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December 19, 2006

Carter's Ideas Face Refutations from the Past

carter cnn.jpg vs. question mark face.jpg

It’s interesting to compare Jimmy Carter’s current remarks about the Arab-Israeli conflict with comments made a few decades ago by a U.S. presidential candidate.

Carter, for example, complains about the international community's stance on Hamas—that the terror group should not be funded so long as it denies Israel’s right to exist, supports violence, and rejects previously signed agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. And in Carter's view, the rejectionist Hamas should govern the Palestinians—with the financial support of the United States:

If you sponsor an election or promote democracy and freedom around the world, then when people make their own decision about their leaders, I think that all the governments should recognize that administration and let them form their government. (Feb. 1, 2006, CNN's Larry King Live)

And the United States is colluding in this punishment of the Palestinian people when all they did was vote for candidates of their choice who happened to represent Hamas. (Dec 2, 2006, CNBC’s Tim Russert show).

The candidate, on the other hand, insisted that a Palestinian government refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist should itself not be recognized (let alone funded):

I would not recognize the Palestinians as a political entity—nor their leaders—until after those leaders had first recognized Israel’s right to exist. (New York Times, Apr. 2, 1976, qtd. in Near East Report, April 21, 1976)

I would not recognize the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the PLO, nor their leaders under any circumstances, diplomatically, until they recognize the right of Israel to exist in peace in their present location in the Far East—in the Middle East. (Jan. 11, 1976, NBC’s Meet the Press)

More broadly, Carter repeatedly suggests it is Israel’s occupation of the West Bank that causes the Arab-Israeli conflict, that peace would reign if Israel were to simply withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines, and that the Palestinians share little blame for their situation. Typical is this comment on CNN’s American Morning:

... the bottom line is that Israel will have peace, in my opinion, as soon as they agree to withdraw from Palestinian territory. (Dec. 13, 2006)

The candidate, however, held a much a much different understanding of the conflict:

I think the world should know, and I think the President of the United States and the Secretary of State of the future can explain, that the Palestinian problem did not originate because of Israel, that this is a long-standing problem whose complexity has been created to a substantial degree by the nations who surround it and who now blame the Palestinian problem on Israel itself.

So who was this presidential candidate? You may have already guessed the answer: it was Jimmy Carter himself.

Posted by GI at December 19, 2006 10:57 AM


perhaps he wasn't being paid by the arabs when he was a candidate. But he is now...and has to do as they say.

Posted by: Myackie [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 19, 2006 11:28 AM

Statements by Carter are full of factual errors. Yet we do not see any activity from the Israeli government to dispell these libels.
Since Carter has said that Barak did not accept the Clinton proposal, how about Barak doing the same press circuit that Carter is doing, to openly contradict him. Or, send Gellerman and Netanyahu (the two most articulate spokespeople) on a media blitz.


Posted by: Stan at December 19, 2006 03:33 PM

I agree with stan. Israel seems to have a real problem with its PR people. They all seem to drop the ball. Maybe thats one of the reasons why groups like Camera has to form. To protect Israel's reputation where it can't or won't or it just doesn't get it that its under attack.

Posted by: yosef at December 20, 2006 10:27 AM

I would liket to check something I seem to remember about the peace meeting with Sadat, Begin which I believe took place with Cousesco without advising Pres Carter. Could you confirm this happening? Thank you.

Posted by: Al Wien at December 28, 2006 05:28 PM

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