Carter defends criticism of Israel

Former US president says he wants to provoke debate on Israel's policies.

    Carter criticised Israel's building of the separation barrier in the West Bank
    Carter said that debate had been stifled by the media and others.

    "It's almost a universal silence concerning anything that might be critical of current policies of the Israeli government," he said.
     
    "Worse than apartheid"

    Carter said he stands by his use of the "apartheid" and cited the fences, electric sensors and concrete slabs that Israel has built in the West Bank as an example of the divide.

    "It's almost a universal silence concerning anything that might be critical of current policies of the Israeli government."


    Jimmy Carter, former US president

    "I think it's worse, in many ways, than apartheid in South Africa," Carter said.

    The book follows the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, starting with Carter's 1977-1980 presidency and the Camp David peace accord he negotiated between Israel and Egypt.
     
    It blames Israel, the Palestinians, the US and many others, but it is most critical of Israel.

    Stein, an Emory University professor, sent a letter to Carter claiming the book was "one-sided" and "is not based on unvarnished analysis; it is replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments."
     
    "Tremendous intimidation"

    Your Views

    "Carter was absolutely right in pointing most of the blame on Israel for the continued conflict. But the most appalling issue is the lack of open discussion in United States about unwavering bipartisan support given to Israel. The American soceity fear to discuss this taboo issue, with none of the major media daring to discuss it."

    Mujeeb, Kerala, India

    Send us your views

    Carter said on Friday that Stein had not played a role in the Carter Centre in 13 years and that his post as a fellow was an honorary title.

    He said: "When I decided to write this book, I didn't even think about involving Ken, from ancient times, to come in and help."
     
    He added that the book had been vetted by Carter Centre staff and an unnamed "distinguished" reporter.

    Carter, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, lamented the lack of discussion of Israeli policy in the US.

    "There's a tremendous intimidation in this country that has silenced our people. And it's not just individuals, it's not just folks who are running for office. It's the news media as well," he said.

    Carter, who has led efforts to monitor several elections in the Palestinian Territories since leaving office, said bringing peace to the Middle East is the most important commitment in his public life.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.