintained several ceasefires with the Israeli state. Before the Gaza war started in December 2008, Hamas had respected the ongoing ceasefire for around six months before it was broken, its cause remaining disputed.

read the rest of this article here: www.policymic.com…

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Well said, Alan Hart! His conclusion is particularly telling – “What a tragedy it is that American presidents can only speak the truth when they are out of office.”

We had the same experience here in Australia. Malcom Frazer left an ambiguous legacy as Prime Minister, but what a forthright and prophetic figure he became in retirement!

I suppose the reason for all this is self-evident. It isn’t until our political leaders leave office that they come off the payroll of the major corporations.

Father Dave

Come Back President Carter!

By Alan Hart

October 25, 2012

The third and final debate between President Obama and challenger Romney was so lacking in real and relevant substance about foreign affairs that I had to struggle, several times, to resist the temptation to turn it off and go back to bed.

Romney’s message to America’s voters seemed to be something very like, “On foreign policy I’m not the ignorant, belligerent guy I had to pretend to be in order to secure my party’s nomination.”

Obama’s message seemed to be something like, “Just as his sums don’t add up on the domestic front, my opponent really doesn’t know what he’s talking about on foreign policy matters. As for myself, in a second term I’ll try to do better.” (And was there, reading between the lines, an indication that he thinks he is on course in a second term for fixing the nuclear problem with Iran by negotiations?)

A question that would have been put to Obama by a really good moderator who understands how American actions are fuelling the fire of violent Islamic fundamentalism is this: “Mr. President, are you not concerned that the targeted assassinations by drones which you personally authorize are counter-productive because they are killing so many innocents, men, women and children?”

On Romney’s performance in general I thought the editorial in the New York Times was more or less spot on. Its verdict included the following:

“Mitt Romney has nothing really coherent or substantive to say about domestic policy, but at least he can sound energetic and confident about it. On foreign policy, the subject of Monday night’s final presidential debate, he had little coherent to say and often sounded completely lost. That’s because he has no original ideas of substance on most world issues, including Syria, Iran and Afghanistan. During the debate, on issue after issue, Mr. Romney sounded as if he had read the boldfaced headings in a briefing book – or a freshman global history textbook – and had not gone much further than that. Twice during the first half-hour, he mentioned that Al Qaeda-affiliated groups were active in northern Mali. Was that in the morning’s briefing book?” (I would be very surprised if Romney knows where Mali is).

The editorial concluded:

“Mr. Romney’s closing statement summed it all up. He said almost nothing about foreign policy. He moved back to his comfort zone: cheerfully delivered disinformation about domestic policy.”

The truth telling about the most critical and dangerous problem in the Middle East and arguably the whole world (the Israel-Palestine conflict) was left to former President Carter.

While Obama and Romney were making their final preparations for their final debate, Carter was in Israel. (He was there with the former prime minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, and the former president of Ireland, Mary Robinson, on behalf of the Elders, a group of ten of the “great and good” convened by Nelson Mandela in 2007. It seeks to promote human rights and world peace by, “speaking difficult truths and tackling taboos.”)

Carter dared to say, in Israel, that there could be no doubt that Prime Minister Netanyahu was not interested in a two-state solution. And he described the situation as “worse now than it’s ever been for the Palestinians” because of the expanding settlements and lack of prospects for change. He described himself as “grieved, disgusted and angry,” because the two-state solution “is in its death throes.” That, he added, was “a tragic new development that the world is kind of ignoring.”

I presume he meant the world of leaders not peoples; and by obvious implication President Obama was, in Carter’s view, among those who were ignoring what was happening in Israel-Palestine. He said, “The U.S. government policy the last two to three years has basically been a rapid withdrawal from any kind of controversy.” He added: “Every president has been a very powerful factor here in advocating this two-state solution. That is now not apparent.”

What a tragedy it is that American presidents can only speak the truth when they are out of office.

Alan Hart has been engaged with events in the Middle East and their global consequences and terrifying implications – the possibility of a Clash of Civilisations, Judeo-Christian v Islamic, and, along the way, another great turning against the Jews – for nearly 40 years… Alan is author of “Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews” – www.alanhart.net…

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This report is simply tragic. Labelling Jimmy Carter – one of the greatest men of our time – as an enemy of human rights is a reductio ad absurdum so far as I’m concerned! In other words, it is so obviously false that it discredits the speaker completely!

The great shame is that Carter is one of the few Americans who could still exercise a positive influence in the Middle East. He has been at the heart of Israel/Palestine dialogues for many years and has a history (though, admittedly, an ambiguous one) with Iran and other neighbouring countries as well. He is also, I believe, a man with a genuine love for both Jews and Arabs and all the peoples involved.

Father Dave

P.S. The highlight is courtesy of Father Roy

Jimmy Carter

source: ZOA: Rescind Convention Invitation to Carter

ZOA to Democrats: Rescind Convention Invitation to Carter

Zionist Organization of America calls on the Democratic National Committee to rescind its invitation to former President Carter.

By Rachel Hirshfeld

First Publish: 8/19/2012, 5:16 PM

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has called upon the Democratic National Committee to rescind its invitation to former President Jimmy Carter to address the upcoming 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The ZOA pointed to Carter’s “decades-long hostility towards, and defaming of, Israel” as well as his “advocacy of negotiations with Hamas” as evidence of the “inappropriateness of the invitation.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition and the National Jewish Democratic Council have both opposed Carter’s scheduled appearance. Yet, the Democratic National Convention continues to champion Carter “one of the greatest humanitarian leaders of our time and a champion of democracy around the globe.”

“The invitation to President Carter to address the Democratic National Convention is an insult to American Jews, Christian Zionists and all Americans who care — as polls show them to do in large numbers — for Israel,” said ZOA National Chairman of the Board Dr. Michael Goldblatt.

President Carter’s 2007 book titled Peace Not Apartheid, contains “numerous falsehoods about Israel, not least the vicious insinuation in its title that Israel resembles the evils of the apartheid regime in South Africa.”

In the book, “Carter falsely claimed that, not Arab non-acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state, but Jews living in Judea and Samaria, is the ‘primary’ obstacle to peace. He has thus endorsed the Palestinian agenda of setting up a Jew-free state.”

The ZOA continued to cite the many falsehoods and libels against Israel that Carter has spread over the years, including his claim that, “Israel destroyed 40,000 homes; destroyed hospitals; rendered several hundred thousand Palestinians homeless; that Gaza was surrounded by an impenetrable wall; and that the Goldstone Report had investigated the deaths of 1,387 Palestinians in that conflict.”

“In fact, not a single one of these claims was correct; they were all lies against the Jewish state of Israel,” Goldblatt asserted.

“Far from being a champion of human rights, Jimmy Carter has harmed the cause of human rights, especially in regard to the continuing Arab war on Israel. The Democratic National Convention Committee and Obama for America should do the right thing and rescind their invitation to Jimmy Carter.”