Feature

Should Jimmy Carter be talking to Hamas?

Jimmy Carter has the right idea by talking with Hamas leaders, said the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. You can't broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians when you refuse to talk to a major party. Except when that party is a "gang of cutth

What happenedFormer President Jimmy Carter, on a tour of the Middle East, met Tuesday with a Hamas former deputy prime minister in the West Bank, and confirmed plans to meet with top Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Syria later in the week. The U.S. and Israel both consider Hamas a terrorist group, and Israeli leaders, except for ceremonial President Shimon Peres, declined invitations to meet with the former U.S. president. Carter said Hamas and Syria will have to be part of any Israeli-Palestinian peace accord, but that he was not talking with any of the actors as a negotiator or mediator, but “just as a communicator.” (Reuters)

What the commentators saidIsrael isn’t the only government snubbing Carter, said the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in an editorial. The Bush administration has signaled its displeasure, too. But Hamas is “the ruling (and elected) Palestinian party.” Bush should not only “support Carter in his mission,” but also “send Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice along” with him. How can the U.S. “claim to work at brokering a peace deal” when it "refuses to speak” with one of the major parties?

The party Carter is talking to is “a gang of cutthroats who’ve never hesitated to include Americans in their growing body count,” said the New York Post in an editorial, and his decision to “break bread” with them is an “outrage.” Is he “so convinced of his powers of persuasion” that he thinks he can “single-handedly” persuade Hamas to stop trying to destroy Israel? “Fat chance.” Instead he is “putting a stamp of legitimacy” on Hamas and disgracing “(again) the office he once held.”

What’s disgraceful is Israel’s “boycott” of Carter, said the Israeli daily Haaretz in an editorial, which “will not be remembered as a glorious moment in this government’s history.” Israel can view Carter’s decision to meet with Hamas as either “appropriate or defeatist,” but his method of conflict resolution—“to talk with every one”—is surely “no less successful” than “boycotts and air strikes.” Carter “worked incessantly” as president to forge the still-lasting peace agreement with Egypt, and for that alone Israel owes him “the respect reserved for royalty for the rest of his life.”

Recommended

Indian Christian sect leader Ziona Chana dies, leaving 38 wives and 89 kids
Ziona Chana family
Rest in Peace

Indian Christian sect leader Ziona Chana dies, leaving 38 wives and 89 kids

The daily business briefing: June 14, 2021
Novavax vaccine results released
Business briefing

The daily business briefing: June 14, 2021

10 things you need to know today: June 14, 2021
The G7 summit
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 14, 2021

Biden meets the queen before flying to Brussels
Chris Jackson/Pool/AFP/Getty Images
Nice Work if You Can Get It

Biden meets the queen before flying to Brussels

Most Popular

Georgia election workers reportedly received a 'torrent' of threats
Trump rally.
The big lie

Georgia election workers reportedly received a 'torrent' of threats

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now
Bernie Sanders.
Sounds dope

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem