Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter recently met with leaders of Hamas, the militant Palestinian group labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. The event provides classrooms a focused opportunity to discuss the continuing standoff between Israel and the Palestinians. This NewsHour video contains two dramatically opposing views of Carter’s trip. Mark Perry, of the Conflicts Forum, argues that Hamas has overwhelming support in Gaza, recently softened their rhetoric, and wants to meet with the U.S. Robert Satloff, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy counters that Carter is offering recognition to a terrorist organization that ignores American and Israeli preconditions for talks, namely: recognize Israel and clearly renounce violence.
What do your students think of Carter’s visit? How would they feel if they were president? How have candidates Clinton, Obama or McCain reacted? Does the United Nations support Carter’s efforts? Can you find examples of other unsolicited “personal diplomacy” in recent U.S. history? Is Jimmy Carter on a Peace Mission or a Mission Impossible? Name some differences between a political and military solution to conflict. Do your students know or ever use the basic ‘conflict resoultion’ concepts taught in many curriculums?
The internet is brimming over with information, resources and strong advocacy on all sides of the Middle East conflict. Below are a few links that could be useful:
Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Carter Meeting Sparks New Debate Over Engaging Hamas
Online Forum: Carter Meets With Hamas Leaders Submit questions for Perry & Satloff!
In-Depth Coverage: Israeli-Palestininian Conflict
Lesson Plan Prospects for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Lesson Plan Fatah vs Hamas: continued strife in the Gaza Region