ATLANTA (Jul. 19)
Former President Jimmy Carter charged Monday night that President Reagan has not provided the “strong and persistent involvement” necessary to bring about peace in the Middle East.
In a speech at the end of the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, Carter indicated that the needed leadership will be provided if Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis is elected president in November.
Carter did not refer personally to his own accomplishments in helping bring out the Camp David Accords. But he drew a contrast between Reagan and himself by inference.
“Camp David is not just a weekend retreat,” Carter said. “It is a symbol of the courage and determination of two great leaders — an Egyptian and an Israeli — to make peace.
“Arabs and Jews still cry out for peace,” he added, “but without the strong and persistent involvement of the president of the United States, they will not have peace. Starting in 1989, that will change.”
The Democratic Party platform, which is scheduled to be adopted by the convention Tuesday night, also promised that a Democratic administration will “provide new leadership to deliver the promise of peace and security through negotiations held out to Israel and its neighbors by the Camp David accords.”
But supporters of the Rev. Jesse Jackson are expected to stage a floor fight seeking to add a call for Palestinian self-determination.
While endorsing the “special relationship with Israel,” the Jackson forces would also like to include a statement that “we should end the impasse in the Middle East by adopting a policy which establishes peace based on mutual recognition, territorial compromise and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians.”
The platform does not now mention the Palestinians.
Although Carter has often called for Palestinian self-determination, he did not enter this debate in his convention speech.
But Carter ended his speech by urging the delegates to leave Atlanta “united behind our candidates and our ideals.”