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Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 14, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0743285025 ISBN-10: 0743285026 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (November 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743285026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743285025
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (804 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The crowning achievement of Jimmy Carter's presidency was the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt, and he has continued his public and private diplomacy ever since, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his decades of work for peace, human rights, and international development. He has been a tireless author since then as well, writing bestselling books on his childhood, his faith, and American history and politics, but in Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, he has returned to the Middle East and to the question of Israel's peace with its neighbors--in particular, how Israeli sovereignty and security can coexist permanently and peacefully with Palestinian nationhood.

It's a rare honor to ask questions of a former president, and we are grateful that President Carter was able to take the time in between his work with his wife, Rosalynn, for the Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity and his many writing projects to speak with us about his hopes for the region and his thoughts on the book.

A big thank you to President Carter for granting our request for an interview.


An Interview with President Jimmy Carter

Q: What has been the importance of your own faith in your continued interest in peace in the Middle East?
A: As a Christian, I worship the Prince of Peace. One of my preeminent commitments has been to bring peace to the people who live in the Holy Land. I made my best efforts as president and still have this as a high priority.

Q: A common theme in your years of Middle East diplomacy has been that leaders on both sides have often been more open to discussion and change in private than in public. Do you think that's still the case?
A: Yes. This is why private and intense negotiations can be successful. More accurately, however, my premise has been that the general public (Jewish, Christian, and Muslim) are more eager for peace than their political leaders. For instance, a recent poll done by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem showed that 58% of Israelis and 81% of the Palestinians favor a comprehensive settlement similar to the Roadmap for Peace or the Saudi proposal adopted by all 23 Arab nations and recently promoted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Tragically, there have been no substantive peace talks during the past six years.

Q: How have the war in Iraq and the increased strength of Iran (and the declarations of their leaders against Israel) changed the conditions of the Israel-Palestine question?
A: Other existing or threatened conflicts in the region greatly increase the importance of Israel's having peace agreements with its neighbors, to minimize overall Arab animosity toward both Israel and the United States and reduce the threat of a broader conflict.

Q: Your use of the term "apartheid" has been a lightning rod in the response to your book. Could you explain your choice? Were you surprised by the reaction?
A: The book is about Palestine, the occupied territories, and not about Israel. Forced segregation in the West Bank and terrible oppression of the Palestinians create a situation accurately described by the word. I made it plain in the text that this abuse is not based on racism, but on the desire of a minority of Israelis to confiscate and colonize Palestinian land. This violates the basic humanitarian premises on which the nation of Israel was founded. My surprise is that most critics of the book have ignored the facts about Palestinian persecution and its proposals for future peace and resorted to personal attacks on the author. No one could visit the occupied territories and deny that the book is accurate.

Q: You write in the book that "the peace process does not have a life of its own; it is not self-sustaining." What would you recommend that the next American president do to revive it?
A: I would not want to wait two more years. It is encouraging that President George W. Bush has announced that peace in the Holy Land will be a high priority for his administration during the next two years. On her January trip to the region, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called for early U.S.-Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. She has recommended the 2002 offer of the Arab nations as a foundation for peace: full recognition of Israel based on a return to its internationally recognized borders. This offer is compatible with official U.S. Government policy, previous agreements approved by Israeli governments in 1978 and 1993, and with the International Quartet's "roadmap for peace." My book proposes that, through negotiated land swaps, this "green line" border be modified to permit a substantial number of Israelis settlers to remain in Palestine. With strong U.S. pressure, backed by the U.N., Russia, and the European Community, Israelis and Palestinians would have to come to the negotiating table.

1/18/2007

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From Publishers Weekly
The term "good-faith" is almost inappropriate when applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a bloody struggle interrupted every so often by negotiations that turn out to be anything but honest. Nonetheless, thirty years after his first trip to the Mideast, former President Jimmy Carter still has hope for a peaceful, comprehensive solution to the region's troubles, delivering this informed and readable chronicle as an offering to the cause. An engineer of the 1978 Camp David Accords and 2002 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Carter would seem to be a perfect emissary in the Middle East, an impartial and uniting diplomatic force in a fractured land. Not entirely so. Throughout his work, Carter assigns ultimate blame to Israel, arguing that the country's leadership has routinely undermined the peace process through its obstinate, aggressive and illegal occupation of territories seized in 1967. He's decidedly less critical of Arab leaders, accepting their concern for the Palestinian cause at face value, and including their anti-Israel rhetoric as a matter of course, without much in the way of counter-argument. Carter's book provides a fine overview for those unfamiliar with the history of the conflict and lays out an internationally accepted blueprint for peace.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly

It's hard to use standard criteria to assess this book. Former President Carter is not a very good reader; his tone is flat, and his pronunciation sometimes difficult. Nor is he a literary stylist; there is neither music nor imagery in his down-to-earth sentences. But Carter feels strongly that what he has to say is absent from public discourse and policy decisions, and he knows that his status and voice provide authority to what might otherwise be rejected out of hand as anti-Israeli propaganda. He explains that Israel has never complied with U.N. Resolution 242 and others; has never lived up to its agreements made over the years in Washington, Oslo and elsewhere; continues to grab land through settlements and placement of a wall well within Palestinian territory; and still imprisons thousands of Palestinian men, women and children. While pointing out many murderous and counterproductive moves of Arafat and various Palestinian groups, he pointedly lays the blame for the current situation at the door of the Israelis and their Washington backers, with special venom for Bush and Rice, who have been mute on the subject for six years—even during the invasion of Lebanon. Many will dispute his facts and counter his views, but Carter maintains that if we really want to understand and promote change in this region, we must know both sides of the story.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jimmy Carter was born in Plains, Georgia, and served as thirty-ninth President of the United States. He and his wife, Rosalynn, founded The Carter Center, a nonprofit organization that prevents and resolves conflicts, enhances freedom and democracy, and improves health around the world. He is the author of numerous books, including Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, An Hour Before Daylight and Our Endangered Values. He received a "Best Spoken Word" Grammy Award for his recording of Our Endangered Values. All of President Carter's proceeds from this series will go to the Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains, Georgia.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,592 of 2,004 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Chell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
[...]
The constant attempts to denigrate Carter's Presidency (as though the long lines at that shrine to American privilege, the gas pump, and our foreign presence preceding the Iranian hostage crisis were of the President's making and, moreover, of greater consequence than the Iraq debacle) are belied once again by this uncommon man's common sense and clarity of vision, which is mirrored by the measured lucidity of his prose. Someone had to write this book, and better it be Carter, with his personal, and largely effective, negotiations with the principal players in the desperate power struggles of the middle East, than anyone else.

Carter's staunch opposition to the invasion of Iraq is a matter he no longer talked about once the "mission" became reality. His efforts are directed toward future solutions, not righteous reminders of the past or self-justifications, lest he risk mirroring the very narrow, self-serving interests he seeks to confront and redress through proposals based on negotiated peace, mutual respect, shared rights and, above all, on genuine human and religious (including Judeo-Christian) values.

The negative reactions to the book, I'm afraid, prove its importance. Many Americans remained "passively" approving of the Iraq war--despite not just its blatant imperialist aggressiveness but its sheer irrationality and absurdity--because of the perception that somehow America's "holy war," with its pageantry of "shock and awe," was in the interests of Israel.
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442 of 564 people found the following review helpful By andreas838 on January 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD
For a people that have experienced so much persecution, it seems improper to criticize Israel's actions. Jimmy Carter has highlighted uncomfortable issues for American Jews (I am also one) to address. It was an important step forward that a well respected personality such as Carter wrote this book. Israel's 'realpolitik' towards the Palestinians is morally unsupportable. Terror has many tactics; it can come from government policies & tanks as well as suicide bombers.
My view is that it is time for American Jews to take the 'blue' pill, wake up and see the reality as it is, not what they wanted or were told it is. It's not a comfortable process to put into question assumptions that were taught since childhood. But blind devotion to a state is dangerous.
As we have seen with the Iraq war, a hard-right government can do things that its people realize is wrong. As is happening now in the US, we need to speak out in favor of a dramatic new course for Israel that may improve the chances for peace. It is high time that American Jews stop giving Israel (their hard-right gov't) a blank check of support irrespective of their actions and begin to treat Israel as the separate state that it is. The extreme right is the enemy of all peace loving people.
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62 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Heisel on January 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read this book twice. It's a very easy read, and yet it contains a lot of useful information for understanding this conflict. I say "surprisingly" unbiased (in my title above), because to be honest I never thought I'd read something by a U.S. President that was the least bit sympathetic to the Palestinians. Carter makes it very clear that Israel is to blame for the lion's share of the problems facing both Palestinians and Israelis vis-a-vis the illegal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories and Israel's continued (to this day) settlement-building that is stealing more and more land and resources (particularly water) from the Palestinians.

Here are some quotes I found particularly valuable. The page numbers refer to the hard-copy edition. (They may be the same in the paperback edition, but I don't know.)

"Each Israeli settler uses five times as much water as a Palestinian neighbor, who must pay four times as much per gallon." (p. 121)

"[Binyamin Netanyahu] promised never to exchange land for peace." (147)

The greatest increase in the growth of the number of settlers [in the West Bank and Gaza] occurred during the administration of Prime Minister Ehud Barak." (This is the prime minister who supposedly made the "generous offer" that the Palestinians supposedly refused. See below.) (151)

"There was no possibility that any Palestinian leader could accept such terms [Clinton's peace proposal in 2000] and survive, but official statements from Washington and Jerusalem were successful in placing the entire onus of the failure on Yasir Arafat.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Brandy on November 7, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
You know this book hits a hot spot on the subject the same minute you read the 1 star reviews here in Amazon. The story is always the same. Everyone who dares to criticize Israel in some subject will be attacked in every personal way possible going from this motives, religion and finally by the top weapon. "Anti-Semitism". Yes, that's right. Every possible writer in the last decade who dared to citizen the Israeli government has been called "anti-Semite", "jew hater" and possible even "nazi".

The scare tactic is always the same. Most people here rating 1 star never even bought the book. Amazon should be in a better place to confirm this. They will just attack Jimmy Carter in every possible way because they don't agree with this point of view or book.
Don't be wondered if you are attacked next if you dare to give this book "5"stars, this would immediately convert you into a Jew hater and possible even a criminal, in the world we live I'm shocked this kind of books are not censored the minute they are published.

Just read this book and make your own conclusion. You will then see things more clearly, at least the way the "1 star" reviewer doesn't want. This is exactly the reason why should buy this book. To keep you informed and to make an impartial decision on this matter which is very clear but some try to complicate for pushing their own agenda. Don't be influenced by the bad reviews, read one or two and you will see they are all the same published by highly intolerant people.
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