Following are the reporting by two Israel newspapers of the recent visit by former President Jimmy Carter to the Middle East. We present their report without any editiorial comment.
Jerusalem Post: Editorial Analysis
“As Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz said on Israel Radio, Carter–with all due respect to the peace treaty he brokered between Israel and Egypt 30 years ago-is ‘detached from reality’…The problem with Carter’s approach is that he only focuses on Palestinian frustration and seems to dismiss Israeli frustration with the fact that even as negotiations continue, terrorism rages. Despair is not a one way street…To prove that the current negotiations were not going anywhere, Carter invoked comments made to that effect last week by PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Moscow, leaving the distinct impression that Israel was to blame. But, why place the onus for lack of movement on Israel’s doorstep? Maybe, just maybe, it is not Israeli intransigence, but Palestinian intransigence that is holding up the works. Carter never seemed to entertain that notion…The road map calls for consistent, serious attempts by the Palestinians to foil terrorism against Israelis anywhere. Does anybody really believe that is happening? To create the impression that Israel is violating the road map while the Palesltinians are living up to it is nonsense…Also, if one wants to talk about road map regression, the fall of Gaza into the hands of Hamas, which carries out terrorism on a daily basis, would not be a bad place to start.”
Haaretz: News Story
“Democratis White House hopeful, Barack Obama on Tuesday expressed wariness about former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s report of progess in his meetings with leaders of the Islamist Palestinian group haamas. Obama criticized the decision by Carter who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 to hold meetings with the group as a ‘bad idea…I think that what we’re seeing now is that even as President Carte suggests there was breakthrough, you had some of the same old rhetoric coming out of Hamas representatives with regard to Israel’….Meanwhile, Abbas said on Tuesday that Carter failed in his attempt to talk Hamas into accepting a future two-state peace deal with Israel. ‘Carter gave them the right advice. He urged Hamas to accept the two-state solution and accept past Palestinian agreements with Israel, but unfortunately he failed to convince them and his visit did not end up with positive results.’ Also, Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State “Condoleezza Rice said the Bush administration explicitly warned Carter against meeting with members of Hamas, the Palestinian faction that controls the Gaza Strip and which is regarded by the U.S. as a terrorist group…Rice told reporters that the U.S. thought the visit could confuse the message that the U.S. will not deal with Hamas. ‘The U.S. is not going to deal with Hamas and we had certainly told President Carter that we did not think meeting with Hamas was going to help further a political settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.’ …
Carter said top Hamas leaders told him during seven hours of talks in Damascus over the week end that Hamas is prepared to accept Israel’s right to live in peace…Carter met in Damascus with Meshal and other Hamas leaders on Friday. He told reporters on Monday, ‘there’s no doubt that both the Arab world and the Palestinians, including Hamas, will accept Israel’ right to live in peace within the 1967 borders…They said they would accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders if approved by Palestinians… even though Hamas might disagree with some terms of the agreement.’ ..
Carter added that Israel-Palestinian peace making has regressed since the Ananpolis conference last November.”