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.
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, is the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.