What's Carter Doing in the Middle East?

Former US President Jimmy Carter just concluded talks with Palestinian Hamas leaders in Cairo, Egypt. First, it was the turn of the US Presidential elects to snub the visit. Now, bloggers from the region join them to rebuff it.

Will from Palestinian blog Kabobfest sarcastically writes:

His trip undermines the American/Israeli policy of negating the Palestinian elections after years of demanding them. It causes ripples in their brilliant peace-forwarding vision of ignoring half the Palestinians, the same half in charge of Gaza.

Will continues:

What will this nutty ex-Nobel prize winner suggest next? We include Syria and Iran in regional peace talks? Ha!

The Sudanese Thinker, from Sudan, says Carter's trip to the Middle East:

… is based on well-meaning intentions but is ultimately flawed thanks to the “super religious, no-comprise” mindset of the people he wants to talk to. I emphasize the “well-meaning intentions” part because Jimmy’s characterization as someone evil and anti-Semitic is something I disagree with. I understand that the title of his notorious book is provocative but that doesn’t mean he is what he’s accused of. After all, it was Carter who negotiated the peace deal between Egypt and Israel.

He further adds:

I don’t think Carter gets that Hamas – like al-Qaeda – isn’t a typical rational enemy. They’re religious right-wing radicals hellbent on regaining back what they perceive to be “the land of Islam.” This is why I doubt Hamas can ever agree to a true and long-lasting peace. But hey, I give Jimmy credit for at least trying. Plus, you never know. He might actually be able to convince Hamas to release Gilad Shalit.

From Israel, Aussie Dave writes:

He might be foolish and decrepit, but Jimmy Carter also happens to be an ex President of the United States. So when he decides to meet up with a terrorist group dedicated to Israel’s destruction, said terrorist group feels legitimized.

He also concludes:

I have to agree with Shimon Peres on this one. Carter has caused great damage to Israel and the peace process, and continues to do so.

Rabbi Yohana closely examines Carter's stances on Tibet and Darfur. Turning his attention to the Middle East, the blogger explains:

Today, Carter roams around Israel, visits Sderot, gets rebuffed by Israel’s leaders, and ignored by the Shin Bet. Any goodwill created when they inked the Peace deal with Egypt nearly 30 years ago has evaporated. I just have one suggestion for the Israelis – pay up. For a mere 5 million of so, Carter could “re-examine” his views on the subject. He could “have a new understanding” and become more of an ally. We could get a ghost writer from the Shalem Center to whip together a new book too.

As it says in Pirkei Avot, “K’ne l’cha chaver”, “acquire for yourself a friend.” It will do Israel a lot more good to support Jimmy Carter with backsheesh, than to rebuff him.

Still in Israel, Batya questions Carter's impartiality and says:

Former US President Jimmy Carter sees the world through distorted lenses. Yes, that's the nicest way I can describe him.
He blames Israel for everything.

But Carter has a still managed to garner the support of a new fan in the Middle East. Egyptian blogger Zeinobia tells us how much she loves the former US president, saying:

Seriously I love this man more and more. This man seems from the few people who know the true meaning of Peace Negotiations , the true meaning of Peace negotiations in my humble point of view is to sit down with everyone involved in the fight or the conflict even those bloody ones and to listen to them in order to reach to point of agreement.

I really respected him for his daring decision to have a direct channel with Hamas and Syria as primary parties in the conflict of the middle east regardless of what is said , regardless of what the American , Israeli and Egyptian Media are saying , this is what it should be for the sake of everyone in the Middle East if we truly want a just unbiased Peace.

** This article also appears in Voices without Votes.


  • Iran is frequently portrayed as a backward and fanatically fundamentalist tyrannical outpost. As a result of constant repetition, most of us believe that we have a fairly accurate image of Iran. But, do we really?

    As the premier conservative British daily, The Telegraph, puts it:

    There are countries in the world that we know only through the prejudice of others; countries that we are encouraged to avoid. … we think we know about Iran: hotbed of religious zealotry, hater of the West, sponsor of terrorism, and so on. This précis bears little relation to the reality.

    See http://www.bibijon.org/iranimage/

  • Michael

    I think that former president Carter is an old man that is bored and looking for attention. He doesn’t realize that the people he is talking to are probably the same people that were involved in the 911 terrorist attacks. Maybe next he will try to talk peace with Osama Bin Laden.

  • The words “no compromise” offer a summary. The possibilities are:
    1. Israelis under heavy attack fall back to the sea and drown.
    2. The Israelis drown and 200 millions Muslims are radioactive cloud cover.
    3. 200 millions Muslims perish in a matter of a few hours.
    The dead will have the comfort of knowing they never compromised.

  • Michael… Do you really believe that every Muslim and Arab in the world is behind 911? Can you spell “p-r-e-j-u-d-i-c-e?

    Are you even certain that YOUR government is not behind 911? Why blaming people you don’t even know (worse yet, people you think you know because some people told you things about them), while believing so blindly in people you SHOULD know better, just because the later LOOK like you and the former look DIFFERENT?

    Thinking every Arab is a terrorist is the same as thinking every North-American is stupid, or a mass-murderer. To this, we give the name “prejudice”.

    In my “backward” country, prejudice is a crime and can take you to the jail.


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