Carter: Netanyahu is Not Committed to Peace

Suggesting that Hamas' Mashaal is more committed to peace than Netanyahu, Carter says he had no desire to meet with PM during trip.

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Cynthia Blank,

Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
Reuters

Former US President Jimmy Carter had harsh words for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday, saying a meeting with him would be a "waste of time."

Carter is in the midst of a three-day visit to Israel working to bring about a two-state solution. He met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Saturday, but did not meet with Netanyahu or President Reuven Rivlin. 

According to Carter, he had no intentions of meeting with Netanyahu, who refused to meet with him in any case, but would have liked and did request to meet with the President. 

Rivlin, however, on the advice of the Foreign Ministry, declined, due to Carter's staunch "anti-Israel opinions" and known sympathy for Gaza-based terror organization Hamas. 

In addition to calling a meeting with Netanyahu a "waste of time," the former President took another shot at the Prime Minister during an interview with Channel Two News, asserting that peace is not on his agenda. 

"The [Elders Group] stands for peace and human rights, and if human rights and peace are not on Netanyahu's agenda, I understand why he does not want to meet us," Carter charged. 

Earlier on Saturday, Carter urged Palestinian Arabs to hold elections to end the rapidly growing fierce enmity between Hamas in Gaza and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) in Judea and Samaria.

During the Channel Two interview, Carter maintained his stance that Hamas is not a terrorist organization, adding that Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal is "strongly in favor of the peace process."

While saying he "deplored" criminal acts" by members of Hamas against "innocent" Israeli citizens, Carter claimed not all members of Hamas are terrorists, and that he is seeking the moderate members of the organization. 

He was not so complimentary in his assessment of Netanyahu, saying that the Prime Minister is not "in favor of a two-state solution" and therefore not committed to peace. 

“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 said.








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