Carter Pens New Book on Resolving the Middle East Conflict

By Nathan Guttman

Published December 05, 2008, issue of December 12, 2008.
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Washington — Former president Jimmy Carter is back with new advice for resolving the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The former president is scheduled to publish a new book on the issue — slated for release on January 20, coinciding with the inauguration of Barack Obama.

The title for Carter’s new book, “We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work,” seemingly suggests a more optimistic tone than that of his previous book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”

“I was going to call it, ‘Yes, We Can.’ My wife talked me out of it,” Carter said in jest, during a December 3 discussion in Atlanta. The book will be published by Simon & Schuster.

Carter’s previous book drew harsh criticism from the Jewish community and pro-Israel activists who argued it was tainted with anti-Israel bias and has singled out the Jewish state while ignoring the role of other Middle East players in the conflict. The book deepened the already existing rift between the Jewish community and the 39th president.

No details were provided on the content of Carter’s new book, but based on recent remarks by the author, it is clear that his approach toward the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has not changed. According to an Associated Press report, the former president pointed, in the December 3 discussion, to the “persecution of Palestinians” and lack of American active involvement in the Middle East as the main sources for instability in the Muslim world.

Carter is expected to visit the Lebanon and Syria next week for a trip that will include talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and with leaders of major political parties in Lebanon. In his previous trip to the Middle East this April, Carter met with leaders of the Hamas in Damascus, a meeting that was criticized by the Israeli government and by the U.S. administration.






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