The Lobby

Experts in the West and ordinary people in Arab lands have understood for many years that the United States does not have an independent policy toward the Middle East. President Jimmy Carter, a man of good will, tried to use American influence to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the source of dangerous instability in the Middle East. However, Israel was able to block Carter’s attempt, while blaming Yasser Arafat. Carter’s plan would have given rise to a Palestinian state. Israel did not want any such state, because obvious military aggression is necessary in order to steal the territory of an official state with defined borders. It is much easier to steal land from a non-state.
By preventing the rise of a Palestinian state, Israel has been able to continue with its theft of the West Bank. Palestinians who have not been driven out have been forced into ghettos, cut off from schools, hospitals, water, and their olive groves and farmlands. In a recent book, President Carter called the existing situation “apartheid.” Carter was demonized by the Israel Lobby for his use of this word, but some experts consider Carter’s choice of words to be an euphemism for the continuation of what I. Pappe and N. G. Finkelstein call “the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.”

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