Decision time for Israeli-Palestinian peace
By Ralph Nader / The Huffington Post
December 19, 2016
“[Recognizing Palestine] is the best — now, perhaps, the only — means of countering the one-state reality that Israel is imposing on itself and the Palestinian people [and] that could destroy Israeli democracy and will result in intensifying international condemnation of Israel.
— Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter
Dear President Obama:
On November 28, 2016, Jimmy Carter, the President who negotiated the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt in 1978, wrote an op ed for the New York Times titled, “America Must Recognize Palestine.” His urgent plea was directed to you to take “the vital step . . . to grant American diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine, as 137 countries have already done, and help it achieve full United Nations membership,” before you leave office on January 20, 2017.
Mr. Carter referenced your reaffirmation in 2009 of the Camp David agreement between Israel and Egypt and United Nations Resolution 242 when you called “for a complete freeze on settlement expansion on Palestinian territory that is illegal under international law.” He noted that in 2011 you made clear that, in your words, “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines” and that “negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.”
Former President Carter sees that the “combined weight of United States recognition, United Nations membership [for Palestine] and a UN Security Council resolution solidly grounded in international law would lay the foundation for future diplomacy.”
With Israeli lawmakers moving to annex more Palestinian land (the 22 percent left of old Palestine), prompting a public plea by outgoing UN chief Ban Ki-moon to reconsider, and the forthcoming carte blanche for Israeli repression of the Palestinians from the Trump Administration, Mr. Carter sees these measures as “the best — now, perhaps, the only — means of countering the one-state reality that Israel is imposing on itself and the Palestinian people” and “that could destroy the Israeli democracy.”
He adds that “recognition of Palestine and a new Security Council resolution are not radical new measures, but a natural outgrowth of America’s support for a two-state solution.”