Monday, April 14, 2008


Jimmy Carter is in Israel but Israeli officials seem to be snubbing him because of his forthcoming meeting with a Hamas official in Syria.

Adam Entous writes for Reuters:

"Israeli leaders shunned former U.S. President Jimmy Carter during a visit because of his plans to meet Hamas and Israel's secret service declined to assist U.S. agents guarding him, U.S. sources said on Monday."

Carter knows an important principle in establishing peaceful coexistence between Israel and the Palestinians is to show respect to both sides, and that includes Hamas. If Israel refuses to talk with Hamas leaders, we will have another hundred years of missiles raining down on Israeli towns and Israeli Defense Forces storming little Gazan villages and killing civilians as well as militant Palestinians.

Israel of course claims Hamas is a "terrorist" organization, but the Palestinians say the same thing about the Israeli government. Whether a group is "terrorist" seems to depend on who does the judging. Many observers say Bush is the greatest "terrorist" when he orders the U.S. Navy to shell small Somali villages because he wants to kill Qaeda "members."

After his 2006 book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, Israeli officials and many American Jews accused Jimmy Carter of being an anti-Semite. However, Carter has in no sense done or said anything that is anti-Semitic. But he does believe, contrary to George Bush's retarded policy of shooting-first-and-talking-later diplomacy, in talking and negotiating with both sides.

Reports Entous:

"Carter visited the Israeli border town of Sderot on Monday and said he was "distressed" by cross-border rockets fired by militants in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. "I think it's a despicable crime for any deliberate effort to be made to kill innocent civilians," Carter said, adding that he hoped a ceasefire would be reached soon.

"Hamas leaders have offered a long-term truce with Israel in return for a viable Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, but the group's 1988 founding charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

"Israel said it rejected Carter's request to meet jailed Palestinian uprising leader Marwan Barghouthi, who is seen as a possible successor to Abbas."

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