Mideast peace is possible only with forceful U.S. engagement, former President Carter said as he received an award for speaking out on controversial topics. Carter – whose recent book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” infuriated much of the Jewish community with its allegedly one-sided presentation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – addressed some 400 people Wednesday in Washington as he received the Ridenhour Courage Prize. “History has shown that progress is possible only if the United States of America assumes its historic role as honest broker between Israel and her enemy,” Carter said, lamenting what he described as a six-year lapse in substantial peace efforts. “To play that essential role, America must not be seen as in the pocket of either side.” Rabbi Leonard Beerman, founder of the Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, presented the award to Carter, saying his career had been fashioned “out of a persistent moral sensibility, even about the most sensitive and contentious issues, such as the rights of the Palestinians, for example.”
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