Streams

Jimmy Carter

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Former President Jimmy Carter has spent decades studying and writing about the myriad causes of conflict in the Middle East. In his new book We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land, the former President presents a possible solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and describes why previous peace initiatives in the region fell short. You can find out more about his foundation, The Carter Center here.

Listen to Leonard's 2006 interview with President Carter about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Listen to Leonard's 2004 interview with President Carter about his novel, The Hornet's Nest: A Novel of the Revolutionary War.

Guests:

President Jimmy Carter
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [31]

HS from NY

This is why it called National Palestinian Radio.

Based on his tragically incompetent performance as US President, there is no reason to believe that Carter has any useful insight into the Middle East that does not involve his own ego and monetary reward from the ultra-rich Arab states.

Feb. 10 2009 11:20 PM
hjs from 11211

it's funny (not) when americans on the WNYC listener comments board call for ethnic cleansing of the native palestinians on the other the israeli public seeks a 2 state solution. i hold out hope one day they will elect a peace seeking government

carter will never be forgiven for pointing out the injustice only a retired politician could be so bold, i thank him.

Feb. 10 2009 03:38 PM
Diane from NY

I knew Carter was a smug, self important, narcissist back when he gave that famous Playboy interview and said:
"I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times.... This is something that God recognizes, that I will do and have done, and God forgives me for it."

This guy gives himself so much credit, he already knows what God forgives him for. He has as much insight as my dog. Why are we still listening to him?

Feb. 10 2009 02:40 PM
RG of NJ from NJ

Unfortunately, this interview was no different than others I have heard with this former president. Leonard seemed to go along with Carter's opinion that it is primarily the Israeli governments and the settlements that have prevented a peaceful settlement. Where is the evidence that the Palestinian "leadership" is prepared to accept his proposed resolution? I believe there is strong evidence that when there is such a leadership, that the Israeli government and people will welcome Carter's plan.

Feb. 10 2009 02:22 PM
wladmir from new york city

Now that the "two-state solution" is such a great failure, can we talk about the one-state solution?

I hate to say it, but those nuts at the settlements have the right idea.

Let the so-called "palestinians" -- "Palestine" was from the beginning a name the Romans gave to Judea as part of their effort to enslave the Jews -- live under Arab rule in Jordan, Egypt or who cares where.

It's called "partition" -- everybody does it. The Jews have already been expelled from all the Arab lands. Now its time for the Arabs to leave Israel and go home.

Once everyone has their own state, they can flourish. We'll have one thriving socialist democracy and a dozen or so moribund totalitarian states. Not so bad. . . .

Feb. 10 2009 02:08 PM
wladmir from new york city

Thank god! An hour of pro-Arab propaganda! Just what the listeners of WNYC need! Send in your money, quick, we really have to support this kind of radio!

Feb. 10 2009 02:01 PM
Anne from NYC

Carter's memory is highly selective and his interpretations ignore facts which are explicitly stated.

"After the election, the US *decided* that Hamas was a terrorist organization"? Was he unaware of the series of suicide bombings in Israeli buses and discos and most notably the Park Hotel in Netanya, or does he simply choose to ignore them?

Also, Israel did not reject the Clinton Plan. Barak accepted it. Arafat was the one who would not say yes. See Dennis Ross's detailed account of the negotiation in his book, The Missing Peace.

Third, Iran has never indicated that its nuclear plan depended in any way on a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. Instead, he has pledged to "wipe Israel off the map."

Fourth, if Hamas wants reconciliation with Fatah, why did Amnesty International, which has often taken positions supporting the Palestinians, condemn them today for killing Fatah members in Gaza and shooting them in the kneecaps?

Even for those who agree that there should be a two-state solution, there will be no peace in refusing to accept the inconvenient truths that complicate the situation.

Feb. 10 2009 01:58 PM
witek from NY

Thank you for the introduction to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (historical and political background). The historical knowledge among Americans is NON-EXISTENT (sorry for the generalization). It may give people in the US an idea of what's going on in Palestine. It's rare to hear such a down-to-earth, non-populistic analysis. Thank you.

Feb. 10 2009 01:57 PM
Demo

With Carters great connections with Hamas -- he could perhaps work for the release of Gilad Shalit -- and show that he can really do something.

Feb. 10 2009 01:57 PM
Amy from Manhattan

From what I heard about the Palestinian elections (on NPR & elsewhere), more votes were actually cast in Gaza for Fatah than for Hamas candidates, but Fatah ran multiple candidates for the same seats & split the vote. So is the Hamas gov't. really representative of the Gazans?

Feb. 10 2009 01:57 PM
Ben Lass from New Jersey

Prior to 1967, Gaza and the West Bank were controlled by Egypt and Jordan Respecitively. If the Arab world was so concerned with a Palestinian homeland, whey did they not create one when they controlled the homeland areas? Is having a Palestinian homeland in Gaza and the West Bank really going to result in peaceful co-exsistance or will they strive to acheive other agendas?

Feb. 10 2009 01:53 PM
Vickale

Why doesn't Carter comment on how Hammas dealt with the Gazan Fatah members post their elections. They just gathered them up and shot them in cold blood. There are many videos on line that showthie

Feb. 10 2009 01:53 PM
Elaine from Baltimore MD

Oh... if Arafat was jumping up & down with joy about peace with Israel, he must have been sincere and meant it.
Give me a break Mr. Carter.

Feb. 10 2009 01:52 PM
JC

The Israelis and US turned Hamas into a terrorist group in 2006 by declaring them so?

You'll burn for that one, bruther.

80% truth and 20% provocateur lies is a dangerous blend indeed.

Feb. 10 2009 01:49 PM
Marco from New York

Fatah and Hamas want to eliminate each other....no chance of accommodation there.

Feb. 10 2009 01:48 PM
David Womack from Brooklyn

It is so good to hear a balanced and reasonable perspective like President Carter. Thank you for having him on your show.

Feb. 10 2009 01:48 PM
vainglorious, self-regarding preachifying old coot

But Jimmy....Hamas has committed itself unambiguously to the destruction of Israel. And you still believed them when they confided with you personally that they really want peace?

Feb. 10 2009 01:37 PM
Pavel Gurvich from Norwalk, CT

Leonard, please ask president Carter not to refer to cease fire line of 1967 as boundaries. This cease fire lines were established after war of 1948.
Boundaries are established through negotiations.
Arab countries refused to talk with Israel until 1970s.
Thank you.

Feb. 10 2009 01:35 PM
Donovan

Has President Carter ever spoken publicly about George H.W. Bush negotiating with the Iranian hostage takers to hold the hostages until Reagan was elected, to make Reagan look better?

Feb. 10 2009 01:34 PM
BSDetector

Meena/10 -- fascinating, thanks! Hope Lenny does something useful with this.

Feb. 10 2009 01:33 PM
Steve from Hoboken, NJ

NABNYC,

If only it were that simple. If only our economy weren't 100% dependent on oil from the region. It's the only reason we have any interest there, and as long as that remains the case, we need to have Israel as our one true ally there in order to maintain access to our lifeblood. Take oil out of the equation, and then we can walk away.

Feb. 10 2009 01:21 PM
Meena

Carter has long enjoyed a reputation as a Middle East sage, owing, of course, to his role in the original Camp David accords. That reputation, however, rests on shaky grounds. Truth is, Sadat and Begin had their deal worked out before ever approaching Washington. And the facilitators they used were far from saintly Southern Baptists: They used the dreadful King of Morocco and the even more dreadful Ceausescu of Romania! When they had their plan essentially worked out, however, they called the White House.

Why did they contact the White House? Prof. Bernard Lewis put it succinctly to Charlie Rose recently: “Well, obviously, they needed someone to pay the bill, and who but the United States could fulfill that function?”

Feb. 10 2009 01:21 PM
self-deluded pawn for dictators and terrorists from Plainfield

President Carter has never met a dictator he didn't like. He negotiated with the military junta in Haiti even while human rights groups condemned them.
Carter's refusal to believe that the North Koreans would not be negotiating in good faith has shown that the President is far from globalist: he is dangerously naive.

Leonard, please press our ex president on the threat he poses in his capitulation to dictators and terror.

Feb. 10 2009 01:06 PM
BSDetector

President Carter:

In your view should the PLO and Hamas, and Israel, be held to the same moral and legal obligations and rules? If not, why not?

Also, who is the Israeli leader you most admire and why?

Feb. 10 2009 12:32 PM
A Listener in Chicago

I wish to thank President Carter for his leadership through the years and also for his very active Christian faith. I am not a church-going person, but I am grateful for the lessons that Mr. Carter has put forward in his many books. Please also ask him to extend my best wishes to Miss Rosalynn. Their partnership over these many years has been exemplary.

Feb. 10 2009 12:25 PM
Mark Hanley from Chatham, NJ

President Carter, Hamas has sworn to annihilate the state of Israel and it has significant backing among the Palestinians. It has never foresworn terror tactics.
Where is the evidence that Hamas and its supporters can deal in good faith with Israel in pursuit if a two-state solution?

Feb. 10 2009 12:20 PM
NABNYC from Southern California

I can imagine a great story about nations controlled by warmongers, industries and people who steal all the money to buy weapons and make themselves rich, while the people of those nations lose everything they once had because it's stolen to fund the wars.

And certainly the "most wanted criminal" in the land would be a man who speaks about peace, who tells the nation that peace is possible, if only the people demand that it be so.

That's what we have today. The U.S. and Israel are dominated by war-lovers and their Wall Street friends who take everything to support more war, killing, theft, destruction. And here is Jimmy Carter who continues explaining that peace is possible.

When I saw the presidents in the white house pre-inauguration, and saw Daddy Bush and Bush Jr., with Clinton grabbing onto them like his best friends, recoiling from Jimmy Carter who stood by himself, proudly, not bending to the dominant pro-war corruption of the other three, it made me realize again what a terrific guy he is.

As for peace in the middle east, it's really simple: The U.S. needs to get out. Stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, withdraw, and stop funding Israel. If we cut off the money to Israel, they'd make peace. As long as we continue to fund their wars, and make their corrupt leaders rich off of murder, the wars will never end. It's too lucrative.

Feb. 10 2009 12:19 PM
RJ from NJ

President Carter- what is your expectation from today's elections in Israel?

please give us your reaction to the recent law suite against the settlers by an Israeli lawyer on behalf of the Palestinians.
Do you think this kind of law suite will solve the settlement issue?

Feb. 10 2009 12:08 PM
Harvey W. from Yorktown Heights, NY

The only election in which I should have voted Republican

Feb. 10 2009 12:04 PM
John-Paul G from Elizabeth, NJ

Always happy when President Carter is on the show and I sincerely appreciate what he has done for this country. There was a meeting earlier last year with Hamas, has President Carter been able to keep in contact with them during the siege?

Feb. 10 2009 11:54 AM
mrsmythe

Carter: Biggest mistake of career?

Feb. 10 2009 09:51 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.