Israel Must Withdraw From Occupied Territories
Jimmy Carter is the 39th president of the United States. He was born in 1924 in the small farming town of Plains, Georgia, the son of a peanut farmer. He received a bachelor of science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946. In the Navy he became a submariner, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and rising to the rank of lieutenant. Chosen for the nuclear submarine program, Carter also took graduate work at Union College in reactor technology and nuclear physics.
In 1946, he married Rosalynn Smith. When his father died in 1953, he resigned his naval commission and returned with his family to Georgia, where he took over the Carter farms and became active in the community, serving on county boards supervising education, the hospital authority, and the library. In 1962 he won election to the Georgia Senate. He lost his first gubernatorial campaign in 1966, but won the next election, becoming Georgia's 76th governor in 1971.
Carter served as president from 1977 to 1981. During his presidency he negotiated a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, signed the Camp David Accords and the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, and established diplomatic relations with China. On the domestic side, the administration's achievements included a comprehensive energy program conducted by a new Department of Energy; deregulation in energy, transportation, communications, and finance; major educational programs under a new Department of Education; and major environmental protection legislation. He lost his reelection in 1980 to Ronald Reagan, in part because of the Iran hostage crisis, in which 52 U.S. citizens were held hostage by Iranian revolutionaries who overthrew the government.
In 1982, he founded The Carter Center. Actively guided by President Carter, the nonpartisan and nonprofit Center addresses national and international issues of public policy. In 2002, Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."
Question: Given that you brokered some of the most successful Mideast peace agreements, do you have any suggestions for resolving the Israel and Palestine situation once and for all? —Asked by Sarah Wildman
Jimmy Carter: Well, when I left office, we had an agreement, a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, not a word of which has been violated. And we had an agreement with the Israelis to withdraw from their occupied territories in the West Bank and also later, the idea was for them to withdraw from Syria and also from Lebanon. Unfortunately, in the last 25 years, no progress has been made on those issues that depend upon Israel’s willingness to withdraw from occupied territories. And I don’t think peace is possible until that comes. Of course, the other aspect of that is to make sure that the Israelis know that if they do withdraw from the West Bank, from East Jerusalem, from Syria and from Lebanon, that their security and their integrity as a nation will be preserved with safety.
So that’s been the quandary in which we have wallowed in a way for the last 25 years, and my hope is that we will make some progress in the near future.
Recorded November 30, 2010
Interviewed by Andrea Useem
Carter, who brokered one of the most successful Mideast peace agreements during his presidency, offers his thoughts on Israeli-Palestinian relations.
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