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Carter Scores Breakthrough with Hamas…

Peace in our time!Uh… not so much
After 7-hours of negotiations with Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal, at his office in Damascus, Syria, 83 year old former President Jimmy Carter announced that Hamas would accept a Palestinian state consisting of just the occupied territories if the Palestinian people agreed to it in a referendum. This signals Hamas’ willingness to a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital where the Palestinians will “live as a neighbor in peace next door” to Israel. Big breakthrough, huh? Especially when you consider Hamas’ 1988 Charter that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and encourages the killing of Jews.

Except Hamas hasn’t rescinded its Charter. And at a Press conference on Monday in Damascus, Meshaal made it perfectly clear that Hamas had no intention of actually recognizing the State of Israel: “We agree on the [Palestinian] state with the borders of June 4, 1967, Jerusalem as its capital, fully sovereign without settlements, the right of return, but without the recognition of Israel.”

Sounds awesome! Thanks former President Carter! Even though you’re 83, maybe a little addle minded and have pretty much no credibility amongst those who do not target civilians with rocket-fire, this peace with Hamas thing is totally gonna rule!

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17 Comments

  1. Benji

    4/22/2008 at 7:33 am

    Wow! And just in time for the 60th! This is the most exciting breakthrough since the last hudna!

    Party at my place, CK. MACAROONS FOR EVERYONE!!!

  2. Tom Morrissey

    4/22/2008 at 10:32 am

    Embarrassing performance by Carter. If advanced age doesn’t put an end to his public career, this fiasco probably will. The temptation should be resisted, however, to view this as a Ramsey Clark-style exercise in extremism. Like Jesse Jackson and Nancy Pelosi before him, Carter has a near-ideological commitment to flattering the most odious actors in the Middle East. We’ll see more of this with President Obama, as an effort is made to zig wherever Bush-Cheney zagged.

  3. vjc

    4/22/2008 at 2:50 pm

    You forgot to mention the truce that was offered. Hamas agreed to a truce…. for 10 years.

  4. themiddle

    4/22/2008 at 3:38 pm

    They didn’t agree to anything. Their offer is absurd.
    From the Washington Post article:

    “We accept a state on the June 4 line with Jerusalem as capital, real sovereignty and full right of return for refugees but without recognizing Israel,” Meshal told reporters, referring to the borders before the 1967 war, according to the Reuters news agency.

  5. ramon marcos

    4/22/2008 at 7:14 pm

    From the AP:

    “Mashaal said Hamas would accept a peace deal with Israel, provided it is approved in a referendum of all Palestinians, and also offered a 10-year truce if Israel withdraws from the West Bank and Jerusalem. He offered no recognition of Israel and turned down a request from Carter for a halt to rocket fire.”

    Why is Hamas offering acceptance of a peace deal, while at the same time offering 10 year truce? Or is it a 10 year peace deal? Or does it mean after 10 years Hamas can bomb Israel even if there is a peace deal? Of course, both the “truce” and “peace deal” are contingent on Israel accepting all of Hamas’ demands, which now include (just reported by Reuters) the added contingency of ck having to lie face down naked in the street and recite Radiohead lyrics while a mob throws oranges at him.

    As far as this cease-fire, for Hamas, the words “cease-fire” translate into “chance to rearm”. Carter said he was disappointed that Hamas “turned me down” on his request for a cease-fire. So someone whispered to Mashaal “Cease-fire. Makes Jimmy look good and gives us a chance to buy more weapons.”

    You think?

    To me, here’s the real issue. On one hand, Carter said he wasn’t meeting Hamas to negotiate anything, and on the other he was negotiating a cease-fire. And he did ask an interesting question:

    What’s the difference between what Carter did and Olmert using back channels through the Egyptians to negotiate with Hamas? If Carter is trying to make Hamas a player in region, isn’t Israel indirectly doing the same thing? Just as it did with Fatah in the old days? So if Israel and Hamas are already talking, they control the method of negotiation. Which makes Carter’s trip only significant as far as international media. Which really isn’t going to be throwing it’s love at Hamas the way it did to Arafat in his “diplomat” years.

    ck – what’s the take in Israel as far as Syria’s claim a Syrian-Israeli settlement is “85%” complete? Or does that mean Golan is forever the metaphorical 15%? Are the Golan Heights non-negotiable for Kadima? Was thinking of that when I was reading that Moshe Dayan wished Israel never took them in the first place.

    Tom – I’m going to disagree with you about Obama. Wishful thinking, perhaps but Carter isn’t President anymore. And he doesn’t have to look Begin directly in the eye. I’m also going to disagree with the benching of Big Papi. Of course, if you don’t want him, we’d love to have him back.

  6. Henry

    4/23/2008 at 1:31 am

    Hamas…wait, aren’t they the people terrorizing Israel with rocket attacks on civilians? Wait…isn’t that terrorism? Wait…aren’t we supposed to be at war with terrorism and promoting the rule of law and not rewarding criminal acts of international terrorism? Oh, wait, I get it…we give them what they want and they stop shooting missiles at children? Is that what you’re saying Jimmy? Geesh…you were the worst President in U.S. history including millard Filmore and you think you know what you’re doing here?

  7. Tom Morrissey

    4/23/2008 at 5:16 am

    ramon– Papi just got a couple of ‘mental health days’. Or is that the new phrase for benching?… Can we get Mauer and Morneau for him?

    We’ll see about Barack, but I have a feeling he’ll adopt an outside-the-box approach to foreign policy. If he’s offered to talk to Raul Castro now, without preconditions, I imagine he’ll at least consider contacts with Hamas.

  8. ramon marcos

    4/24/2008 at 7:24 pm

    Tom – you read all that? Mazel? I just don’t see any US President coming close to what Carter is doing now. Unless Israel takes the lead. And I don’t entirely agree that a Castro Cuba and Hamas are a good comparison. Remember, our crazy ex-boa-wearing Governor made opening trade with the Castro regime a personal mission in his few years in office.

    You can have Morneau, Mauer, Garnett, Kessel, Maroney – but you can’t have Santana!! At least that’s why he’s in New York.

  9. LanceThruster

    4/25/2008 at 12:58 am

    RAUL HILBERG: Well, let me say at the outset, I would not, unasked, offer advice to the university in which he now serves. Having been in a university for thirty-five years myself and engaged in its politics, I know that outside interferences are most unwelcome. I will say, however, that I am impressed by the analytical abilities of Finkelstein. He is, when all is said and done, a highly trained political scientist who was given a PhD degree by a highly prestigious university. This should not be overlooked. Granted, this, by itself, may not establish him as a scholar.

    However, leaving aside the question of style — and here, I agree that it’s not my style either — the substance of the matter is most important here, particularly because Finkelstein, when he published this book, was alone. It takes an enormous amount of academic courage to speak the truth when no one else is out there to support him. And so, I think that given this acuity of vision and analytical power, demonstrating that the Swiss banks did not owe the money, that even though survivors were beneficiaries of the funds that were distributed, they came, when all is said and done, from places that were not obligated to pay that money. That takes a great amount of courage in and of itself. So I would say that his place in the whole history of writing history is assured, and that those who in the end are proven right triumph, and he will be among those who will have triumphed, albeit, it so seems, at great cost.

    AND

    AVI SHLAIM: I am. I was born in Baghdad. I grew up in Israel. I served in IDF. And for the last forty years, I have lived in Britain, and I teach at Oxford. My academic discipline is international relations, and I am a specialist in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    And I think that there is no — that we must be very careful to separate questions of anti-Semitism from critique of Israel. I am critical of Israel as a scholar, and anti-Semitism just doesn’t come into it. My view is that the blind supporters of Israel — and there are many of them in America, in particular — use the charge of anti-Semitism to try and silence legitimate criticism of Israeli practices. I regard this as moral blackmail. Israel has no immunity to criticism, moral immunity to criticism, because of the Holocaust. Israel is a sovereign nation-state, and it should be judged by the same standards as any other state. And Norman Finkelstein is a very serious critic and a very well-informed critic and hard-hitting critic of Israeli practices in the occupation and dispossession of the Palestinians.

    His last book, Beyond Chutzpah, is based on an amazing amount of research. He seems to have read everything. He has gone through the reports of Israeli groups, of human rights groups, Human Rights Watch and Peace Now and B’Tselem, all of the reports of Amnesty International. And he deploys all this evidence from Israeli and other sources in order to sustain his critique of Israeli practices, Israeli violations of human rights of the Palestinians, Israeli house demolitions, the targeted assassinations of Palestinian militants, the cutting down of trees, the building of the wall — the security barrier on the West Bank, which is illegal — the restrictions imposed on the Palestinians in the West Bank, and so on and so forth. I find his critique extremely detailed, well-documented and accurate.

    [both excerpts taken from here: http://www.willtotruth.com/2007/05/12/world-renowned-holocaust-israel-scholars-defend-depaul-professor-norman-finkelstein-as-he-fights-for-tenure/ ]

  10. ck

    4/25/2008 at 10:00 am

    Ramon Marcos wrote: “Of course, both the “truce” and “peace deal” are contingent on Israel accepting all of Hamas’ demands, which now include (just reported by Reuters) the added contingency of ck having to lie face down naked in the street and recite Radiohead lyrics while a mob throws oranges at him.”

    Sigh. I’ll do my bit for peace…

  11. froylein

    4/25/2008 at 10:21 am

    Hah, is that a T-shirt I see? 🙂

  12. LanceThruster

    4/25/2008 at 10:47 am

    Such indignation against duly elected representatives merely for their non-assent over Israeli’s stealing someone else’s land. The nerve!

  13. froylein

    4/25/2008 at 10:49 am

    Lance, do you use your work computer to post here? (Just wondering…)

  14. ramon marcos

    4/25/2008 at 11:10 am

    Yesterday I was sad. Sad, depressed and without hope. Today I am filled with hope… wait… this just in… Al Jazeera just reported the Radiohead lyrics have to specifically be from “OK Computer”.

    According to a Hamas spokesman, “We are simply representing the wishes of our people.”

    We were so close… so close it felt like Taba.

  15. LanceThruster

    4/25/2008 at 4:55 pm

    Run out of actual arguments did you froylien?

  16. themiddle

    4/25/2008 at 4:57 pm

    Lance, nobody here has run out of arguments. Your general demeanor doesn’t indicate that you merit the attention you crave.

  17. froylein

    4/25/2008 at 11:57 pm

    Lance, I was just wondering whether you steal paid-for work time and use of equipment, hence money, from your employer.

    As for your stressing of having been in the world of academia, so have others on this blog. Your lack of punctuation and grammar in your above comment makes me wonder though what US American academic institution would actually hire someone who will resort to / fall back into such colloquial use of language. That aside, I find your arguments to be unconvincing, no matter how much you ruminate on them.

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