January 06, 2007

Carter, Israel and apartheid

Here's an article by a George Bisharat on Jimmy Carter's taboo breaking book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid. A little too fulsome in its praise for someone who surely could have spoken out sooner than he did and when he could have had more people listen:
The word apartheid typically evokes images of former South Africa, but it also refers to any institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another. Carter applies the term only to Israel's rule of the occupied Palestinian territories, where it has established more than 200 Jewish-only settlements and a network of roads and other services to support them. These settlements violate international law and the rights of Palestinian property owners. Carter maintains that "greed for land," not racism, fuels Israel's settlement drive. He is only partially right.
He's only partially right alright. Apartheid applies to the whole state and racism does fuel Israel's settlement drive throughout Palestine. But of course it's not just Carter's use of the A-word that breaks a taboo but also his use of the P-word, Palestine. I wonder if Carter ever used that word in all of his dealings with Begin and co at Camp David back in the day.

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