Carter’s Middle East Study Mission: Peace Tour or Terror Tour?

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Jimmy Carter is in the Middle East allegedly on a mission of world peace. According to the Carter Center website:

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter will lead a study mission to Israel, the West Bank, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan April 13-21, 2008, as part of the Carter Center’s ongoing effort to support peace, democracy, and human rights in the region…“ This is a study mission, and our purpose is not to negotiate, but to support and provide momentum for current efforts to secure peace in the Middle East,” said President Carter

Study mission? The trip would more accurately be described as a terror tour. Consider who Carter is meeting with, high-level officials of Hamas. Hamas, as evidenced by their actions, has no interest in peace. Hamas, as evidenced by their charter, is dedicated to murdering Jews and the destruction of Israel.

While in Cairo, the former president met with former Hamas deputy prime minister Nasser Eddin Shaer. He also gave a speech at the American University decrying IDF actions in Gaza as a “crime” and “atrocity” and an “abomination.” Less than 24 hours later, Hamas terrorists shot and killed 3 Israeli soldiers. Carter is scheduled to meet Hamas leader Khaled Mashel in Damascus on Friday. Mashel is believed responsible for organizing the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit and has expressed that terrorism is the basis of Palestinian politics and the identity of the Palestinian people. Carter is also scheduled to meet with Syrian president Bashar al-Asad.

Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and other officials have reportedly refused to meet with Carter. Good for them. They should have refused Carter entry into the country. Hamas is at war with Israel and Carter is clearly more than sympathetic to the Hamas “narrative.” Israel should refuse entry to other self-serving activists like Carter whose ideal of peace in the region means Israeli capitulation and endless concessions to terrorists. Failing to take an enemy at their word is worse than hubris, it’s suicidal.

Here in the United States, some politicians are coming up with creative ways to punish Carter for his political activities. The appropriately named CARTER Act (Coordinated American Response to Extreme Radicals Act) seeks to remove funding for the Carter Center. The Center has received $19 million in federal funding since 2001. The Democracy Project notes, this “$19 million pales beside the tens of millions that have flowed to the Carter Center from MidEast sources.” Agreed. But why our tax dollars are supporting an organization engaging in activities in opposition to American foreign policy goals is baffling. The New York Sun reports, Rep. Joseph Knollenberg (R, MI) introduced the bill and has found support to be “overwhelming in the first 24 hours since he introduced it.” However,

The chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees American policy towards the Middle East, Gary Ackerman, a Democrat of New York, yesterday said he thought the CARTER Act was “rather silly,” and “reactionary.” At the same time, Mr. Ackerman, who wrote a letter with the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Howard Berman, a Democrat of California, urging Mr. Carter not to visit Mr. Meshaal, had harsh words for Mr. Carter.

“The man is entitled his idiotic, moronic, nonsensical, anti-commonsensical, foolish opinions. And all that being said, he is still entitled to have them. I don’t think we should be cutting off funding for any ex presidents to do things. We didn’t cut off Richard Nixon,” he said. Mr. Ackerman added that if Mr. Carter came to his home for the Passover Seder, he would ask him to read the part of the simple son, the boy who does not know enough to even ask a question about the story of the Jewish exodus from ancient Egypt.

One issue for Democrats will be whether Mr. Carter will speak at the national convention in Denver scheduled for August. The editor-in-chief of the New Republic, Martin Peretz, this week urged Democrats not to let the ex-president speak. “If the Democrats want to win Florida in November they should try to keep him in Plains or send him on another voyage to Darfur where his syrupy cynicism is also well-understood,” he wrote.

Read More:

Arutz Sheva

JPost

Boker tov, Boulder! “Carter Doesn’t Quit.

But I am a Liberal! “Some ‘Wisdom’ from Jimmy Carter.”

The Contentious Centrist, “Carter and the hypocrites.”

Democracy Project, “CARTER Act in Congress to Cut Off Carter Center Funding

Robert Maginni at Human Events, “Hamas’ Useful Idiot

Eric Trajer at Contentions, “Islamic Jihad: We Refused Carter’s Request for a Meeting.” Trajer’s “Carter’s Historic Relationship with Hamas” is also worth reading.

Jacob Laksin, at FrontPage, “Carter’s Terror Tour“.

Solomonia urges readers to Support the CARTER Act.

The CARTER Act is H.R. 5816. Want to see it pass? Contact your representative and let your voice be heard and counted.

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