Thursday, December 07, 2006

jimmy carter and the a-word

Jimmy Carter's new book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid certainly doesn't make Carter the first person to suggest that there are similarities between Israel's policies towards Palestinians and the old South African regime's racial seperation policies. (Even Desmond Tutu, another Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has made such comparisons as far back as the 1980's.) But Carter's latest book does make him the most prominent American statesman to use this sort of language. Perhaps it will help the US electorate to move a little closer to the rest of the world when it comes to viewing the situation in the Middle East?

Another question which comes to mind is: What happens when we consider the implied comparison from the other direction? In other words, are "we" as Muslims able to on other anti-colonial and anti-racist struggles in the world with the same energy and vigor that our communities apply to the situation in Palestine? What if the victims have no association with Islam? What about when the oppressors are identified as "Muslim"?

Food for thought.

ZNet: Peace Not Apartheid
NPR: Jimmy Carter on Conflict in the Middle East
Counterpunch: Jimmy Carter and the A-word
The American Muslim: Jimmy Carter on Apartheid in Palestine
Haaretz: Notes on Carter's 'apartheid' analogy
Wikipedia: Allegations of Israeli Apartheid

1 comment:

Yzerfontein said...

I'm glad you look at the challenge facing the Palestinians - it's not often spoken about.

The moral high ground in Israel and the West Bank is that side which is more accommodating to those from other cultures, colours, sexual orientation and religious groups.

One of the most ridiculous things I've heard recently is some calling Desmond Tutu an anti-semite. He fought apartheid for a long time and that doesn't make him anti-white.