Help Palestine Before It’s Too Late, Jimmy Carter Tells President Obama

The 39th president of the United States, James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, is imploring President Barack Obama to formally and diplomatically recognize Palestine as a sovereign state before his term concludes in January, so says Radio Pakistan. The Pakistan radio station referred to Jimmy Carter’s op-ed piece in the November 29 issue of a well-known New York-based newspaper in which the past POTUS noted that there is still time for the United States to unilaterally fulfill Palestine’s quest to join the United Nations and become a full-fledged member of the intergovernmental global community.

“I am certain that United States recognition of a Palestinian state would make it easier for other countries that have not recognized Palestine to do so, and would clear the way for a Security Council resolution on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Security Council should pass a resolution laying out the parameters for resolving the conflict. It should reaffirm the illegality of all Israeli settlements beyond the 1967 borders, while leaving open the possibility that the parties could negotiate modifications.”

No time to waste in granting full diplomatic recognition to Palestine

According to The Times of Israel, former president Carter believes the time for President Obama to act on behalf of Palestine is now.

“I am convinced that the United States can still shape the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before a change in presidents, but time is very short. The simple but vital step this administration must take before its term expires on Jan. 20 is to grant American diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine, as 137 countries have already done, and help it achieve full United Nations membership.”

In his 2006 tome, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” Carter shocked a number of people when he described Israel as an apartheid state that occupies and oppresses their closest neighbor.

“Two peoples occupying the same land, but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights.”

This doesn’t mean that Georgia-born James Earl Carter is in any way anti-Israel. Far from it. In fact, the 92-year-old former president is distinguished by the fact that he facilitated the Camp David Accords that have been protecting the state of Israel for some four decades. Hailed as one of the most triumphant feats of U.S. diplomacy in the 20th century, the accords that facilitated peace between Israel and her longtime enemy were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at Camp David in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland on September 17, 1978. The accords comprised the first peace agreement between Israel and any of her Arab neighbors. That same year, Sadat and Begin were awarded a joint Nobel Peace Prize for their parts in the historic agreement.

More recently, Carter joined forces with Khalaf Al Habtoo to create the “Pathways to Peace” initiative. According to humanitarian activist Tori Wynecoop, the initiative provides “a realistic attempt to find a solution for an ongoing conflict that affects the Middle East and the West.” You may recall that Wynecoop was one of several students selected to participate in the Pathways to Peace initiative last summer. That’s when the young Native American woman traveled to Tel Aviv and witnessed firsthand the problems between Palestine and Israel.

A Palestinian boy holds a banner that reads "Land Unites Us, on Land Day, Palestine is Arab, Free" during a rally organized by Palestinian factions
40th anniversary of Land Day [Image by Adel Hana/AP Images]

“When I was there there were airstrikes between Gaza and the Israeli military. It’s weird to be in the middle of this crisis and have none of it affect you because you’re not Israeli and you’re not Palestinian.”

Wynecoop, a member of the Spokane tribe from Wellpinit, Washington, told Indian Country Today about assisting the initiative.

“We all had to come up with our own idea on how would we bring peace between Israel and Palestine. I didn’t necessarily take a side, but I chose to work with Palestinian education because it was easier to relate to their situation at that point. They were going through land grab and oppression.”

How will the Trump presidency likely affect Israel-Palestine relations?

Last week, Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, told President-elect Donald Trump that Israel expects to maintain positive relations with the incoming administration. Shortly after their meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan, Dermer told Arutz Sheva 7 “Israel has no doubt that President-elect Trump is a true friend of Israel.” He reiterated the sentiment when he said:

“We have no doubt that Vice-President-elect Mike Pence is a true friend of Israel, he was one of Israel’s greatest friends in the Congress, one of the most pro-Israel governors in the country, and we look forward to working with the Trump administration, with all of the members of the Trump administration, including Steve Bannon, and making the U.S.-Israel alliance stronger than ever.”

Bannon is a media executive who served as Trump’s campaign manager and was recently named as one of incoming President Trump’s top advisors.

[Featured Image by Nasser Nasser/AP Images]