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Re: Jimmy Carter and Israeli Actions - Part 2 (1/15/07)

Thank you, Mr. Cassara, for your review of Jimmy Carter's book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.  I have been very engaged in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for many years with my focus being on human rights.  I have struggled to bring the Palestinian reality to Americans and the extremely significant role we play in sustaining Israel's brutal occupation and illegal settlement building.  The criticisms of Jimmy Carter's book are just repetitions of the same old canards used in defense of Israeli actions.  I appreciate your opinion!

I have several observations. 

I would not recommend Carter's book for a historical background of the conflict.  He touches on major events without insight.  For example on page 57 he states simplistically, "When Jews declared their independence as a nation, the Arabs attacked militarily but were defeated." 

I was incredibly sobered and surprised by Carter's confession that it wasn't until he left the presidency that he talked extensively to Palestinians in the occupied territories!!!

Carter does not focus much on the huge Palestinian refugee problem, its legal significance, its source of instability and violence in the region, and its significance in any peaceful resolution.

That said, he does a good job of focusing on the realities of Israel's actions over the years since his presidency and his book is highly recommended and very important!

- Tricia Saenger

Well done, Papa.

- Shirl (Shirley Cassara)

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Harvard Square Commentary, January 22, 2007