Carter Book Forum
Trip Start Mar 04, 2007
34Trip End Jun 15, 2007
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Because only a handful of people had read the book, the first speaker outlined the contents. Sri Mayasandra has been the Jerusalem Director of the Mennonite Central Committee for the past three years and is from the United States. "The book is a personal account of Carter's efforts to gain peace in this region," he stated. "It identifies steps to take related to international law" to gain peace.
The second speaker, Jonathan Kuttab, is a Palestinian attorney. He stated that apartheid in South Africa does not describe the separation policy of Israel based on Zionism. The Separation Wall, higher and longer than the Berlin Wall, "was created under the noses of the entire world with the purpose to separate Jews and non-Jews. Our goal is equality, not sympathy."
Ingrid Jaradat-Gassner of Austria works for Badil and was the third speaker. She agreed that the book was more relevant for United States readers than European and Middle East readers and that the word, "apartheid" does not describe the conditions under occupation. She asked, "Can Israel exist without the occupation and all its institutions that have developed? Occupation is intrinsic to the Israeli identity." She also reported on two proposals brought forth by Israelis to move toward peace.
All three speakers agreed that Carter's book was bringing the issues more into the open for discussion in the United States, but the information did not break any new ground for people in the West Bank.