APRIL 23, 2008
The former U.S. president who just completed a highly publicized hug fest with Middle Eastern terrorist leaders has accused Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of lying about warning him against making the controversial trip.
Jimmy Carter insists that no one in the State Department or any other department of the U.S. government ever asked him to refrain from his recent visit to the Middle East or even suggested that he not meet with Hamas leaders or Syria’s president.
In a statement posted on his Carter Center web site, the former commander-in-chief says he respects Rice and believes her to be a truthful person but points out that she has continuously lied about the government’s warning not to meet the terrorists.
Earlier this month Carter, who justifies Palestinian violence as a reaction to Israeli apartheid, announced with great fanfare that he would meet with the head of the world’s leading Middle Eastern terrorist organization in Syria. It was an unprecedented event for a former U.S. president, or any western leader of Carter’s stature, that displayed poor judgment and undermined the U.S. policy of isolating Hamas.
After all, the sophisticated and well-funded Palestinian extremist group has for years appeared on the U.S. Department of State’s list of foreign terrorist organizations. Known by the Arabic acronym for “Islamic Resistance Movement,” Hamas is committed to eliminating Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state. It has repeatedly attacked Israel with suicide bombers and armed resistance to Israeli military occupation.
Secretary Rice said the Bush Administration explicitly warned Carter against meeting with members of Hamas, the Palestinian faction that controls the Gaza Strip. She said Carter was warned because the visit could confuse the message that the U.S. will not deal with Hamas and meeting with the terrorist group was not going to help “further a political settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Carter has publicly supported Palestinian extremism for years and has even published a highly controversial book in which he defends Palestinian violence and calls Israel the "tiny vortex around which swirl the winds of hatred, intolerance and bloodshed." It was in the book that the former president outright justified Palestinian violence as simply a reaction to Israeli apartheid.
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