Last week, former President Jimmy Carter traveled to Israel and Palestine but was rebuffed by Israeli leaders. Carter, who ushered in the peace process in the 1970s that Israel has since turned into a circus of rejection, doesn’t want to be reminded that peace requires it to end its war crimes and to compromise by returning Palestinian lands it occupied in 1948 and in 1967. Israel’s disrespect to Carter is disrespect to Americans, and a sign of how President Obama can expect to be disrespected, too.
By Ray Hanania
In order to understand how Israel has become one of the most racist and violent nations in the Middle East, all you have to do is examine how they disrespect the one man who helped open the door to Arab-Israeli Peace and force the Arab World to accept Israel, former American President Jimmy Carter.
No other American President tried harder to convince the Arab World to accept compromise as the basis for peace with Israel.
Yet this past week, Israelis rebuffed Carter when he visited Israel and Palestine for the hundredth time since ushering in the first-ever, historic peace accords that Israelis work hard to destroy.
Carter defined the spirit that became the backbone of the Two-State solution, which is the basis of two other genuine efforts to protect Israel, President Bill Clinton and now President Barack Obama.
In reality, Israel has despised every American president who has asked it to compromise by returning Palestinian lands taken in 1948 and 1967. That national policy has pushed Israelis from the political Left and to the fanatic Right. All three American Presidents who struggled to bring peace to Israel, Carter, Clinton and Obama, are Democrats from the left.
In reality, Clinton’s push for peace was destroyed by his ego. I met Carter and Clinton many times as a Chicago City Hall reporter and as a peace activist. Clinton viewed peace with Palestinians the same way he viewed sex with Monica Lewinsky. It was fun, but not real.
Israelis can tolerate Clinton whose Palestinian-Israeli peace accord collapsed like a snuffed out cigar. But they hate Obama and Carter.
It was Carter’s commitment to justice that resulted in the signing of the Camp David Accords in 1978 between Egyptian dictator President Anwar Sadat and Israel’s former terrorist Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and the signing of the first Arab-Israeli Peace accord in 1979.
Carter was a political outsider and a spiritual Christian. But despite the PR spin, Israel has never been generous to Christians. Christians continue to suffer under Israelis oppression, but get “dhimmi rights” if they don’t misbehave.
Carter spelled it all out in his book, “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid,” that accurately referenced Israel’s racist policies. Israelis often cite the book as the basis for their anger.
Israelis don’t hate Carter because he didn’t do enough for peace, or because he used “Apartheid” to reference their occupation. Israelis hate Carter because, like Obama, Carter insists Palestinians have human rights.
As Carter predicted, Israel continues to move closer to Apartheid.
Israeli Apartheid is different from South African Apartheid only in that Israeli Apartheid is driven by Jewish population growth that has surpassed the population of Christians and Muslims through immigration, theft of land and expulsion on non-Jews.
Israel has done what South Africa could never do. The Apartheid regime in South Africa had no choice but to enforce an extreme form of Apartheid in order to control the African population. Whites were only 20 percent of the population.
Ironically, Carter never said Israel was an apartheid state. He just said that their racist policies might one day make them one. He’s right.
The Arab population in Israel is only 20 percent. Even including the non-Jewish population of the West Bank, Jews still outnumber non-Jews. But one day Jews will become the minority, and the Apartheid-like policies will someday become full Apartheid.
That’s why Israel continues to annex West Bank lands through illegal settlements while isolating non-Jews. They want non-Jews to just go away.
Israelis hate any peace that requires recognizing the rights of Palestinians to Statehood, and to fundamental civil rights. It’s resulted in a bipartite strategy to publicly advocate for peace but to do everything to reject compromise in the lands that have meaning to Jews. The Gaza Strip is not a historical prize, but an unnecessary military burden.
Israel can disrespect Carter and Obama because Americans, whose tax dollars fund Israel’s survival, live in a constant fear. Critics of Israel are labeled as “anti-Semitic.”
A recent burst of legislation in America seeks to punish individuals or groups that criticize Israel, a foreign country, or support morally justified boycotts of Israel’s racist settlement industry.
Obama should carefully examine how Israel disrespects Carter to gain insight into how Israel will make the destruction of his post-Presidential reputation a national past-time.
Israelis don’t care about peace. Israelis despise Palestinians, a biblical reminder of Israel’s immoral conduct and its inhumanity.
Israelis hate anyone who dares to claim Christians and Muslims have the same rights as Jews in occupied Palestine.
That’s why Israelis hate Carter. Carter is a born-again Christian who embraces principle and human rights, and opposes injustice and religious persecution.
Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist managing editor of The Arab Daily News at www.TheArabDailyNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @RayHanania.
Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. He began writing in 1975 publishing The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues as Special US Correspondent for the Arab News ArabNews.com, at TheArabDailyNews.com, and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday, the Orlando Sentinel, Houston Chronical, and Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
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