Jimmy Carter’s willingness to meet with Khaled Meshal, the Syrian-based political leader of Palestinian Hamas, should come as no surprise to those familiar with the former president’s main preoccupation with the Arab-Israeli conflict: the absence of religion in it. In Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, Carter recounts a meeting he had with Golda Meir in June, 1973, when he was still governor of Georgia:
“With some hesitation I said that I had long taught lessons from the Hebrew Scriptures and that a common historical pattern was that Israel was punished whenever the leaders turned away from devout worship of God. I asked if she was concerned about the secular nature of her Labor government.”
Now picture that scene, if you will. The dim evangelical peanut farmer lecturing the Menshevik kibbutznik about the divine duties of the chosen people. Meir had just witnessed the pogromization of an Olympic Village on German soil and so was probably in no mood to hear how apostasy and secularism were to blame for Jewish misery. But leave it to Carter to never miss an opportunity to miss the point.
Carter now believes that suicide-bombers and the cult of death which characterizes Gaza’s ruling Islamist party are the unintended consequences of wicked Israeli behavior; the building of settlements, the construction of the security wall, and presumably the heathenish Tel Aviv nightlife. He has advocated for U.S. recognition of Hamas, and renewed aide to the government it controls, even though that means American taxpayer money could well go to underwriting terrorist or rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. He also thinks that an organization which grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood and calls for the destruction of Israel and the implementation of sharia law is just waiting to be engaged as a “partner in peace.”
This isn’t the first time Carter has met with Hamas’s senior leadership. He did so in Ramallah in 2006, after the group won the Palestinian legislative elections. CNN reported his observations at the time:
“They told me they want to have a peaceful administration. They want to have a unity government, bring in Fatah members and independent members,” Carter said. But he added that “what they say and what they do is two different matters.”
So it is.
When the Nobel laureate gets together with Mashal, he can ask him if he still thinks it was “courageous” of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to sponsor a Holocaust denial conference in Iran, or geopolitically wise to threaten a third intifada whilst also claiming to negotiate the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Azmot. Or perhaps, in keeping with his role as high-minded metaphysical counsel to the Levant, Carter can inquire as to whether or not Hamas’s problems with civil war and European sanctions might be related to its failure to live up to the true precepts of the Koran.
Allahpundit at Hot Air writes: “Exit question: Which prominent Democrat will be tasked tomorrow with phoning Jimbo to explain why it’s not a good idea for someone who thinks Israel is an apartheid state to be huddling with terrorists in an election year? Will it be Obama himself?”
PoliGazette notes: “First Carter accuses Israel of being an Apartheid state, then he goes to meet with the leader of an organization which sole purpose is to destroy Israel and to kill all Jews. As John Bolton said, “[i]t’s about par for the course from President Carter, demonstrating a lack of judgment typical of what he does.”
And Fausta has a photo-studded compendium of Carter’s past kibitzes with unsavory figures.
Michael Weiss is the New York Editor of Pajamas Media. His blog is Snarksmith.