Review: “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter”


Published in 2006, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter wrote about the history of the attempts of peace negotiations between the State of Israel and its Arab neighbors, including the issue of a Palestinian State. Jimmy Carter has been actively involved in the peace process through out his life.

Mr. Carter included a brief historical chronology of the Palestine/Israel region, starting from 1900 B.C. when “Abraham journeys from Ur to Canaan” to the August of 2006 when “the United Nations approves its  Resolution 1701, establishing a fragile cease-fire.

Taken Back:

I was really taken back on page 2, in this historical chronology because Mr. Carter jumped from the advent of Islam to the Crusaders and Salahuddin Ayubi (Saladin) summarizing the first Muslim control of Jerusalem as

ca. 570: The Prophet Muhammad is born in Mecca…and dies in 632. Arabic rule and faith spread rapidly throughout Syria Palaestina, Persia, and Egypt.

1099: The first Crusaders capture Jerusalem and established Christian rule over Palestine.

I was taken back because I think Mr. Carter should have mentioned the name of Umar ibn Khattab for bringing the City of Jerusalem under the Muslim control for the first time in the history.

The Content:

Mr. Carter throughout the book wrote about his efforts to bring peace to the Holy Land, during his presidency and after he left the White House. He criticized both sides- Israeli and Arab- when either side broke the peace agreements. However, he was not afraid in pointing out Israel for its actions:

Israel’s continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land.

He also addressed a very important issue, although briefly, and that is the connection between the U.S. support of Israel and the rising anti-Americanism which increases the Terrorism threat. The financial and military support from U.S. is mostly used by Israel to colonize Palestinian lands, demolish homes, expand its settlements which in return has created ever-increasing Anti-American sentiments across the Muslim World.

“The United States is squandering international prestige and goodwill and intensifying global anti-American terrorism by unofficially condoning or abetting the Israeli confiscation and colonization of Palestinian territories.”

The book is pretty well-balanced and moderate and addresses those people who want to see a viable peaceful solution. Of course, the book criticizes many things about Israel due to which Mr. Carter came in great scrutiny for publishing this book. But as one of my friend said upon knowing that I am reading this book:

“When the Israel Lobby attacks Jimmy Carter for writing this book, you know that it gotta be good.” – my Friend.

To read Reviews of previous books that I read, click here.

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Filed under America, Book Review, Palestine

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