As usual when the sage of Plains turns up on TV, it’s an embarrassment of outraged riches. Here you’ll find him bestowing the Carter seal of approval to James Baker and the “peace at any price” gang, lamenting that we haven’t made more of an effort to talk to those nice people who held Americans hostage for more than a year of his presidency, and deriding the fence built by Israel to keep out suicide bombers as an “imprisonment wall.” The punchline there? Earlier in the program he noted that Hamas hasn’t launched a suicide attack on Israel in almost two years.
The best part comes towards the end, though, where he mocks Alan Dershowitz as the only person who thinks he’s biased against, and then almost in the same breath claims that the Palestinians have fully embraced the terms of the roadmap while Israel has (almost) fully rejected them. To refresh your memory, here’s Phase I:
At the outset of Phase I:
* Palestinian leadership issues unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere. All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.
* Israeli leadership issues unequivocal statement affirming its commitment to the two-state vision of an independent, viable, sovereign Palestinian state living in peace and security alongside Israel, as expressed by President Bush, and calling for an immediate end to violence against Palestinians everywhere. All official Israeli institutions end incitement against Palestinians.
The final segment adds a bit of mystery to all that’s come before. A caller wanted to know whether Jimmeh supports a one-state solution to the crisis, i.e., whether Israel should simply merge with the Palestinian territories and create a single nation of Jews and Arabs living side by side in minority. Carter says no, because then the Arabs would outnumber Jews. I don’t get it, though; what would be wrong with that?
Maybe Jimmy’s not as anti-Israel as we thought.
I think if the United States won’t take that role on, then maybe the entire group of the so-called International Quartet, the United States, Russia, the United Nations, and the United — and the European Union — those four have written a road map which President Bush has endorsed enthusiastically. And if they can implement their terms — by the way, on which the Palestinians have accepted 100 percent and the Israelis have rejected almost entirely — if the road map terms are accepted, then we can have peace in the Middle East.
Update: Spruiell has the latest. Mmmmm, that’s good screencap!