Global, Israel, Politics

Jimmy Carter tells Stewart about talking to Hamas

It’s not necessarily funny, but it is a President talking about Israel-Palestine relations to a Jew.

As to Stewart’s question — I’ve always wondered the same thing. It doesn’t get the Palestinians anything to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state (i.e., the occupation won’t end) but why the hell not?

4 thoughts on “Jimmy Carter tells Stewart about talking to Hamas

  1. John: “Why can’t they just say, ‘Hey, look at us, we’re a state!’ We did that in 1776”
    Jimmy: “I remember that.”
    I mean, Jimmy is really old, but I didn’t realize he was that old.

  2. But he did say why he thought that they wouldn’t declare independence – because they’d lose funding, and if it their country included the West Bank they’d cut off the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza.

  3. Interesting talk on Carter/Hamas from Jeremy Ben-Ami, head of J Street:
    One big thing in the news last week was Jimmy Carter and his trip to the Middle East, where he met with a Hamas leader. I noticed that there was a pretty strong reaction to Carter’s trip in Congress. There was talk of revoking his passport. Representative Knollenberg (R-MI) introduced a Coordinated American Response to Extreme Radicals—CARTER—Act to cut funding to the Carter Center. Representative Gary Ackerman said that if Carter was at his Seder, he would have him read the part of the “simple son.” What is your take on Carter’s trip and the very strong opposition it has engendered in Congress?
    I actually break the issue into two distinct questions. The first question is, “Should there be some effort to diplomatically engage Hamas, in the interest of trying to resolve this conflict?” The second question is, “Should that effort be led by Jimmy Carter?”
    On the first, J Street’s opinion is absolutely, there has to be some opening, some dialogue, some exploration of the possibilities of reaching an agreement with Hamas—through third parties and back channels. Clearly Mahmoud Abbas and all of them need to be tied into this; there has to be some reconciliation within the Palestinian society as a precondition to any forward movement. So as a general matter, should there be attempts to engage Hamas and to find dialogue with them? Yes. 64 percent of the Israeli public wants the Israeli government to have a dialogue with Hamas about a ceasefire. Clearly Israelis are there. So on the first question, J Street comes out resoundingly in favor of engaging our enemies—you don’t make peace with your friends, you only make peace with your enemies. You aren’t going to make peace if there’s no open avenue somewhere for dialogue.
    The second question is, “Do you send a lightning rod into the middle of a thunderstorm to be your umbrella?” If you were going to pick somebody to open up this dialogue, you probably would not pick Jimmy Carter. You have to respect him, which I don’t think everybody has done. You know, Haaretz had an editorial last week saying that the way Israeli government is treating Carter on this visit is shameful. This is a man who 31 years ago helped broker the single most significant peace agreement that Israel has ever achieved. And he deserves more respect and more thanks than he has gotten. That doesn’t mean he’s an effective emissary and it doesn’t mean that we would say, “Why don’t we send Jimmy Carter as our envoy to the Middle East.” That’s not where J Street would come out.

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