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Photo: Uri Porat
Carter. Wants peace for Israel
Photo: Uri Porat
Balanced stand on ME is political suicide, says Carter
Hinting Israel is not interested in fair peace, former US president says any member of Congress taking balanced stand on conflict risks 'political suicide'

WASHINGTON - "I don't see any present prospect that any member of the US Congress, the House or Senate, would say, "Let's take a balanced position between Israel and the Palestinians and negotiate a peace agreement," said Former US President Jimmy Carter in an interview to the ABC network on Sunday.

 

Appearing on "This week with George Stephanopoulos," the former President got the chance to defend himself, and his contraversial book "Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid" which, three months after publication, continues to makes waves in the American media.

 

Carter however, did not pass up the chance to harm Israel's PR yet again, and said, "It's almost politically suicidal in the United States for a member of the Congress who wants to seek reelection to take any stand that might be interpreted as anti- policy of the conservative Israeli government, which is equated, as I've seen it myself, as anti-Semitism."

 

Carter reiterated that he felt his book "accurately describes what's going on in the West Bank," and said that he did not regret writing it.

 

'Book is necessary for peace'

"The book is necessary. I think this book will make…a little step toward, first of all, precipitating a debate or an open discussion about what's going on in Palestine. Secondly, I hope it will be a little factor in renewing the abandoned effort to bring about a peace agreement between Israel and its neighbors."

 

When asked if he was being too hard on Israel, Carter said, "My honest opinion is that a strong majority of Israelis agree with me. Secondly, I believe a clear majority of American Jewish citizens agree with me that Israel must exchange Palestinian land for peace."

 

Almost 30 years after leading to the signing of the Camp David Accords between Israel

 and Egypt, Carter said he still hopes for peace, "If I have had one burning desire in my heart and mind for the last 30 years, I would put peace for Israel at the top of the list.… And commensurate with that has to be justice and human rights for the Palestinians next door. And I believe this book… will contribute to accomplishing that goal."

 

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