Jimmy Carter’s assessment of Israel’s actions in Gaza seem to be extremely negative. It is true that Israel’s treatment of Hamas and Gaza citizens was harsh. It is true that Israel’s bombing UN schools and hospitals that were used as safe havens for citizens was extreme and may have violated international law as war crimes.
However, in balance, Hamas launched rockets against Israel. It created a tunnel infrastructure intent on military use against Israel.
Why did Hamas do what it did? It did so because Gaza has been in lockdown.
Why is this? It is because Gaza citizens and its political leaders have failed to recognize Israel as a state. It is because Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank have expressed hate against Jewish people as they are anti semites.
Likewise, some extreme Jewish people in Israel hate Arabs.
The hate factor is what has made getting along impossible. Jimmy Carter has a way with trying to champion the down trodden. In this instance, the Gaza people are surely victims.
One can argue that they chose the wrong political leadership and are suffering for that. Americans, Israelis and many allied nations have classified Hamas as a terrorist organization most likely because its leaders express hate as a core value. That expression undermines political credibility and combined with their terrorist actions prevents them from political recognition that Carter believes they deserve.
In this instance, Jimmy Carter is wrong. He could be valuable by encouraging Gaza people to elect representatives that are committed to peace and collaboration. Aligning with Hamas while they are trending toward defeat may not be the best course.
However, maybe Carter believes that there are no better alternatives in the near term.
In the absence of sufficient participants in this discussion from the Obama administration, Carter’s views are stimulating and provoke thoughtful consideration.
Carter doesn’t like Israel much, and that causes some people to take his views with a grain of salt.
"Jimmy Carter pushes US to recognize Hamas, slams Israel in op-ed
Published August 05, 2014
Former President Jimmy Carter once again is getting way out in front of the U.S. government on the Middle East, co-authoring an op-ed in which he calls for Washington to recognize designated terror group Hamas as a legitimate "political actor" -- while blasting Israel for its military campaign in the Gaza Strip.
The scathing column on ForeignPolicy.com was written by Carter and Ireland's former president Mary Robinson.
The article called the current conflict a "humanitarian catastrophe," and while acknowledging Hamas' "indiscriminate targeting" of Israelis, focused its criticism on Israel.
"There is no humane or legal justification for the way the Israeli Defense Forces are conducting this war," they wrote. "Israeli bombs, missiles, and artillery have pulverized large parts of Gaza, including thousands of homes, schools, and hospitals."
They said "deliberate attacks on civilians" constitute "war crimes" on both sides, though noting far fewer Israelis have been killed in the fighting.
The two "elders" (a group of former statesmen and activists) also pushed the West to formally recognize Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip but is considered a terror group by the U.S. They lauded the recently announced unity agreement between Hamas and Fatah, which controls the West Bank -- an agreement that Obama's State Department has voiced serious concerns about.”