Jimmy Carter Welcomes Hamas-Fatah Union; U.S. ex-President Has No Shame
Jimmy Carter Welcomes Hamas-Fatah Union
U.S. ex-President Has No Shame
By Lawrence W. White
Representatives from Hamas and Fatah announced their intention to reconcile in Cairo last Wednesday. This follows a four-year-long violent rupture. The result of this rift is that Hamas now administers the Gaza Strip, while the Palestinian Authority, dominated by Fatah, administers the West Bank.
Former President Jimmy Carter issued a statement last Friday, hailing the reconciliation of bitter rivals Hamas and Fatah as a "historic intra-Palestinian reconciliation agreement".
The statement speaks approvingly of Hamas and Fatah for "having the vision to begin the process of reunifying the Palestinian people", claiming that the deal would help to resolve longstanding issues faced by the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.
Former President Carter said in the statement that "this agreement, and the promise of elections in the next twelve months, has the potential to arrest the spiral of intra-Palestinian human rights violations and preserve Palestinian democracy."
Carter stated that he was confident that "if handled creatively and flexibly by the international community, Hamas’ return to unified Palestinian governance can increase the likelihood of a two-state solution and a peaceful outcome." He urged the international community to "view (the reconciliation) as part of the larger democratic trend sweeping the region.”
So what is wrong with this?
Elsewhere, I have written about Jimmy Carter’s tarnished record on the subject of Israel, on his approving attitude to tyrannical regimes, and on his dependence on Arab oil money. His statement of support for the marriage of two tyrannical regimes is consistent with Carter’s philosophy and behavior in the past. His pronouncements and recommendations have been naïve at best, and dangerously reckless at worst.
The largest problem in Carter's sunny and optimistic scenario is the unrelenting and murderous hostility of Hamas toward Israel. Hamas has stated clearly that it will never negotiate with Israel, and will never accept a Jewish state in the Middle East. Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of Israel, and Hamas spokesmen repeatedly call for genocide of the Jewish people. The group is defined as a terrorist group, and has fired hundreds of rockets across the border at Israel. Last month, Hamas fired an anti-tank missile at a school bus, severely wounding an Israeli child who later died.
As a result, Israel has reluctantly accepted the simple fact that there can be no peace agreement that includes the involvement of Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that "the Palestinian Authority must choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. There is no possibility for peace with both. Hamas aspires to destroy Israel and fires rockets at our cities ... at our children."
And now, we have additional confirmation of Hamas’ real agenda., Hamas’ prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, referring to the killing of Osama Bin Laden by the US, said that “We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior, … We ask God to offer him mercy with the true believers and the martyrs.” He also stated that “we regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood.”
One more question. What does Jimmy Carter mean about “preserving” Palestinian democracy? Democracy is more than simply elections. Democracy includes the rule of law, independence of the courts, freedom of the media from government control, and most importantly respect for and protection of the rights of minorities. Neither party to this agreement qualifies as a democracy except in Carter’s narrow and misleading definition.
And so, what does one call a former President who considers Hamas to be an entity with “vision”, and who insists that its intentions are peaceful, while this same Hamas both praises and mourns Osama Bin Laden?
What do you call a former President who considers Hamas to be democratic, while Israel is an “apartheid” state?
And what do you call a former President who considers democratic and pro-American Israel to be immoral, but considers Hamas, Hafez al-Assad of Syria, Fidel Castro of Cuba, , and Kim il-Jong of North Korea, to be our friends?
I call the man a menace.