First Published: 2008-04-19

 
Give Peace and Jimmy Carter a Chance
 

It is worth noting that one is forced to negotiate with one's enemies when seeking peace. Throughout the six decades of conflict in the Middle East, violence has only bred more violence and has never been the solution to the problem, says the Middle East Times.

 

Middle East Online

WASHINGTON—Former US President Jimmy Carter is coming under much criticism from Israel and its supporters for expressing his desire to meet with Hamas officials during his Middle East tour this week. One would think that by now, 60 years into the Arab-Israeli conflict, and a stack of wars later, most people would come to realise that there can be no military solution to the crisis. Only a negotiated settlement will put an end to the decades fighting and bloodshed.

It is worth remembering that it was Carter who laid the cornerstone to peace in the Middle East when he brought together Egypt's President Anwar Sadat and Israel's Prime Minister Menahem Begin at the presidential retreat at Camp David, extracting a peace treaty from Egypt and Israel—a peace treaty, imperfect as it might be, but which is still in effect today. And had Egypt not paved the way and entered into a peace treaty with Israel, Jordan would have never been able to follow suit, becoming the second Arab country to recognise Israel and exchange diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

In fact, had it not been for Jimmy Carter's initiative to push for peace between the Arabs and Israelis, yesterday's visit by Israel's Foreign Minister Tippi Livni to the Gulf state of Qatar would have never been possible. Just as a peace treaty and exchange of diplomatic relations with Mauritania, the third Arab country to officially recognise Israel, would have never been possible.

As much as former President Carter is disliked in Israel for the manner in which he views the Arab-Israeli dispute, it is important to stress the fact that both Arabs and Israelis owe much to the man, who has devoted a great deal of time and energy to promote peace in a region that has been plagued by never-ending strife and violence.

It is also worth noting that one is forced to negotiate with one's enemies when seeking peace. Throughout the six decades of conflict in the Middle East, violence has only bred more violence and has never been the solution to the problem. A quick scan through the history books will prove the point. The June 1967 Six-Day war gave birth to the Palestinian resistance movement. The 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon propelled the creation of Hezbollah. And the continuing unrest in the West Bank and Gaza gave rise to Hamas.

Clearly, the longer the crisis continues to simmer, the more complex it becomes. Hard as it may be to comprehend or accept Jimmy Carter's initiative, to engage Hamas in talks should be encouraged, if not welcomed. War has never been the answer; let's give peace – and Jimmy Carter – a chance.

This article is an editorial by Middle East Times. It is distributed by the Common Ground News Service and can be accessed at GCNews.

 

Macron, Le Pen gird for final French election duel

US fires opening shots in confrontation with Iran

Syria ‘ready’ to halt fire for chemical attack probe

Iran's historically unpredictable elections

LafargeHolcim CEO stepping down over Syria probe

Iran election may be pointer to race for supreme leader

US-backed forces enter key IS-held Syria town Tabqa

Israel probe clears officer who shot teen attackers

Israel charges teenager for bomb threats against Jewish institutions

Egypt sentences 20 to death over 2013 police killings

Erdogan accuses researcher of 'inciting assassination'

Qatar Airways CEO accuses US carriers of ‘bullying’

At least 15 migrants drown near Lesbos

Former employees work to salvage Mosul University

Jordan wary about jihadists wishing to return home

Mattis sees Saudi Arabia ‘helping across the region’

Sirens, silence as Israel remembers Holocaust

Houthis intensify crackdown on dissent in Yemen

Italian reporter released in Turkey

Algiers summons Morocco envoy over Syrian migrant row

Iran reverses decision to ban live presidential debates

Six Israelis including two soldiers held for anti-Arab attacks

Economists, rights advocates concerned over Egypt’s state of emergency

US Defense Secretary Mattis visits strategic Djibouti

Qatari hunters ecstatic at release from Iraqi kidnappers

Prosecutor says charities colluding with migrant traffickers

France votes under heavy security

Israel kills three in attack on pro-regime Syria camp

Iran's Ahmadinejad won't endorse other candidates

Rocky days ahead after Turkey referendum

Huge Shiite crowd throngs Baghdad shrine

Rabat accuses Algiers of expelling 55 migrants across border

Morocco, US take part in joint military exercise

US defence secretary visits key ally Qatar

Lebanese activists ramp up campaign against rape law

Saudis among kidnapped hunters freed in Iraq

Trial in Tunisia beach massacre set to begin April 26

Tunisia hotel attacked by jihadists sees hope in 'rebirth'

IS claims deadly attack on FSB office in Russia

Spate of attacks shows weakening of Islamic State

Mediterranean migrant death toll tops 1,000 in 2017

Iraq forces free 11-year-old Yazidi girl in Mosul

Kuwaiti opposition leader freed from prison

Kidnapped Qataris freed in Iraq, Syria evacuations resume

Turkey opposition to appeal referendum at top court