In a turn of events which strains credulity, former US President Jimmy Carter has called upon the Western world in a recent article to recognize “Hamas as a legitimate political actor.”
Placing the blame for recent tensions in Gaza squarely on Israel’s shoulders, the former US leader traced the violence to “the deliberate obstruction” of a Hamas-Fatah unity government, which he called “a promising move toward peace in the region.”
Carter penned the article for Foreign Policy magazine, along with former Irish president Mary Robinson, entitled “How to Fix It,” offering their take on how to solve the current Middle East conflict. Although condemning Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians, they pointed to the vast difference in civilian deaths as proof that Israel is in the wrong.
“Hamas’s indiscriminate targeting of Israeli civilians is equally unacceptable. However, three Israeli civilians have been killed by Palestinian rockets, while an overwhelming majority of the 1,600 Palestinians killed have been civilians, including more than 330 children. The need for international judicial proceedings to investigate and end these violations of international law should be taken very seriously.”
Calling it “a humanitarian catastrophe,” the pair wrote, “There is no humane or legal justification for the way the Israeli Defense Forces are conducting this war.”
The article expressly accuses Israel of “deliberate attacks on civilians,” something Israel has repeatedly denied. IDF practice is to issue warnings to civilian populations prior to striking, in the form of phone calls, leaflets or low-level warning explosives. Israel also claims Hamas deliberately hides among its civilian population, a claim corroborated lately by foreign journalists in Gaza.
Carter and Robinson call on the US, EU and UN “to recognize that Hamas is not just a military but also a political force. Hamas cannot be wished away, nor will it cooperate in its own demise. Only by recognizing its legitimacy as a political actor — one that represents a substantial portion of the Palestinian people — can the West begin to provide the right incentives for Hamas to lay down its weapons.” It should be noted that the US in fact recognizes Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Carter has a long history of anti-Israel statements. Although responsible for the Camp David Accords, which brought peace between Egypt and Israel, he has since taken to vilifying the Jewish state and has expressed support for Hamas on numerous occasions.
Robinson is a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and presided over the original Durban conference, which gained infamy for its blatant descent into anti-Semitism. Both are members of The Elders, “an international group of elder statesmen” convened to share their wisdom and experience with the rest of the world.