SWC Criticizes President Carter's Bias Towards Israel

December 4, 2006

SWC Criticizes President Carter's Bias Towards Israel

President Jimmy Carter achieved a historic breakthrough in 1979 that brought peace between Egypt and Israel, but since then he has emerged as a harsh critic of Israel. In his latest book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, he abandons all objectivity and unabashedly acts as a virtual spokesman for the Palestinian cause.

President Carter consistently refers to polls in Israel that overwhelmingly favor a Two-State solution between Israel and the Palestinians. That is absolutely true. But what he doesn't say is that those polls are predicated on the cessation of Palestinian terrorism and the recognition of the legitimate right of Israel as a democratic and Jewish state. Palestinian terrorism continues to be a daily reality that Israelis must thwart. Hamas, which was elected to run the Palestinian Authority refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist and promotes the hatred of Jews and Judaism.

President Carter also says that Israel has established an apartheid-like wall which has choked-off any ability of the Palestinians to conduct their normal lives.

What he doesn't say is why Israel built its security barrier - to stem the horrific human toll that Hamas suicide bombers wrought on Israel's Jewish, Christian and Moslem civilians. Jerusalem has made it clear that the barrier is not a permanent political wall but a purely defensive (and effective) measure. There never would have been any barrier if the Palestinians had rejected fanaticism and terrorism. Instead, they elected Hamas and rejected peace.

Meanwhile, in 2005 Israel unilaterally withdrew from all of Gaza, making clear that if terrorism stopped, further withdrawals from the West Bank would take place. But as Abba Eban once said, the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, and instead, Israel's withdrawal was greeted by rockets regularly barraging Israeli civilians within its recognized 1948 borders, often targeting children enroute to school.

When President Carter was in the White House, the United States could have lifted all embargoes against Cuba - a tiny island country 90 miles from Miami - but fearful of Soviet influence that could endanger the security of the United States, that embargo correctly continued. What hypocrisy for President Carter to now insist that Israel, surrounded by enemies and confronted with the daily threat of direct terror attacks on its sovereign soil, is not entitled to those same national security considerations to protect the lives of her citizens.

President Carter blames Israel "occupation" for the failure to achieve a breakthrough in the Middle East. But his blind spot does not allow him to see what many others have long recognized, that when then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak went to Camp David and offered Yasser Arafat 95% of the West Bank, 100% of Gaza and part of the Old City of Jerusalem, along with $30 billion in compensation for Palestinian refugees, it was Arafat who rejected this guaranteed Palestinian state, instead choosing to launch the bloody Intifada.

There is no Israeli Apartheid policy and President Carter knows it.

How tragic that he has chosen to focus only on Israel's real and imagined faults. The true reason there is no peace in the Middle East is not because of any wall, it's because of Palestinian terrorism and fanaticism. Until the Palestinian people repudiate their fanatics in favor of a course of moderation there will never be peace in the Middle East.

 The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

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