June 20, 2007
Associated Press

Carter Blasts US Policy on Palestinians

by Shawn Pogatchnik

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) - Former President Jimmy Carter accused the U.S., Israel and the European Union on Tuesday of seeking to divide the Palestinian people by reopening aid to President Mahmoud Abbas' new government in the West Bank while denying the same to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was addressing a human rights conference in Ireland, also said the Bush administration's refusal to accept Hamas' 2006 election victory was "criminal."

Carter said Hamas, besides winning a fair and democratic mandate that should have entitled it to lead the Palestinian government, had proven itself to be far more organized in its political and military showdowns with Abbas' moderate Fatah movement. . . .

"All efforts of the international community should be to reconcile the two, but there's no effort from the outside to bring the two together," he said. . . .

During his speech to Ireland's annual Forum on Human Rights, the 83- year-old former president said monitors from his Carter Center observed the 2006 election that Hamas won. He said the vote was "orderly and fair" and Hamas triumphed, in part, because it was "shrewd in selecting candidates," whereas a divided, corrupt Fatah ran multiple candidates for single seats.

Far from encouraging Hamas' move into parliamentary politics, Carter said the U.S. and Israel, with European Union acquiescence, sought to subvert the outcome by shunning Hamas and helping Abbas to keep the reins of political and military power.

"That action was criminal," he said in a news conference after his speech.

"The United States and Israel decided to punish all the people in Palestine and did everything they could to deter a compromise between Hamas and Fatah," he said.

Carter said the U.S. and others supplied the Fatah-controlled security forces in Gaza with vastly superior weaponry in hopes they would "conquer Hamas in Gaza" - but Hamas routed Fatah in the fighting last week because of its "superior skills and discipline."


Ibrahim Barzak, "Israel Says It Won't Work With Coalition ," Associated Press, March 15, 2007

Harvey Morris, "Israel Aims to Bolster Abbas Cabinet," Financial Times, June 18, 2007

Tony Karon, "The 8 Fallacies of Bush's Abbastan Plan," Rootless Cosmopolitan, June 20, 2007

[And yet, in this configuration, one point is conveniently forgotten. It was largely at the demand of the US, and against the advice of both Abbas and Olmert, that the Palestinians held elections. The January 2006 polls led to a Hamas victory. Again under American orders, Abbas refused to accept the results. Both the West Bank and Gaza were plunged into chaos. Aid and financing were withheld, even after a government of national unity was formed. As living standards plummeted, particularly in Gaza, as corruption grew rife among the Fatah-dominated elite, so Hamas's power base increased. --Haim Baram, "Israel and Gaza and a summer of war?," New Statesman, June 21, 2007]

[Washington's fingerprints are all over the chaos that has hit Palestinians. The last thing they now need is an envoy called Blair--Jonathan Steele, "Hamas acted on a very real fear of a US-sponsored coup," Guardian, June 22, 2007]

[Western nations are standing by in silence as the deadly siege of Gaza and the dismemberment of the West Bank continue unabated. What we are witnessing in full view each day are unprecedented steps taken by the world's only superpower and its favorite client state, Israel, to ensure the death of a nation.--Jennifer Lowenstein, "The Triumph of US / Israeli Policy in Palestine,", June 25, 2007]

Jonathan Cook, "Divide and Rule, Israeli-Style,", June 27, 2007

Richard Falk, "Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust,", June 29, 2007

["Coup" is the word being widely used to describe what happened in Gaza in June when Hamas militias defeated the armed security forces of Fatah and chased them out of Gaza. But, as so often with the manipulative language used in the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel, the terminology here is backward. Hamas was the legally constituted, democratically elected government of the Palestinians, so in the first place Hamas did not stage a coup but rather was the target of a coup planned against it. Furthermore, the coup -- which failed in Gaza but succeeded overall when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, acting in violation of Palestinian law, cut Gaza adrift, unseated the Palestinian unity government headed by Hamas, and named a new prime minister and cabinet -- was the handiwork of the United States and Israel.

The Fatah attacks against Hamas in Gaza were initiated at the whim of, and with arms and training provided by, the United States and Israel. . . .

The race now is to see whose strategy prevails and whether the Palestinians in their steadfastness can hold out against Israel's long-term strategy of apartheid, ethnic cleaning, and even, as honest commentators have increasingly begun to label it, genocide.--Kathleen Christison, "Thoughts on the Attempted Murder of Palestine: The Siren Song of Elliott Abrams,", July 26, 2007]

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