Cross-Cultural Understanding

Opinion Editorials, April 2008


Opinion Editorials


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.

Carter Continues to Impress Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Freedom-Loving People Around the World

By Hassan El-Najjar, April 17, 2008

Former US President Jimmy Carter continues to impress Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and freedom-loving people around the world.

This week, he visited the tomb of the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, paying respect to him and through him to the Palestinian people and their struggle for freedom and liberation from the brutal Israeli occupation.

Neither Bush, nor Blair, nor officials in their administrations showed such a noble gesture to the symbol of freedom fighters in the world, until his death in 2004.

Carter's plan to visit Damascus and meet with the Hamas leader, Khaled Mesha'al, to seek for peace between Palestinians and Israelis distinguishes him from the bluntly biased Bush and his Secretary of State, Condy Rice, who never stopped their support for the Israeli occupation government and its oppressive policies to subjugate the Palestinian people.

Carter's courage in speaking out against the Israeli Apartheid policies, like he did in his book, made him a target of hate from Israeli expansionists and their racist supporters. However, he has not given in to them and to their pressures.

Carter provides another side of America the world rarely knows about, the compassionate and peace-loving Americans, a side which has been obscured by the death, destruction, and greed represented by war mongers.

Long Live Jimmy Carter!

US Ex-President Carter visits Arafat's tomb

Date: 15 / 04 / 2008  Time:  16:35
Ramallah Ma'an

Former US President Jimmy Carter laid flowers at the tomb of the late Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat in an official ceremony at the Muqata'a, the Palestinian presidential compound, in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday.

Carter stood in respectful silence for one minute, then remarked on the historic role that Arafat played, saying that Arafat was a personal friend of his. It was the first visit by a high-ranking American official to Arafat's grave.

The Secretary-General of the Palestinian Presidency, At-Tayyib Abdul-Rahim, applauded Carter for visiting the occupied Palestinian territories.

Another spokesperson of the Palestinian Presidency noted that, in accordance with the late president's wishes, Arafat's tomb will be moved to Jerusalem when it is liberated.

Senior Hamas leaders head to Egypt to meet with Carter, Haniya renews invitation to Carter to visit Gaza

Haniya renews invitation to Carter to visit Gaza

[ 16/04/2008 - 05:14 PM ]


Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian Prime Minister, renewed his invitation to former President Jimmy Carter to visit Gaza to see for himself the magnitude of the tragedy experienced by its people, expressing hope that Egypt would secure his arrival in the Gaza Strip after Israel refused to allow him to visit it.

Carter is expected to meet with a Hamas delegation from the Gaza Strip in Cairo.

Before leaving Gaza on his way to Cairo, Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a prominent Hamas leader, praised the initiative taken by Carter  to meet with Hamas leaders and said that this should serve as a message to those who choose to ignore the legislative elections results and raise doubts about the legitimacy of Hamas.

The former American president had supervised the legislative elections in 2006 and expressed respect for the results after Hamas won a landslide victory.

Dr. Zahar said that he and Said Seyam, the head of the Hamas parliamentary bloc, would meet during their presence in Cairo a number of Egyptian officials to discuss with them all outstanding issues especially the opening of the Rafah border crossing.

Meanwhile, Ismail Haniya expressed hope that the Hamas delegation's visit to Cairo would succeed in removing the tension which developed lately with Egypt and that its meeting with the former US president and Egyptian officials would result in reopening of the Rafah border crossing.

The premier highlighted his movements readiness to resume the inter-Palestinian dialog under Egyptian auspices to solve the issue of the Rafah border crossing as a start and then continue the process of reconciliation.

Senior Hamas leaders head to Egypt to meet with Carter
Date: 16 / 04 / 2008  Time:  11:39

Former Foreign Minister and Hamas
leader Mahmoud Zahhar [Ma'anImages]
Gaza Ma'an Senior Hamas leaders Mahmoud Zahhar and Sa'id Siyam headed to Egypt on Wednesday to meet former US President Jimmy Carter, Hamas officials said.

The Palestinian Prime Minister in the Hamas-run de facto government, Isma'il Haniyeh, was also invited to the meeting, but could not make it to Egypt for what he called "private reasons."

Senior Hamas leader Ayman Taha told Ma'an that the meeting will be held in Cairo on Wednesday evening, and will address the siege of the Gaza Strip and a potential ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian military forces.

Taha said Hamas would not change its position, demanding that any ceasefire include both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, an end of the siege of Gaza and halting Israeli offensives.

"I came here to listen to the Palestinian point of view, and we are interested to convey the image to the whole world," Carter said before the meeting with Hamas leaders.

Zahhar and Siyam are scheduled to meet also with Egyptian intelligence chief Umar Sulaiman and other officials. They are scheduled to return to Gaza on Thursday.

Ex-U.S. President Jimmy Carter to meet with Hamas officials

Wednesday April 16, 2008 11:14 by Rami Almeghari - IMEMC & Agencies

Two leaders of the ruling Hamas party in Gaza, Mahmoud Al-Zahar and Said Seyam, headed for Egypt on Wednesday morning to meet with former U.S President Jimmy Carter, upon an invitation by Carter, who is currently visiting the region.

Palestinian sources in Gaza said that the meeting, which will be held in Cairo, will deal with underway issues such as the Israeli blockade of Gaza as well as the ceasefire with Israel.

Alongside the meeting, both Hamas officials will be meeting with Egyptian intelligence security chief, Omar Sulaiman and a number of Egyptian officials.

In 1979, Carter patronized the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, which laid the foundations for the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. More recently, he participated in the monitoring of the 2006 Palestinian elections, which brought Hamas to power.

Carter tables formal request with Egypt to allow him to meet Haneyya

[ 16/04/2008 - 09:54 AM ]

Informed Palestinian sources revealed Tuesday that former US president Jimmy Carter tabled a formal request with the Egyptian government to allow him to meet with premier Ismail Haniya and a number of Hamas leaders on the Egyptian lands.

The sources told the PIC reporter that the Egyptian government approved the request and also sent it to premier Haniya to study it along with Hamas leaders, pointing out that there could be a meeting between Egyptian delegation and Hamas leaders before or after a meeting with Carter in case Hamas did approve.

Carter had met Tuesday in Ramallah in the West Bank with former deputy premier of the tenth Palestinian government and education minister Dr. Nasser Al-Sha'er, and he is scheduled to meet with Khaled Mesha'al, the head of the Hamas political bureau, at the end of this week in Damascus.

In his statements in Ramallah, Carter said that he wanted to visit the Gaza Strip, but the Israeli occupation government refused to consent to the visit, but he pointed that he might visit Gaza in some other way.

Despite the pressures of the American administration, the 83-year-old Nobel peace laureate and former US president is still insistent on meeting Hamas leaders especially Mesha'al.

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