Published On: Tue, Apr 21st, 2015

Israel to Give Ex-U.S. President Carter Cold Shoulder


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Former American President Jimmy Carter is expected to visit Israel sometime during the next two weeks, but it is safe to say that the country’s government has no intention to roll out the red carpet for him.

Carter, an outspoken critic of Israel, requested meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, but they both turned him down.

According to a senior government official quoted by Haaretz, the steps came following consultations between the Foreign Ministry and the National Security Council of the Prime Minister’s Office. The official said one of the primary reasons for the refusal was Carter’s stance in recent years, and especially during the war in Gaza last summer.

While Hamas fired rockets at Israel, Carter called for the removal of Hamas from the U.S. State Department’s list of terror organizations. He also declared that there was “no justification in the world for what Israel is doing” and said the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge was illegitimate.

A senior diplomatic official told Israel’s Channel 10 that the former president’s visit is “a disaster for Israel” and called on the country’s leaders to shun Carter because of his “anti-Israel positions.”

It is unclear whether Carter will cancel his visit in light of the latest developments. Israel has already approved the ex-president’s request to visit the Gaza Strip during his trip to the region.

Carter, who helped bring peace between Israel and Egypt during his term in office, has become a frequent critic of Israel in recent years.

Earlier this year, after Carter suggested that the International Criminal Court should investigate both Israel and Hamas for war crimes, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said that the world understands that the ex-president “has made himself irrelevant and tossed himself into the trash pan of history.”

He called Carter’s behavior “sad, because he was president of the United States and people listen, ” adding that “What we should do is stop listening to him.”

During a meeting with Carter in 2010, Rivlin rebuked the former president for meeting with Hamas representatives and said that Israelis perceive his behavior to be encouraging terrorism.


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