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A Brutally Frank Jimmy Carter Calls Out Israel on Permanent Apartheid – NationofChange

August 16, 2015

A Brutally Frank Jimmy Carter Calls Out Israel on Permanent Apartheid – NationofChange

In an interview with the U.K.‘s Prospect magazine, former President Jimmy Carter is brutally frank in saying that all hope for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict has ended. “At this moment, there is zero chance of the two-state solution,” he said, according to journalist Bronwen Maddox.

That judgment is widely shared and not so controversial. It is what he said next that ruffled feathers in Israel: “The Netanyahu government decided early on to adopt a one-state solution … but without giving them [the Palestinians] equal rights.” In this sentence, he accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of having pursued, upon his election in 2009, a deliberate policy of relentlessly annexing and colonizing the Palestinian West Bank, ensuring that it will end up as part of Israel. At the same time, he said, Netanyahu conspired to ensure that the 4.2 million Palestinians under Israeli occupation remain stateless and without rights.

It seems fairly clear to any dispassionate observer of Netanyahu’s government that these steps are precisely the ones it has taken, and Carter is simply stating the obvious. But in the world of international diplomacy, it is customary to put some of the blame for this state of affairs on the Palestinians. Pro-Israeli critics run interference for Tel Aviv, insisting that the PLO, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, has declined perfectly reasonable negotiating offers and that Israel would be very happy to have someone take Palestine off its hands, if only it could receive security in return. Carter violated these conventions of “on the one hand” political discourse by baldly and correctly blaming the occupying authority for its illegal actions, rather than the helpless, occupied population.

Carter wasn’t done with Netanyahu. Not only is the two-state solution dead, the Palestinian West Bank being entirely stolen, the Palestinians doomed to be ruled by the Israelis in perpetuity—but Israeli society and politics are such that in the single state now forming under Netanyahu’s iron fist, Palestinians “will never get equal rights.” In short, he implicitly called Israel an apartheid state in which the only hope for the Palestinians is to achieve at least “more equal rights.”

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