When it comes to Israel, Jimmy Carter continues to distort the facts on the ground. In his latest anti-Israel screed, the former U.S. president rebukes Israel for the current situation in Gaza. In an op-ed for Foreign Policy’s website, co-written with former Irish President Mary Robinson, they write: “there is no humane or legal justification' for Israel’s actions,” and say that Israel has “pulverized large parts of Gaza, including thousands of homes, schools, and hospitals.”
The death of civilians is always a tragedy. But no army in the world has been more careful in preventing and limiting civilian casualties than the Israel Defense Forces. It is widely known that the IDF warns residents in built-up areas through the use of texts, emails, phone calls and leaflets. Carter and Robinson fail to note that the terrorist entity that rules Gaza, Hamas, hides among civilians, using human shields to draw fire to its own civilian population. Hamas rocket launchers and stockpiles of rockets and other weapons have been found in schools, at United Nations facilities and in residential neighborhoods.
Robinson has a similar history to Carter when it comes to bias against Israel. She presided over the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, now commonly known as Durban I, which is infamous for degenerating into an anti-Israel hate-fest. As high commission of human rights for the United Nations, Robinson lost control of that conference and allowed anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric to overwhelm the proceedings.
The Carter and Robinson op-ed also suggests that Israel lift Gaza sanctions as well as remove a blockade that they say prevents goods from entering Gaza. But when the crossings were open and cement was freely brought in for the ostensible purpose of construction, it was directed to the building of a massive tunnel network meant to support Hamas’ military infrastructure.
It also bears noting that even during the fighting, some 1,800 trucks have entered Gaza from Israel carrying medicines, food and other humanitarian supplies.
By highlighting the disparity in the number of deaths on each side, Carter and Robinson miss an important distinction. Hamas should not be lauded for its inability to kill more Israelis. Its goal—with more than 3,000 rockets fired into Israel—is to kill as many civilians as possible.
In his usual myopic reading of the situation in the Middle East, Carter characterizes Hamas as a “legitimate political actor.” This terrorist group, with its mission to destroy Israel written into its charter, is anything but legitimate.
In this piece, as in others, Carter continues to go out of his way to burnish his anti-Israel credentials.