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ADL: Carter Has Forgotten His Apology to Israel

ADL head Abraham Foxman takes on former President Carter over his invective on Israel, which followed an apology for similarly harsh remarks.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 11/2/2010, 6:00 PM / Last Update: 11/2/2010, 7:50 PM

Flash 90

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Director Abraham Foxman has expressed disappointment with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter over the latter's latest anti-Israel invective, saying it is hard to believe that the former president recently apologized to Israel for previous comments.

Foxman focused on remarks Carter made during his most recent visit to the Middle East, in which he and other former political figures dubbing themselves "the Elders" visited Gaza and met with senior members of Hamas.

“On Mr. Carter's most recent visit to the Middle East his actions and comments were so problematic that one would hardly have known that he had publicly expressed contrition only months before,” Foxman said.

“Again, he used extreme pejorative language that cast Israel in a bad light.... the fact that Hamas remains a terrorist entity committed to Israel's destruction was not mentioned... by any objective measurement, Mr. Carter has gone back on his public word to the Jewish community not to stigmatize the Jewish state,” he continued. Foxman also noted that Carter had ignored rocket attacks and other terrorism emanating from Gaza.

During his tour with “the Elders,” Carter called for Hamas – which openly seeks to murder Israeli civilians and ultimately destroy Israel – to be included in peace talks between Israel and the Arab world. He termed the situation in Gaza “one of the most serious human rights violations on Earth,” and claimed, “The citizens of Gaza are treated more like animals than human beings.”

He called on Israel to immediately open its Gaza border to all imports, exports and human traffic, and to allow Hamas free access to international waters. Israeli military experts have warned that relaxing the naval blockade on Hamas would lead to the large-scale import of sophisticated rockets and other weapons.

Like his fellow Elders, Carter called on the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority to reconcile with Hamas and agree to rule Judea, Samaria and Gaza together. Fighting between Hamas and Fatah makes him “sad,” Carter said.

Carter's remarks followed a letter to the American Jewish community, sent just months earlier, in which he apologized for harshly anti-Israel remarks.

 “We must not permit criticism for improvement to stigmatize Israel.... I offer an Al Het [prayer of repentance] for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so,” Carter wrote in December 2009. Prior to his December letter Carter had frequently accused Israel of being an “apartheid state,” and had blamed Israel for the ongoing conflict with the Arab world.