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Jimmy Carter To Obama: Recognize Palestine

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Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said that he hopes current President Barack Obama leaves a positive stamp on Israel-Palestine relations.

"I am convinced that the United States can still shape the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before a change in presidents, but time is very short, " Carter wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times on Nov. 28. "The simple but vital step this administration must take before its term expires on Jan. 20 is to grant American diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine."

Carter then said the UN Security Council should pass a resolution that defines the “parameters for resolving the conflict."

“It should reaffirm the illegality of all Israeli settlements beyond the 1967 borders, while leaving open the possibility that the parties could negotiate modifications," he said.

"Security guarantees for both Israel and Palestine are imperative, and the resolution must acknowledge the right of both the states of Israel and Palestine to live in peace and security."

Carter also criticized Israel for continuing to build settlements on Palestinian land.

"Israel is building more and more settlements, displacing Palestinians and entrenching its occupation of Palestinian lands," Carter wrote. "Over 4.5 million Palestinians live in these occupied territories, but are not citizens of Israel. Most live largely under Israeli military rule, and do not vote in Israel's national elections."

In September, Obama signed a bill that would force American taxpayers to give Israel $3.8 billion per year, enough to make it the largest military aid package in U.S. history, according to USA Today.

It will make “a significant contribution to Israel’s security in what remains a dangerous neighborhood,” Obama said. “The continued supply of the world’s most advanced weapons technology will ensure that Israel has the ability to defend itself from all manner of threats.”

Sources: The New York TimesCNN, USA Today / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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