Carter in Israel with “The Elders” for three day visits, cancels Gaza visit last minute; Calls Hamas head “not a terrorist” and states that meeting with Netanyahu would be “waste of time”; Israeli President boycotts meeting with Carter
Former United States President Jimmy Carter met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah Saturday. Carter spoke in a news conference along side Norway’s former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, Carter visiting the region for a three day visit with the “The Elders”- a supposed NGO of former world leaders created by South Africa’s late president Nelson Mandela.
The NGO claims to be an “independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights.”
The former president was scheduled to visit the Gaza Strip but cancelled the trip last minute.
During his visit with Abbas, he called on the Palestinian Authority to hold elections, as Abbas continues to be head of the Palestinian Authority even though its last parliament meeting was held in 2007. He stated that, “We hope that sometime we’ll see elections all over the Palestinian area and east Jerusalem and Gaza and also in the West Bank.”
Carter additionally harshly criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu for stating he would not support a two-state solution, Netanyahu’s comments made during his election campaign in which he warned against a Palestinian state’s creation currently due to the massive spread of radical Islam extremists in the region and the Palestinian Authority’s signing of the Roman Statute and joining the International Criminal Court in hopes to charge Israel on war crimes in the Gaza Strip during the summer of 2014’s Operation Protective Edge.
He stated that “The Elders have never in all the years met with Prime Minister Netanyahu or his cabinet… In the past we have not been allowed to do so, and this time we just thought it would be a waste of time to ask.”
Carter stated on Netanyahu that, “I don’t believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu desires to have the same goal achieved that all American presidents and secretaries of state have advocated, and that is a two-state solution,” he said. “I think he made that quite clear during the campaign, that as long as he’s in charge, there will be no two-state solution, and therefore no Palestinian state,
Carter even claimed that the political head of Hamas is “not a terrorist”. He stated on Hamas’s political chief Khaled Mashaal that “I don’t believe that he’s a terrorist. He’s strongly in favor of the peace process.” He additionally called for the “full implementation of the agreement reached between Hamas and Fatah.”
Mashaal has called for the destruction of the Jewish state for years, and has been linked to several terrorist factions as well as being the head of Hamas which is deemed a terrorist organization not only by Israel, but also by the United States.
The former president, who is the author of the book “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid” which he wrote in 2002, stated in an interview with Israeli news on Netanyahu that “I don’t see that deep commitment on the part of Netanyahu to make concessions which [former prime minister] Menachem Begin did to find peace with his potential enemies.”
Carter has attempted to visit with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin but the president has refused the invitation due to Carter’s openly anti-Israel stance and priority in meeting with Palestinian leadership over Israeli leaders.