WASHINGTON - The Israeli government is continuing to expend West Bank settlement in the aims of forgoing the two-state vision and prompting the establishment of one bi-national state, former President Jimmy Carter charged Saturday in an op-ed for the Washington Post.
"A more likely alternative to the present debacle is one state, which is obviously the goal of Israeli leaders who insist on colonizing the West Bank and East Jerusalem," Carter wrote in his piece. "A majority of the Palestinian leaders with whom we met are seriously considering acceptance of one state, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea."
Ex-president no fan of Israel (Photo: Reuters)
"By renouncing the dream of an independent Palestine, they would become fellow citizens with their Jewish neighbors and then demand equal rights within a democracy," the former president added. "In this nonviolent civil rights struggle, their examples would be Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela."
'Gaza a walled-in ghetto'
Carter also referred to demographic trends in the region, claiming that Non-Jews already comprise a "slight majority" in the area.
"Within a few years Arabs will constitute a clear majority," he wrote.
As to Israeli construction in the West Bank, he noted: "Settlement expansion is continuing apace, rapidly encroaching into Palestinian villages, hilltops, grazing lands, farming areas and olive groves."
Turning his attention to the situation in Gaza, Carter characterized the Strip as a "walled-in ghetto inhabited by 1.6 million Palestinians."
"Israel prevents any cement, lumber, seeds, fertilizer and hundreds of other needed materials from entering through Gaza's gates," he wrote. "Gazans cannot produce their own food nor repair schools, hospitals, business establishments or the 50,000 homes that were destroyed or heavily damaged by Israel's assault last January."