September 17, 1978
Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel, participated in the secret talks with Jimmy Carter at Camp David, MD from September 5 to September 17, 1978. As a result two agreements were signed. First was a  Framework for Peace in the Middle East. The second was a Framework for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel, The second agreement led to the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty signed in March of 1979 in Wahington, D,C.




Peace, Jimmy Carter and Middle East

Recently I caught former president Jimmy Carter on several television programs as he was promoting his new book with attention grabing title "Palestine Peace not Apartheid". There he comparing Israeli-Palestinian conflict to South African apartheid regime. The "A" word used by him in the title of his book is the terminology that is often thrown around by pro-Palestinian commentators when discussing the conflict. It's a propaganda word, used for years, that is aimed at painting the Israelis as some sort of monsters abusing poor and defenseless Palestinians.

Cover of the book Palestine Peace not ApartheidHere is how the former president phrased it during one of his interviews:  " I  make it clear in the book that the apartheid that is perpetrated now on the Palestinians in the occupied territories is not based on racism. It’s based on a desire by a minority of Israelis for Palestinian land. And in the acquisition of that land, the occupation, the confiscation, and then the colonization of that land, they are perpetuating an absolute and total division between Israelis living on Palestinian territory and the right of Palestinians to interrelate with any Israelis who are occupying their own land"

He is being kind here. Usually Palestinians paint Israelis as racists with big noses and blood dripping fangs. So if he's saying this is not based on racism why use the word apartheid? Just to be sure I checked the Webster's dictionary. Here is the definition of the word: "Apartheid is an Afrikaans word meaning separation or literally apartness. In English, it has come to mean any legally sanctioned system of racial segregation, such as existed in The Republic of South Africa between 1948 and 1990".

Just as I had thought it means racial segregation. He should have really checked the meaning of the word before using it so liberally. He is also saying that Israel is trying to confiscate Palestinian land. Then it's a land dispute and not an apartheid. According to Jimmy Carter he wanted to be provocative in order to make a point. I suppose it worked because he was on every talk show in the land. During one interview he used another Arab propaganda sentence when he was talking about the support American Jews provide for Israel.

"The American Jewish lobby may be part of it. Israeli government decisions are rarely questioned or condemned. Voices from Jerusalem dominate in our media, and most American citizens are unaware of circumstances in the occupied territories.”

I could not believe my ears when he said that. Here he was an ex-President of the United States, who just recently preached morality to George W. Bush, using the most immoral of the libels used against the Jews over the centuries. But only couple of days later there was Jimmy Carter again murmuring on CNN how the Jewish lobby intimidates the American media into covering the Middle East stories favoring Israel.

I have to congratulate Jimmy Carter  that he is in agreement with President of Iran, bin Ladin and every other anti-Semite of this and previous era who preached a Jewish conspiracy. It's not enough that anti-Semitic rhetoric and actions emanating from the Muslim world already reached unprecedented proportions. So much so that even Hitler would have been envious of how well oiled their propaganda machine is.

They hardly need an ex-U.S. president's book to add to their material but they'll take it and will use it whenever possible. I do not believe Jimmy Carter is an anti-Semite but I do think that he has a naive and one-sided view of this conflict. He is certainly entitled to his opinion as I am entitled to mine, but my words are not going to be used as an added incentive by the suicide bomber next time he or she boards a bus in Tel Aviv or blows himself up at the U.S. Marine check point in Baghdad.

 In his interview President Carter insists that if only Israel gave Palestinians back all the land taken in 1967 war and allow them to create their own State it would end the conflict and everyone would live happily ever after. So the Israelis have to trust the Arabs and just give back everything they gained through the blood of multiple generations in exchange for peace with people who do not recognize their right to exist, do not honor any agreements they signed and in their last elections, voted for a terrorist entity whose charter calls for eradication of the Jewish State.

Only couple of years ago the Israelis completely withdrew from Gaza, leaving Palestinians fully in charge of their land. But instead of building some basis for the future Palestinian state, the rival factions of Fatah and Hamas themselves engaged in the conflict that left Palestininas territoriess divided between Gaza and West Bank.

So which party should Israel sign a peace treaty with? President Mahmoud Abbas who only has a limited control or Hamas who refuses to recognize Israel? And more importantly if such a treaty is signed who is going to keep it?

Maybe Mr. Carter needs to spend few days in a town of Shredot located few miles away from the Gaza border. That's where Palestinian Quassam rockets land almost on a daily basis in hope that some of them will hit civilians going about their daily business. If he does not have time to visit he can ask the Director of the International Human Rights commission who recently was almost hit by one of those rockets while visiting the area.

The picture on the cover of Jimmy Carter's book is showing his portrait looking down on the wall separating Israel from the West Bank. Palestinians and their supporters call it an apartheid wall. I suspect that is where the former president got the idea for the title of his book. The wall was the end result of the campaign of terror that Palestinians embarked on when the Second Intifada began in 2000, right after the failed peace talks in Camp David.

They were blowing up buses, pizzerias and discotheques trying to bring the entire country of Israel to it's knees. Initially even Arial Sharon was against the wall because it was not politically popular not to mention the costs involved. Former Prime Minister Barak, who was an advocate for separating Israel from the West Bank, prophetically told Sharon: "Right now the number of casualties is about 80 dead. When the number of dead reaches 800 you will build a wall".

The wall is still a work in progress but the number of suicide attacks has dropped dramatically. But the wall is also very controversial, prompting countless demonstrations and lawsuits. Apparently the wall inconveniences the daily lives of the Palestinians. If that's the case then they should be demonstrating in front of offices of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades and other terrorist organization because without their campaign of death raining down on Israeli cities there would not be a need for separation.

The wall detractors can call it anything they want and they can demonstrate every day for the next century. As long as this wall saves the lives of innocent Israelis it should remain as is. In his book Jimmy Carter covers in depth how bad was the deal that Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat during the Camp David II accords in July of 2000. Brokered by Bill Clinton, the accords produced the best deal ever offered by Israelis to Palestinians.

Some say that Barak offered to give back 97% of occupied territories, others argue that it was only 94%. The bottom line was that Arafat left Camp David without agreeing to anything and without making any type of a counter-offer. During his interview on CNN , Jimmy Carter goes as far as saying that the offer that Bill Clinton gave to the both parties to make the deal work was rejected by Israel.

Bill Clinton and Dennis Ross, who were the participants of these talks acknowledge that Israelis accepted the offer twice. It was Arafat who refused it. But Jimmy Carter, who was not present at the negotiating table, insist that it did not happen. Well, just because the president of Iran insists that Holocaust never took place does not make it so.

Fitting the facts into their storylines has been the trademark of Arab historians. Looks like Jimmy Carter is emulating that fine tradition. Arguing whether this was a good deal or not is a waste of time. Arafat was not going to sign any agreements, not even if Barak offered him 100% of and then some. If there is anyone in the world who should know why, it's former President Jimmy Carter.

He was the one who in September of 1978 presided over the Camp David I accord that resulted in the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Egypt got back 100% of it's land and offered diplomatic relations in return. Yet three years later in October 1981 Anwar Sadat was assassinated by the Muslim extremists during the military parade.

Arafat knew the Arab street better then anybody. After Egypt signed a piece treaty with Israel, he referred to Sadat as a traitor and repeatedly called for his death. Does anybody really think that Arafat was stupid enough to sign any deal with Israel and go into history as someone who sold out the Palestinian cause? Not a chance.

Instead he died in a Paris hospital as a "beloved father of the Palestinian people", surrounded by his aides and the "devoted" wife who then fiercely fought over the millions he left behind. The millions that were supposed to be used to feed the hungry Palestinians. The timing of Jimmy Carter's book is also odd. This is time when Iraq is of the verge of collapse and we see suicide bombings, mass executions and taped beheadings.

This is the time when the moderates in the Arab world are fighting for their lives and gradually losing ground to religious extremists. These is a time when the Syrian regime assassinates  Lebanese politicians as if they had a license to do it. This is a time when the Iranian mullahs, on the verge of developing nuclear weapons, repeatedly call for elimination of the Zionist entity.

Why not write about Iran, since it was on Jimmy Carter's watch that Ayatollah Khomeini rose to power and took the terrorism business to anther level. Or if you are looking for real apartheid or genocide why not write about Darfur where hundreds of thousands are already killed and many more hundreds of thousands will die as the world looks the other way.

There is another good idea, write about how Kim Jong Ill starved to death millions of his fellow North Koreans or how the Russians turned Chechnya into one big grave yard. What about Tibet? Last I heard the Chinese were not offering the Tibetans any deals, and they never will. Yes, the Darfurians and the Tibetans could have use the former president's help to bring attention to their plight.

But the stories of their suffering will not sell many books and will not produce the invitations to the countless talk shows. On the other hand writing a book about the Middle East with the word apartheid in the title and openly accusing the Jewish community of a conspiracy is a sure best seller. If not in America, certainly in the Muslim world.

I do not think that money was the motivation that prompted Jimmy Carter to write this book. It seems like he has became a Palestinian advocate. Well, his brother at one point did become a Libyan agent. Jimmy Carter was always known for having anti-Israeli sentiments but this time he is not just accusing the Israelis, he is blaming the entire Jewish tribe.

By just listening to his public statements you can sense that he is angry and wants his opinions to be known. He also seems to have a good idea which words to hurl at the Jews to make them squirm. But an angry man often times can go over the top and rarely can be fair or objective. Jimmy Carter is no exception.