Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Jimmy Carter, still here, monkeying around.....
The man from Plains is still here, poking his finger into this and that, doing and saying one nutty thing after another. He ranges from silly to pathetic, except when he'd being downright dangerous. Ideally, we should just ignore Jimmy Carter and maybe he’d go away – but the thing is, he does carry that title of ‘former President’.
Carter did visit Gush Etzion, by the way (see my blog of June 14) and while there, apparently experienced some sort of conversion. There’s nothing to suggest that he fell off a horse, but even so, the radical change in his thinking is worthy of note.
I’m not sure what sort of hocus-pocus the stalwart citizens of Gust Etzion applied, but they should take that magic act of theirs on the road.
After spending 100 minutes with Gush Etzion Regional Council Chairman Sha'ul Goldstein in his home at Neveh Daniel, Carter proclaimed, "This particular settlement area is not one I envisage ever being abandoned or changed over into Palestinian territory."
WHAT? This is the man who proclaimed, “The preeminent obstacle to peace is Israel’s colonization of Palestine.” Now he says Gush Etzion should remain with Israel?
Well, fine, I guess. It’s just that his conversion on the issue of “settlements” -- and hot button Gush Etzion in particular -- seems a little too facile, a little too easily come by. I don’t trust him not to change his mind again.
Then yesterday Carter met with Knesset Speaker Ruby (Reuven) Rivlin, which produced some interesting language from Rivlin if not from Carter.
After telling Carter that in spite of what PM Bibi Netanyahu may have said, there is no consensus in Israel regarding a “two state formula” even if the ‘Palestinian’ entity could be ‘demilitarized’ -- something most realists say is not only impossible to create but completely impossible to enforce.
What was interesting, though, is how Rivlin moved to recast the whole debate. “The heart of the dispute in our region is not just one of local territorial disputes,” he said. Instead, the fight is “an Arab-Jewish dispute.”
”Only after we solve the Arab-Jewish conflict and can be confident that the Arab countries recognize Israel and our right to live here in security, can we address the conflict between ourselves and the Palestinians, with whom we are destined to live together.”
That's an interesting way of looking at it. Once again, it puts the onus on the Arabs to first recognize Israel as not just a legitimate state but a Jewish state.
Then? Carter decided to try his luck fishing in the pool of imprisoned terrorists. Specifically, he asked Rivlin if he could visit imprisoned convicted murderer Marwan Barghouti.
Barghouti is a folk-hero among the Arabs, a popular terrorist who was convicted of five murders and acquitted for lack of evidence of some 30 more. Other than to show solidarity with vicious terrorists, it’s not quite clear why Carter would want to do a grip and grin with Barghouti.
Rivlin, to his credit, responded by bringing up the subject of Gilad Shalit, the young Israeli soldier who was captured by Hamas and has now been held for three years. For three long years, no one – not the Red Cross, no one -- has been allowed to visit Shalit, or even confirm that he’s alive.
Without going into detail, that’s totally against all rules of international law, not to mention humanitarian behavior. But then whoever said that terrorists care two beans about international law, not to mention humanitarian behavior?
So Ruby Rivlin pointed that out to Carter, that Shalit had never been permitted any visitors. And what did Carter respond? Arab terrorists also do not receive “visits from their mothers,” Carter said.
Rivlin, apparently a bit taken back, responded, “There’s absolutely no room for comparison. Those are dangerous terrorists who were lawfully arrested after they perpetrated, or tried to perpetrate, murderous attacks in our streets.”
Shalit, as you know – even if Jimmy Carter doesn’t -- was anything but a terrorist. He was a shy 19 year old kid who spent his off-duty hours helping his mother and father run the family Bed & Breakfast. On a Sunday morning, June 25, 2006, he was standing guard when several Hamas terrorists crawled through a tunnel under the security fence into Israel near Kerem Shalom. They attacked, killed two other soldiers and kidnapped Shalit, dragging him back into Aza with them.
Get that? Shalit was doing nothing more than standing guard when he was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists who crossed over into Israel to kill as many people as they could.
Marwan Barghouti, on the other hand, is the proud and unrepentant leader of the militant Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades which carried out numerous suicide attacks against Israel at the behest of arch terrorist Yasser Arafat. In June 2002, Barghouti killed a Greek Monk during an attack in Maale Adumim; he killed a man during an attack on a gas station in Givat Zeev, and then killed three more people during an attack at Tel Aviv's Seafood Market restaurant. And those are just the murders he committeed -- he wasn't convicted of the other 30 terror attacks he merely masterminded!
But former President Jimmy Carter sees the kidnapped Shalit and the terrorist murderer Barghouti as comparable.
Interestingly enough, Noam Shalit, Gilad’s father, was able to arrange a meeting with Carter. He asked Carter to deliver a letter to his son or at least obtain confirmation that he’s alive.
Carter met with Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal in Damascus on Thursday and in fact did hand over Noam Shalit’s letter. But nothing more. There’s still no confirmation that Gilad Shalit remains alive.
So? Having washed his hands of Shalit, the peanut farmer decided to do what he could to whitewash Hamas. He set out to prove what nice peaceful people Hamas terrorists really are.
After meeting with Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh, Carter promised to ask the Community Organizer to take Hamas off the official list of terrorist organizations.
"Hamas leaders want peace and they want to have reconciliation not only with their Fatah brothers but also eventually with Israelis to live side by side, with two nations, both sovereign nations recognized by each other and living in peace," Carter said.
Uh huh. And if you believe that one, then….
Oh, and by the way, these nice people that Jimmy Carter loves so much? Apparently don’t return the passion. They tried to assassinate him when he came to Aza.
Terrorists linked to al-Qaida hid a explosives along a road Carter's convoy was scheduled to travel, but some Hamas operatives – who have loads of hands-on experience in these things – removed “three large black disks and some wire” from a sand dune next to the road.
Actually, it was Israel who saved him. Our security sources learned of plans to target Carter and passed on the information to his security detail. Nice of us.
It all reminds me of one memorable line from a long 1960’s saga recorded by Tom Anderson as “Bipartisan Treason”:
“… And those who cried, ‘Appease, appease!
Were hanged by those they tried to please.”
Maybe Jimmy Carter will figure that out for himself some day, but I wouldn’t count on it.