Monday, April 21, 2008
Opening Doors Instead Of Slamming Them
Over the objections of the Bush Administration and after 8 years of its failure to make any headway and losing any sense of direction towards real peace with their famous "roadmap", Jimmy Carter visited Israel and Syria this week.
There were calls in Congress by some to revoke his passport for daring to talk directly with the leadership of Hamas. You see, George W. Bush doesn't deal with terrorists or governments who sponsor terrorism, unless it is terrorism that we support or terrorists that we can use to terrorize the terrorists or...uhh...
So the reactionary yahoos in Congress condemn Jimmy Carter for ignoring their prejudiced half formed ideas and forging ahead and trying to build bridges..
He was denied security in Israel because they were so upset that he would perhaps actually talk to Syria. Carter thinks that the American Administration influenced Israels decision.
He was not empowered to broker any type of deal, but he walked away from his meetings with Assad and the leaders of Hamas with much more than any negotiation team has done since his days in office.
He actually got Hamas to say that if The Palestinian Authority and Israel can agree on a two state solution and it is ratified by the Palestinians, then Hamas will go alog with it and officially recognize Israel. That is much more than they have have ever given and he has it on paper.
Carter also believes that Syria would like to have good relations with America and the present attitude of the Administration is what is driving them towards Iran. It's a matter of praticality. Assad wants peace with Israel.
Israeli Officials opposed Carters meeting with Hamas leaders saying that doing so legitimatizes a group they consider to be a terrorist organization. Mr. Carter said, "The problem is not that I met with Hamas in Syria, the problem is that the Israelis and the Americans refuse to meet with these people."
Of course, this is far from a simple solution. There are many problems, one of the biggest stumbling blocks is in Palestine. Hamas and Fatah would have to be able to come to some sort of agreement about governing Palestine and resolve their differences before any kind of agreement could begin.
But in 72 hours, one committed man made more real progress in opening doors and building bridges than all of the beligerent posturing and false poses of the last 7 years!
This is why Carter deserved the Nobel Peace Prize.