Monday, February 20, 2006

Caution from Carter

In an article in today's Washington Post, former US President Jimmy Carter joins those urging caution when it comes to trying to destabilize the new Palestinian government.

In his opinion, such a policy risks being seriously counterproductive:

"This common commitment to eviscerate the government of elected Hamas officials by punishing private citizens may accomplish this narrow purpose, but the likely results will be to alienate the already oppressed and innocent Palestinians, to incite violence, and to increase the domestic influence and international esteem of Hamas. It will certainly not be an inducement to Hamas or other militants to moderate their policies."

Jimmy Carter certainly isn't anyone on these issues.

Apart from his more recent role in the different Palestinian elections - where I had the honour of working with him - he negotiated the Camp David agreement, which remains the so far most significant diplomatic contribution to the stability of Israel and peace in the region.

He knows all the actors there better than most - perhaps Henry Kissinger would be his only rival on the American scene.

He's certainly worth reading - perhaps in parallel with the piece by Henry Kissinger that I have previously linked to. Posted by Picasa