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I say no. Hizballah was wrong to refuse to meet with that accomplished peacemaker, Mr. Carter, who so adeptly handled the Iranian revolution when he was President.

After all, how can a little friendly dialogue possibly hurt?
And it is a cliche here by now that one only makes peace with enemies, not friends.

A while back it was an issue whether Israel or the US should speak to Hamas.
Then it became an issue whether even Fatah should speak with Hamas.
Then it became an issue whether Obama should talk to Iran.

But it's not an issue for Hizballah to refuse to speak with Carter.

Maybe peacemaking really is a one way street after all?

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When did Jimmy Carter plan to talk to Hizbollah?
I knew that he had talked with Hamas before.
This is news to me!
Dear Stephanie:

Yes, Mr. Carter who became a far more reasonable man after leaving office has been willing to meet with ALL players in situations of conflict. After all that is how you make peace. Hamas leaders met with him but Hizballah leaders did not and would not. I think the latter made a big mistake. They were thinking that he does represent America, a country that sends billions of its tax revenue to support the oppression of Palestinians. They felt it would not be a useful meeting. But I would like to see our discussions on these forums (fora) focused on something more practical so I am not even sure what is the point of your question. You and I have no influence on either Carter or Hizballah. We can only speculate on these political games. Why not focus on issues of justice and human rights that each one of us could actually do something. I urge peopel to come to Palestine, visit, learn, and act to bring peace with justice. My two rusty Palestinian cents ;-)
Thank you Mazin.
It would be really funny if Bush turned out to be the way Mr. Carter turned out to be, investing a lot of time and money into humanitaritan aid... he.he.
I actually would be really interested in putting together a study to see how US Presidents after being in office are able to be more open about how they feel towards US policy, both domestic and foreign.
I just find it ironic that Hamas would talk to Jimmy Carter, but Hizbollah does not. If I am correct, don't Hizbollah and Hamas have connections (like I know that Hizbollah sends Hamas weapons-- incomparable to what Israel has of course-- though correct me if I am wrong).

You are definantly right about how we do not have any influence on Mr. Carter or Hizbollah. It's really sad how in today's political system, the only ones that can make any sort of change, difference or effect on the world are the ones at the "top of the pyramid," who have all the wealth, prestige and power. Maybe one day we can actually witness power to the people! :)

I really want to visit Palestine-- you have no idea how much I want to. I really want to understand the suffering of the Palestinians. It would be great to meet you in Bethlehem (One of my good friends from school is a Christian Palestinian from there).

And they were a good two cents :)

Even the small things will add up in the end
Also Mazin, when you say (in answering my question), "But I would like to see our discussions on these forums (fora) focused on something more practical so I am not even sure what is the point of your question." ---> Are you referring to me or Yigal? (since Yigal started this thread).

While I agree with you that getting out there and actually doing humanitarian aid, I think that it is imperative that we have constructive conversations about the complexity of these situatons.
As for the case of what Hizbollah does, I will never know unless I go to Lebanon or am caught in another war in northern Israel against Lebanon. I am not allowed into Lebanon (along with several other people on this site who have Israel stamped on thier passports or have an Israeli passport) since I have Israel stamped on my passport, and I believe that the same would go for Yigal as well. Becasue we can't get in and know what is going on and see for ourselves, we have to have constructive debate.
I don't fully agree with you Mazen. I think Stephanie has a good point.
It is obviously important to be practical and to act (especially in regard to the Palestinian plight in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel and Lebanon). But what kind of actions can be done on the net (for this is an internet forum linking people who are scattered all around the earth's surface)? What can we do other than discuss issues that we find relevant in such a forum. Yes, it will be great to discuss topics that can have a practical side, but it's also very important to exchange information and points of views, openly, confidently.
An issue that doesn't seem to be practical to you could be in fact practical for someone else, and this person can be interested in listening to other peoples point of view. A side discussion on something completely abstract could spark an idea or even a project, some field work...
"You and I have no influence on either Carter and Hezbollah" you say, well, that could be true... but someone else here could have an influence or at least could interact with them... positively.
Mazin,

I agree that the primary aim of this site was to connect Israelis, Palestinians and people from other parts of the planet as a means to advance peace between Jewish, Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian people.

However, as part of that process I agree with Carol, that is wholly appropriate to consider the plight of minorities or citizens in other Middle Eastern countries as a way to contexutalise the relations between Jewish and Palestinian communities.

With all respect to the Palestinian community who are suffering in Gaza and the West Bank, it is important that people of good will consider the plight of fellow human beings regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religious or non-religious affiliation, political views, gender, disability and sexual preference.

I believe when we acknowledge and support the plight of others we indeed help ourselves. Martin Luther King Jr. whilst struggling for African American civil rights still sought to speak out against the war in Vietnam. Gandhi whilst seeking to rid India of British domination still spoke out for protection of the civil and political rights of German Jews.

On the issue of Hezbollah and Jimmy Carter. I can only be sad that Hezbollah missed a historic opportunity. Jimmy Carter has sacrificed much to speak up for those who don't have a voice on the international stage. I can only pray that the next generation of leadership in Hezbollah will see that the present leadership will only be leading their community away from an Islam that calls for peace between fellow human beings and towards a racist versions of Islam akin to racist versions of Christianity and Judaism that have existed in the past and exist today.

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