Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter

I haven’t been interested in reading any of former President Jimmy Carter’s books.

And this Nobel Peace Prize winner has written a lot of books:

I didn’t know that he wrote not just non-fiction but also a book of poetry and a children’s book. And that doesn’t even include the books that he’s written prefaces, forewords or introductions for!

But the one I’m considering reading now is Carter’s Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. I remember reading a less than glowing New York Times review of this book in January 2007 not long after this book came out.

Obviously the publisher thinks much more highly of this book; here’s what the publisher has to say about this book:

President Carter, who was able to negotiate peace between Israel and Egypt, has remained deeply involved in Middle East affairs since leaving the White House. He has stayed in touch with the major players from all sides in the conflict and has made numerous trips to the Holy Land, most recently as an observer in the Palestinian elections of 2005 and 2006.

In this book President Carter shares his intimate knowledge of the history of the Middle East and his personal experiences with the principal actors, and he addresses sensitive political issues many American officials avoid. Pulling no punches, Carter prescribes steps that must be taken for the two states to share the Holy Land without a system of apartheid or the constant fear of terrorism.

The general parameters of a long-term, two-state agreement are well known, the president writes. There will be no substantive and permanent peace for any peoples in this troubled region as long as Israel is violating key U.N. resolutions, official American policy, and the international “road map” for peace by occupying Arab lands and oppressing the Palestinians. Except for mutually agreeable negotiated modifications, Israel’s official pre-1967 borders must be honored. As were all previous administrations since the founding of Israel, U.S. government leaders must be in the forefront of achieving this long-delayed goal of a just agreement that both sides can honor.

Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid is a challenging, provocative, and courageous book.

Having read Queen Noor’s Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life, I’d like to learn more about Israeli-Palestinian history and politics and I’m interested in reading Carter’s Palestine because I suspect that it tells a different side of the story than we normally hear in the United States.

That this book has sparked much uproar makes me think that this is an important book to read — whether or not it is accurate.

Click here to view the table of contents or click here to read an excerpt.

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