Tuesday, March 13, 2007

As Least Carter Has A Backbone

The week AIPAC is holding its annual policy conference in the Nation's capital. Amongst the scheduled speakers are Vice President Dick Cheney as well as Speaker of The House Nancy Pelosi (my very own representative no less.)

No doubt during this week other men and women in Congress will be glad-handing with the lobbyists to re-iterate their unwavering support for Israel. Of course I'm not telling you anything new. Most of you who read this blog know all of this.

But what you may not know is that former President Jimmy Carter will not be one of those that attends. Ever since the publication of his new book; Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, Carter has been inundated with cries of anti-Semitism from the likes of such Israeli hawks as Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League and Professor Alan Dershowitz. Yet Carter has remained stead-fast in his characterization that Israeli occupation mirrors the South African government's repression of Blacks, so-called coloureds and the Indian communities.

Carter's definition of apartheid is, "the forced segregation of one people by another." Not a bad comparison but it doesn't go far enough. With this forced segregation comes the inhumane treatment of one people over another; the sub-standard education of one people over another, the continued violence for all; and the perpetuation of stereotypes that are so prevalent in both Israel and Palestine.

Carter's book only targets the treatment of Palestinians in the territories and says he feels that those Arabs living in Israel as citizens get equal treatment. Well, not quite sir. In fact, not at all. Sure they're allowed to vote in elections, but many other conditions exist that foster more discrimination to some of Israel's so-called citizens. For instance, Palestinian Israelis cannot freely move into any neighborhood that they want, their education system receives less money on average than that of Jewish children and many have family that live in the territories whom they are, by law, forbidden to go and see.

But aside from all of this, Carter is a brave man to stand up to the juggernaut of the Israeli lobbies. He has grown something that has been sorely lacking from most lawmakers past and present; a spine. Good on you Jimmy Carter, good on you!

No comments: