Former US president Jimmy Carter said on Monday that Washington had “zero” influence over Israel and the Palestinians to resolve their decades-long conflict, and its sway had dropped to the lowest level in 45 years.Unilateral moves by the Palestinian Arabs that contradict Oslo don't bother Jimmy. No, only what Israel does.
Speaking on a tour of east Jerusalem with a group of former world leaders known as “The Elders,” Carter said he was not optimistic that the United States could reassert its influence, and suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had given up on the two-state solution.
“A major change lately has been the withdrawal of American influence” in the Israeli-Palestinian arena, Carter said, estimating it was the first time since the 1967 Six-Day War that Washington had not “played a major role” in trying to resolve the conflict.
“And when the United States withdraws, of course, that gives Israel a completely free hand to do what it wants,” he said, describing it as a “very serious disappointment.”
Ireland’s former president Mary Robinson, also a member of The Elders and who was with the group on its last visit exactly a year ago, said the chances of a two-state solution to the conflict appeared to be disappearing.As usual, Carter is completely wrong.
“What we want to do as Elders is draw attention to the fact that there is a kind of insidious undermining of the possibility of a two-state solution,” she said.
She indicated that every time the group visited, it saw evidence of more settlements, and more east Jerusalem Palestinian homes being taken over by Israelis.
Carter said he thought Netanyahu was no longer interested in a two-state solution to the conflict and was interested only in increasing Israel’s control over the West Bank.
“I think that Netanyahu has decided to abandon the two-state solution,” he said, suggesting the Israeli leader’s policy was now about “taking over the entire West Bank.”
“I think that all the previous prime ministers have been committed to the two-state solution and I don’t believe that that is the case now in Israel,” he said.
While Netanyahu has publicly and repeatedly stated he supports a two-state solution, Yitzhak Rabin, darling of the Left, was adamantly against a Palestinian Arab state - even after Oslo!
As he told Time magazine right after Oslo:
I oppose the creation of an independent Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan, and I don't believe that at this stage it would be a good idea if I brought out the options.And in Rabin's speech shortly before he was assassinated:
We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.If Netanyahu would make a speech like this today he would be vilified by not only the UN and the EU but by the US as well.
We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.
And these are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution:
A. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma'ale Adumim and Givat Ze'ev -- as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.
B. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.
C. Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the "Green Line," prior to the Six Day War.
D. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.
By any objective measure, Netanyahu is more dovish than Rabin was. And similarly, while the Israeli Right has embraced positions that were considered the domain of ulra-left Peace Now in 1993, the Palestinian Arabs have not changed their own hawkish positions in the least.
The revisionist history that canonizes Rabin as the ultimate leftist is one that Jimmy Carter and his ilk love to embrace, but it is a lie. Carter no doubt knows this, but to him it is more important to demonize the current Israeli leadership - and to praise the intransigent Mahmoud Abbas - than to worry about pesky facts.