by Jacob Laksin
When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jimmy Carter is no stranger to apologies. The former president has spent years making excuses for Hamas, championing the Palestinian jihadists as the embattled victims of Israeli aggression – the group’s exterminationist founding charter and record of terrorism notwithstanding. Now it’s
After years of demonizing the Jewish state on the world stage, Carter at last has seen the error of his ways. Or so he says: Last week, Carter issued a statement to the Jewish community in which he apologized for his role in tarnishing
“I never intended or wanted to stigmatize the nation of
In completely unrelated news, Carter’s grandson, 34-year old
If Carter’s conversion to nuance on the issue he has long viewed through a thoroughly anti-Israel lens seems more than a trifle expedient, it is. This after all is the man whose 2007 book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, notoriously equated democratic
Even if opportunism doesn’t fully explain Carter’s apology, his second thoughts remain deeply suspect. Just days before airing his regrets, Carter published an op-ed in
In making a case for a renewed Middle Eastern peace process, Carter excused Arab intransigence (“no Arab or Islamic nation will accept any comprehensive agreement while Israel retains control of East Jerusalem”); whitewashed Palestinian terrorism (Carter made only an oblique reference “Palestinian recalcitrance”); and blamed Israel and Israeli leaders for the failure of past negotiations even as he exempted Palestinians from comparable scrutiny.
Equally deplorable, if typical, was Carter’s one-sided and selective account of the background of the conflict. Though lamenting the “intense personal suffering” of Palestinians living “under siege in Gaza” in the aftermath of last year’s war, Carter never mentioned the relentless eight-year rocket bombardment of Israeli cities and villages that forced the Israeli offensive. Similarly, Carter denounced Israel’s reluctance to allow the shipment of construction materials like cement into Gaza, but failed to note both that Israel has indeed allowed some limited shipment of materials and the reason why it has to screen such shipments in the first place: Construction materials are routinely used by Palestinian terrorists to build rockets and fortifications. In yet another revisionist flourish, Carter accused Israel of destroying Palestinian schools and hospitals with “precision bombs missiles” during the Gaza war, while omitting the critical fact that they often served as havens for Hamas gunmen who tried to exploit the Israeli military’s restraint and its reluctance to strike civilian targets.
But nothing betrayed Carter’s biases as plainly as the one concrete proposal he offered to begin the peace process: urging the United Nations Security Council to pass even more resolutions condemning
Unfairly singling out
Carter has made no secret of that sinister partnership. On his travels to the Palestinian territories, Carter routinely sings the terrorist group’s praises, assuring all who will listen that, were it not for
If Carter truly feels that an apology is in order, he might consider atoning for his role in promoting a terrorist organization that has murdered thousands of Israelis, brutalized its fellow Palestinians, poisoned the political climate in the region, and destroyed any hope for a present-day peace settlement. But that sorry contribution to the peacemaking that Carter still claims as his life’s work would require something more substantial than a bankrupt and cynically proffered apology.
Jacob Laksin is managing editor of Frontpage Magazine. He is co-author, with David Horowitz, of One-Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at
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