Jimmy Carter was on the Today show this morning, where he was interviewed by Meredith Viera. Carter's exposition of events in the Middle East consisted mostly of an endorsement of Hamas. It almost has to be read to be believed:
CARTER: ... We've had a chance to meet two times with the leaders of Hamas, both those in Gaza and those that are top leaders in Damascus, Syria.
VIEIRA: And you've been criticized for that, sir, because Hamas is considered a terrorist group.
CARTER: By some, they are, and they've done some bad things. But for instance, the year before we had the cease-fire, that I helped to orchestrate last June, the 19th, there was one Israeli killed by rockets. And on an average, 49 Palestinians killed every month during that previous year. And as soon as the cease-fire went into effect, Hamas obeyed it completely. There was no serious rocket fire during the next four or five months.
Whereas, Israel did not restore providing provisions for the Palestinians and Gaza. But Hamas has pledged to me -- and publicly -- that they will accept any cease-fire that is negotiated between the Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Israelis, provided the cease- fire, in turn, is then submitted to the Palestinian people for approval and a referendum. So, that's a major step forward.
Hamas is considered a terrorist group "by some"? Carter apparently does not count himself among those "some," but on what conceivable theory is Hamas not a terrorist organization?
That, in any event, is evidently a small concern for Carter. In his view, Hamas is entirely reliable, and when anything goes wrong it is Israel's fault:
VIEIRA: Do you believe that Hamas can be trusted?
CARTER: Yes, I do. I think they can, because of their own self- interest, not because they're benevolent, or kind, or that sort of thing. But yes, I do. I think they can. And they've never betrayed any commitment that they've made to me, or publicly, as a matter of fact. ...
VIEIRA: But Hamas has said its goal is to destroy Israel. How can you involve them in a peace process when they said their goal is to destroy Israel? They don't recognize Israel.
CARTER: I'm not here to defend Hamas, but to tell you what they have pledged to me, and publicly: That if any agreement is negotiated between Fatah leaders and Israel, that Hamas will accept the agreement if it's submitted to the Palestinian people in a referendum. And that's a very good step forward. And I think they will do that because of their own self-interest.
And Hamas complied very thoroughly with the cease-fire agreement that I had worked out for the last June the 19th. For five months, there were no rockets fired until Israel did attack Gaza again on November 4th.
So Hamas' firing of 126 rockets and 71 mortars into Israel in November, and the many that have followed since then, was all Israel's fault because the Israelis "did attack Gaza again on November 4th."
For those who don't recall that "attack," these are the facts, as we related here:
The IDF sent special forces 200 yards across the border to destroy a tunnel that had been built to facilitate the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. Intelligence indicated that such a kidnapping was imminent:
The IDF accused Hamas of jeopardizing the truce by digging the tunnel and plotting to abduct more Israeli soldiers in the immediate future.
"The tunnel we uncovered was ready for imminent use, forcing us to act immediately," the military source said. "We did not know where the other end of the tunnel surfaced. In light of the intelligence we received about its immediate use, plans for special forces to enter Gaza this evening after sundown were approved," he added.
Hamas gunmen opened fire on IDF forces and Hamas fired 45 rockets into Israel the same night.
I can't speculate on his motives, but Carter's animus against Israel and his weirdly positive attitude toward America's terrorist enemies make him a force for evil, not for good, in the Middle East.