Dear President Carter,
Back in 1987 my wife and I had the pleasure and privilege of being invited to sit and talk with you and Rosalynn at The Carter Center. Since then, and with increasing concern, even alarm, you’ve been doing what American Presidents can’t do in office – telling the truth (well, quite a lot of it) about why a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has remained and, I fear, seems set to remain, beyond the reach of politics and diplomacy.
I say set to remain because while I believe that President Obama is a good man who means well, I think he will not be allowed to deliver. On matters to do with Israel, the Zionist lobby’s grip on your pork-barrel Congress is too strong for him to break. (You might not wish to say so in public, but I imagine you would agree with that assessment in private). I’m also inclined to the view that, because of his inexperience at the sharp end of international affairs, President Obama is out of his depth in the Middle East as well as Afghanistan (Vietnam II in-the-making for America unless Obama changes course?)
The idea for this open letter to you was provoked by your article in the Washington Post of 6 September.
In it, and while clearly saying that a two-state solution was “preferable”, you raised the option of a one-state solution. You wrote (my emphasis added):
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. 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. In this non-violent civil rights struggle, their examples would be Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
In theory one non-sectarian, democratic state in which Jews and Arabs enjoyed equal political and human rights is the ideal solution and, more than that, it’s the stuff that real dreams are made of. Why? As this Gentile writes and frequently says, the Jews, generally speaking, are the intellectual elite of the Western world and the Palestinians are the intellectual elite of the Arab world. Together in peace and partnership they could change the region for the better and, by so doing, give new and real hope and inspiration to the whole world.
In theory the one-state solution has to be on the table because, as intended, Israel’s still on-going colonisation of the occupied West Bank has made a viable two-state solution impossible. It’s not yet formally buried but it is dead. Stone cold. (It’s worth noting in passing that if Zionism had been interested in a genuine and viable two-state solution, it was there for the taking by negotiation from the moment at the end of 1979 when Arafat persuaded first his leadership colleagues and then the Palestine National Council, the highest decision-making body on the Palestine side, to accept his policy of politics and compromise with Israel. Shortly after that Arafat sent a secret letter to the Security Council stating that he really was ready to do business on the basis of Resolution 242. The letter was received by Britain’s ambassador, Ivor Richard, in his capacity as that month’s president of the Security Council. Ivor’s view, he told me this himself, was that Arafat’s communication represented “the biggest breakthrough since 1948″. That was also the assessment of American ambassador Andy Young. You, dear Mr. Carter, were president at the time and you shared the views of both men. You responded positively by trying to involve the PLO in the peace process, but you got screwed by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and the Zionist lobby. It decided to punish you for even thinking about involving the PLO by demanding that you fire Andy Young. Despite the fact that he was a soul-mate, you did).
Yes, I know, there are people, including Israeli commentators, who believe that that if push came to shove for real peace, and in return for generous re-location payment, almost all the illegal Jewish settlers would be prepared to withdraw from the West Bank to make the space for a viable Palestine state with, preferably, Jerusalem an open, undivided city and the capital of two states. But that’s never going to happen. It’s possible that half, perhaps even two-thirds of the illegal Jewish settlers – in number about 500,000 and rising – would move out, but the rest will fight to the death; and that would trigger a full-scale Jewish civil war. As Shimon Peres put it to me in 1984 (the full story is in my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, in a chapter titled The Blood Oath), “No Israeli prime minister is going down in history as the one who gave the order to the Jewish army to shoot large numbers of Jews to get them out of the West Bank.”)
Unfortunately the one-state solution is also not a runner. Although you didn’t elaborate, you put your finger on the reason why in your Washington Post article. You wrote:
Non-Jews are already a slight majority of total citizens in this area (the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea), and within a few years Arabs will constitute a clear majority.”
I’ll put it this way. By definition the one-state solution would mean the end of Zionism’s colonial enterprise. At a point it would be voted out of existence by an Arab majority. Zionism is simply not going to let that happen.
The truth is that Israel’s colonisation of the West Bank created a demographic time-bomb. Sharon’s unilateral withdrawal of settlers from the Gaza Strip was in no way a gesture for peace or even goodwill to the Palestinians. It was a strategic move in Zionism’s on-going process of defusing the demographic time-bomb.
That done the Zionist (not Jewish) state stepped up its efforts to humiliate the Palestinians and make life hell for them on the assumption that, at a point, and out of total despair, they will be prepared to abandon the struggle for their rights and accept crumbs from Zionism’s table in the shape of two or three bantustans, or, better still, will abandon their homeland and seek a new life in other countries.
As I have previously written and said on public platforms, the question that’s almost too awful to think about is something like this: What will the Zionists do when it becomes apparent even to them that they can’t destroy Palestinian nationalism with bombs and bullets and brutal repressive measures of all kinds?
My fear is that they, the Zionists, will invent a pretext to go for a final round of ethnic cleansing – to drive the Palestinians off the West Bank and into Jordan and beyond. That, I fear, is how the process of de-fusing the demographic time-bomb of occupation is most likely to end if Zionism is allowed to go on having its way. If that happens, the West Bank will be turned red with blood, mostly Palestinian blood. And honest reporters will describe it as a Zionist holocaust.
In my analysis the question that needs to be addressed is not what could be done to get a real peace process going, but what must be done prevent the Arabs still in Palestine that became Israel from being slaughtered at a foreseeable point in the future?
My own conclusion is that nothing short of an American-led, global boycott of Israel is likely to bring enough Israelis (brainwashed by Zionist propaganda) to their senses before it’s too late. That said, I am aware that a really effective campaign of sanctions against Israel could be counter-productive. It could provoke almost all Israelis and very many Jews of the world into thinking “Here it (Nazi-like anti-Semitism) comes again”. And were that to happen, the monster I believe Zionism to be would become a monster totally beyond control – a nuclear armed fortress prepared to take on the whole world. But that, I think, is a risk that has to be taken if the countdown to catastrophe for all of us is to be stopped. I can see no other way.
Can you, President Carter?
With respectful best wishes to you and Rosalynn,
PS The kind of courage needed at leadership level in the Western world for an effective boycott of the Zionist state, in order (hopefully) to bring most Israelis to their senses, is that demonstrated by the Norwegian government with its decision on 3 September to withdraw its investments in the Israeli hi-tech company Elbit because of its involvement in the construction and maintenance of the apartheid wall.
The significance of this decision has been noted by my dear friend Ilan Pappe, Israel’s leading “revisionist” (honest) historian and the author of the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Though threats to his life (and also the lives of his two sons) caused him to leave Israel and take up a post at Exeter University, he was visiting the Zionist state when Norway’s minister of finance announced the decision to a press conference. The reporting of it by the Israeli media gave Israelis a rare and brief glimpse of reality. Ilan put it this way (my emphasis added): “Today was a unique day in the history of media coverage and discussion in Israel. All the electronic agencies, radio and television alike, discussed the occupation and the oppression of the Palestinians and, more importantly, the possible price tag attached to it.”