Former President Jimmy Carter has done and said a lot of stupid things over the past 40 years. But the muddle-headed octogenarian may have reached a new low. He agreed to be the featured speaker at an organization that has raised millions of dollars for Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip.
Carter agreed to speak in Detroit at the convention of the Islamic Society of North America, a group that has been implicated by the Justice Department in a scheme to funnel $12 million to Hamas. Other speakers included Jamal Badawi and Siraj Wahhaj, both of whom have been listed by the Justice Department as unindicted co-conspirators for their pro-terrorist activities.
Harvard professor and constitutional law expert Alan Dershowitz said that Carter’s appearance at the meeting put him “very close, if not across the line” of criminal behavior. Dershowitz pointed out that Section 18 of U.S. Code 2339B makes it a federal crime for any U.S. citizen to provide material support for any group that has been designated by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terrorist organization, as Hamas has been.
In the past, Carter has made no secret of his support of Hamas in its conflicts with Israel. He has bitterly denounced the actions of Israel, while all but ignoring the terrorist activities of Hamas. In a recent article in Foreign Policy, for example, Carter said that it was Israel that was guilty of committing war crimes in Gaza. He wrote:
There is no humane or legal justification for the way the Israeli Defense Forces are conducting this war. Israeli bombs, missiles and artillery have pulverized large parts of Gaza, including thousands of homes, schools and hospitals. More than 250,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Gaza. Hundreds of Palestinian noncombatants have been killed.
In his incredibly one-sided article, Carter declared, “There is never an excuse for deliberate attacks on civilians in conflict. These are war crimes.”
Hey, Mr. President, which side was the first to launch attacks on innocent civilians in the other area? Which has hidden its missiles in schools and hospitals, then used them to fire on civilian targets?
Heck, which one has spent millions of dollars building tunnels under the border between the two areas, so it can launch surreptitious attacks on the other and even kidnap hostages?
In Carter’s myopic view, it’s perfectly OK to ignore the thousands of missile strikes that Hamas has launched against civilians in Israel. No, it is only Israel that should be condemned.
Carter’s anti-Israel stance has created some problems for his grandson, Jason Carter, who is the Democratic nominee to become the next governor of Georgia. David Perdue, young Carter’s Republican opponent, has said that he is “offended” by the former president’s remarks about Israel. As well he should be.
Jason Carter has tried to put some distance between himself and his grandfather on the issue. “I have been on the front page of the paper talking about ways in which I disagree with my grandfather,” the younger Carter has said. And he added, “I believe that Israel has a right to defend itself, especially against Hamas’ terrorist actions.”
So one Carter is willing to denounce Hamas a terrorist organization, while the other agrees to help raise money for it.
Maybe it’s time for Carter family members to urge their 89-year-old patriarch to sit down and shut up, especially when it comes to defaming our staunchest ally — and the only democratic country in the Middle East.
And maybe it’s time for the Justice Department to investigate whether Jimmy Carter’s actions have violated the law. Wouldn’t that be an interesting case to see them prosecute?
Until next time, keep some powder dry.