Last week I shared one inspiring story on my blog on my mother. This week, I share another two stories, one a bit controversial. You can read my reflections about Jimmy Carter and about Al-Haq (a Palestinian brilliant human rights organization) below.
President Jimmy Carter born 1924 whose mother was a nurse and father ran a general store in Plains, Georgia. It is hard to sum up his achievements in 99 years (he was just checked into a hospice). Racist Zionists vilified him for writing a book called “Israel: Peace not apartheid”. But let me leave this aside for few more sentences. Carter grew up in the great depression among African Americans greatly discriminated against, served in the navy, and became a peanut farmer in Georgia. Deciding to run for office to give him a platform to speak against racial discrimination. He succeeded and was inspired by John F. Kennedy (a president who was likely assassinated by the deep state as was his brother).
John F. Kennedy, tried to force Israeli lobbyist in the US to register as foreign agents (per the law) and to prevent Israel from developing nuclear weapons. To this day, many Palestinians in refugee camps still have JFKs pictures hanging in their homes. Carter became governor in 1971 but did it by employing what many considered unethical attacks on his opponent to gain the “white vote”. On Zionist David Rockefeller's endorsement, he was named to the Trilateral Commission in April 1973 and ran successfully for President in 1976. His inconsistent positions and trying to straddle the fence to pleas conservatives while losing liberals caught-up with him and he lost the election to Ronald Reagan in 1980. I think had he served a second term in office he would have rectified his mistakes. He tried to do that out of office. For example while in office he presided over a so called “peace agreement: between Israel and Egypt which basically sold out the Palestinians, strengthened the Egyptian dictatorship, limited Egyptian people access to their own lands, sent $billions more to Israel every year since, and resulted in removing Sinai Bedouins. Historian Jørgen Jensehaugen argues that by the time Carter left office in January 1981, he was "in an odd position—he had attempted to break with traditional U.S. policy but ended up fulfilling the goals of that tradition, which had been to break up the Arab alliance, side-line the Palestinians, build an alliance with Egypt, weaken the Soviet Union and secure Israel." It was the beginning of the normalization of an apartheid system that strengthened the right wing in Israel and led directly to what we see happening today in “Israel” (including a fascist government).
Carter's efforts at fixing things after he left office by speaking out for human rights where paved with good intentions but limited capacity. As the Democratic Party continued to follow the failing strategy of bargaining human righst to cater to Zionist funders (estimates of over half its funding come from Zionists). Carter is a ky figure in Habitat For Humanity (https://www.habitat.org/) and over a dozen other charities that help the poor and disenfranchised, The story of Jimmy Carter is the story of all politicians (and all of us): an angel on one shoulder, a devil on the other egging them on. I am reminded of the story of the old native American asked by a grandchild about good and evil. He answered that inside every person there is a good wolf and a bad wolf continuously fighting. The child asks which one wins. The old man answered “the one you feed”. Carter’s good wolf was fed well especially in the second half of his life. It is a lesson to learn from.
Now for an inspiring organization I wanted to also highlight here (most of the below is also from their website https://www.alhaq.org/. Al-Haq is an independent Palestinian non-governmental human rights organization, It was established in 1979 to protect and promote human rights and the rule of law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Al-Haq documents violations of the individual and collective rights of Palestinians in the OPT, irrespective of the identity of the perpetrator, and seeks to end such breaches by way of advocacy before national and international mechanisms and by holding the violators accountable. The organization does advocacy before local, regional and international bodies and works with governmental and non-governmental bodies to ensure that international human rights standards are reflected in Palestinian law and policies. Al-Haq is the West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists - Geneva and is a member of the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net), the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Habitat International Coalition (HIC), the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PRHOC), and the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO). For its work in protecting and promoting human rights, the organization has been awarded the Fayez A. Sayegh Memorial Award, the Rothko Chapel Award for Commitment to Truth and Freedom, The Carter-Menil Human Rights Foundation Prize, the Geuzenpenning Prize for Human Rights Defenders, the Welfare Association’s NGO Achievement Award, The Danish PL Foundation Human Rights Award, the Human Rights Prize of the French Republic, the Human Rights and Business Award, the Bruno Kreisky Prize in 2022 and the MESA Academic Freedom Award 2022.
Professor Lynn Welchman published a book titled “Al-Haq: A Global History of the First Palestinian Human Rights Organization” - (University of California Press, 2021 - New Directions in Palestinian Studies). Read the publication in full at https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520379756/al-haq For the same activities Al-Haq was vilified by the Israeli occupiers reaching the point of banning travel of organization leaders and then in October 2021 declaring Al-Haq “illegal” with other organizations (see https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/19384.html).
I used their publications regularly in our own group’s work on human rights and environmental justice. Here is a recent publication so you can see their rigorous and very useful scholarship: Al-Haq 2022. Corporate Liability: The Right to Water and the War Crime of Pillage. https://www.alhaq.org/publications/20995.html