Former US President Jimmy Carter: “We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan that Will Work”

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by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, Feb. 11, 2009

President Carter’s previous book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, generated a great deal of controversy here in the United States. Last year, he was removed from the speakers list at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, reportedly because of his outspoken criticism of Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza. Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz has publicly claimed he pushed Obama not to allow Carter to speak at the convention.

Well, yesterday I interviewed President Carter yesterday about the US role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and Israel’s invasion of Gaza . . .

AMY GOODMAN: Well, you’ve written a new book. It’s called We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan that Will Work. What is that plan?

JIMMY CARTER: Well, the plan is a diametric opposite from what is the trend now by Israel in the West Bank—and that is to make one state, one nation, all the way from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River—and that is the two-day solution, which is generally adopted by the United States government, the road map for the international community, the United Nations resolutions, and also unanimously by all twenty-two Arab nations. That is a two-state solution based on Israel’s withdrawal, basically to the 1967 borders, the sharing of Jerusalem and so forth. And that’s been spelled out and accepted for a long time.

And so, I think that the plan that I outline in my book is one that has practical aspects of modification of the basic two-state solution that both sides can accept overwhelmingly. One of the key issues would be to leave about half of the Israeli settlers in Palestine where they are—that is, those nearest to Jerusalem—and swap them an equivalent amount of land, say, acre for acre, to be used for a corridor, a narrow corridor between the West Bank and Gaza, about thirty-five miles’ distance. And that could be used to make a train route or either a highway still to be controlled by Israel’s security. I discussed this particular plan with Ariel Sharon in January of 2005, and he agreed with me completely on it.

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