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
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
[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," counterpunch.org, June 25,
Jonathan Cook, "Divide
and Rule, Israeli-Style," antiwar.com, June 27, 2007
Richard Falk, "Slouching toward a Palestinian
Holocaust," transnational.org, 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," counterpunch.org, July 26, 2007]