Carter’s Coup

by James M. Wall

William James Martin’s essay in CounterPunch provides the most encouraging perspective I have seen on the importance of Jimmy Carter’s latest trip to the Middle East.  Martin’s post (May 2) is a stern reminder that presidential elections have long-range consequences. He writes:

A radical change in American Middle East policy occurred in 1981 when Ronald Reagan replaced Jimmy Carter as president. A Middle East policy which checked Israel’s expansions in Lebanon and colonization of the West Bank and East Jerusalem was replaced by a passive policy and by a president with no knowledge of or interest in the Middle East.”

Martin’s analysis of Jimmy Carter’s trip to the Middle East begins:

“Former President Jimmy Carter’s independent Middle East diplomacy is nothing less than a coup of the American foreign policy of the Bush administration.

He has now met twice with the representatives of Hamas including its head, Khalid Meshaal and has had one-on-one meetings with the heads of state of Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and with King Abdullah of Jordan. The Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert has refused to meet with him.

Carter has called the Israeli/American policy of starvation a “crime”, he has observed that 30 to 40 Palestinians have been killed for every Israeli killed, as fact never spoken by an American politician or statesman, and rarely by any of the US news media. He said, “any side that kills innocent people is guilty of terrorism.’ That means that Israel is as guilty of terrorism as the Palestinians, and by implication, 30 to 40 times more guilty, a very radical notion for an American statesman, and completely unprecedented, but certainly true of the past month during which time, 120 Palestinians residents of Gaza were killed by the Israeli army within the space of two days.

Carter said, the Palestinians in Gaza were being ‘starved to death, receiving fewer calories per day than people in the poorest parts of Africa.’

‘Its an atrocity what is being perpetuated as punishment on the people of Gaza. It’s a crime … I think it is an abomination that this continues to go on.'”

The entire essay is essential reading.  If you have friends and families in Indiana and North Carolina, send them this link.

 

About wallwritings

From 1972 through 1999, James M. Wall was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, lllinois. He was a Contributing Editor of the Century from 1999 until July, 2017. He has written this blog, wall writings.me, since it was launched April 27, 2008. If you would like to receive Wall Writings alerts when new postings are added to this site, send a note, saying, Please Add Me, to jameswall8@gmail.com Biography: Journalism was Jim's undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. He is an ordained United Methodist clergy person. He served for two years in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF reserve. While serving on active duty with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years.
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