Jimmy Carter’s recent comments about Israel are another chapter in his book on how not to be a former president.

In his recent opinion piece (“An Unnecessary War”) in the Washington Post, Carter writes that the “fundamental difference” between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza conflict is that “Hamas wanted a comprehensive cease-fire in both the West Bank and Gaza, and the Israelis refused to discuss anything other than Gaza.”


Perhaps Carter simply forgot the small difference that Hamas is a terrorist organization and Israel is a free, democratic ally of the United States.

The former president then goes on to outline the humanitarian consequences of the conflict – hiding the Palestinian terrorist attacks behind a guise of humanitarian realities created by none other than the terrorists themselves.

Carter portrays a fantasy world in which the Palestinian rocket attacks began only recently, a world in which Israel has not shown patience, reserve and the ability to work for peace.

For residents of Israel, this war with Hamas has been going on every single day for years. According to the Congressional Research Service and the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, more than 4,000 rockets have been fired at Israel since the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.

For years, Israelis have had to endure a barrage of missiles aimed at their synagogues, their schools, and their playgrounds.

No nation can – or should be – expected to abide a barrage of rockets falling on its citizens. Period. Israel has a right to defend itself.

But Carter does worse than ignore facts and history; he blames Israel for Palestinian choices. The reality is that the majority of these terrorist attacks came after the Palestinian people were given the opportunity to change the direction of their lives. Instead, they voted for Hamas – and their campaign promises of terror and rocket attacks – and now everyone is paying the price for that choice. It is a tragic and sad choice but it is a fact nonetheless.

You cannot vote for the terrorist leadership of Hamas with one hand and hold a protest sign against the war.

This is not the first time this leopard has revealed its stripes. In his 2007 book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, Carter traded on his prestige to become polemist-in-chief. When a former president makes up facts and laments the “apartheid” of Israel and blames the “Jewish lobby” for continuing terror in the Middle East, many people give the charges the credibility they don’t deserve.

The most obvious outrage was the use of the word “apartheid” in the book’s title. Carter himself never defended the equating of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians with the racist policies of the old South Africa. He coyly said he was trying to get attention with the incendiary implication.

Carter is guilty of anti-Semitism. When he railed against the power of the pro-Israel lobby and nodded his agreement when the host of “Meet the Press” asked if he thought “the Jewish lobby” was to blame for the ills of the region, he put power and respectability behind the same language anti-Semites have been using forever.

Carter has supported, and worse, embraced Hamas and its propaganda in the past. This past year he met with Hamas leaders including the group’s chief, Khaled Meshal, a man responsible for hundreds of killings and attacks in Israel.

Democracies have the right – the obligation – to defend themselves. We in the United States understand that better than any other country on earth. You can’t sit idly by and just hope the violence will end.

Unfortunately, the only way to stop Hamas is with the point of the sword. We hope and pray the violence ends, but we stand united in our support of Israel’s right to defend itself.


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