Former U.S President Jimmy Carter, described the EU’s position towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict ‘ supine’, urging the EU to break up with the U.S and lift the embargo on Gaza.
‘ the European Union are not our vassals, they occupy an equal position like us ‘, Carter commented in a special literary festival held by the UK’s Guardian newspaper in the Welsh border town of Hay.
The chairman of the election-monitoring Carter Center, believed that the EU’s hesitance to criticize the Israeli blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza as ’embarrassing’
‘ the embargo is meant at 1.6 million residents, 1 million of whom are refugees, as most of the households in Gaza eat one meal a day. The Israeli siege of Gaza is one of the greatest human rights crimes now existing on Earth, There is no reason to treat these people this way’ , Carter explained.
Commenting on the Quartet-led embargo on Gaza, since the Hamas organization won the 2006 elections, the Nobel peace prize winner, wondered of the EU’s position in a time Israel has been holding contacts with Hamas through a third party, the Egyptians.
‘ let the Europeans lift the embargo, and protect the rights of the Palestinians in Gaza and even reinstall their observers into the Rafah crossing terminal (Gaza’s sole outlet to the outside world) to ensure the Palestinians wont violate it’, Carter hoped.
The international Quartet committee for Middle East peace, involving the EU, US, UN and Russia, enforced a boycott to the winner Hamas party, unless the organization commits to ‘recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and accepting past signed peace agreements’.
Carter hinted before a packed crowd in the literary festival that the quartet’s conditions were drafted by the official in the U.S national security council, Elliot Abrahams. Carter considered Abrahams as ‘very militant supporter of Israel’.
He confirmed that no line of the first draft was changed.
Several weeks ago, Carter , who left office 27 years ago, held talks with Hamas’s officials in Damascus, urging the organization to stop homemade shells fire onto nearby Israeli towns, provided that Israel stops ground and air strikes against the coastal territory.
‘ I contacted Mr. Omar Sulieman, chief Egyptian mediator, who had submitted the Hamas offer to Israel, but I have been informed no progress has been achieved. I hope the Israelis will accept’.
The broker of Israel-Egypt peace treaty of 1979 also appeared scathing over the Fatah-dominated government in the West Bank, branding it a ‘ subterfuge’, intended at getting round the Hamas’ election victory in 2006.
He said he learned that Hamas’s public support in the West Bank is now on the rise, after the Palestinians in the West Bank have increasingly realized that the Fatah people have sold out to the Americans and Europeans.
In April 2006, Carter spoke to the European Union for 12 minutes, urging the EU not to sideline Hamas , which offered to form a joint government with Fatah party, the loser.
Carter’s election-monitoring center took part in observing the January 2006’s elections, which according to other international observers proved fair and democratic.
In 2007, Israel imposed a crippling closure on Gaza’s travel and commercial crossings, in the wake of Hamas’s takeover of the region amidst a factional infighting with the secular Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.