My affection for President Carter is endless

19 04 2008

From Egypt’s Daily Star. Don’t you just wish he was your grandpa?

Responding to criticism by a student member of the audience that he was talking to “terrorists” Carter responded, “Over a period of seven years 13 [Israeli] people have been killed which is bad, any person killed is bad and I consider that an act of terrorism because the rockets are fired not in physical combat with soldiers but likely to cause death among the civilians.”

“At the same time if you look in Gaza, you know that for every Israeli killed in any kind of combat, between 30 and 40 Palestinians are killed because of the military capability of Israel with their pinpoint accuracy or missiles and their F-16s and their helicopters with which they can attack Palestinians,” he continued.

“Israel commits acts of terrorism too, says Carter”

Many, many people are angry at Carter over here for speaking to Hamas, and he’s being represented in the U.S. press as some kind of crazy old coot who has taken to radicalism in his old age. The reality is that he’s actually a very moderate voice in this conversation. He is only radical if not following the talking points set by people who are lying is radical.

‘What is going to be gained by having discussions with Hamas about peace when Hamas is the impediment to peace?’ [U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice] asks.

Ynetnews: “Rice criticizes Carter over Hamas Plans”

Gee, Secretary Rice, when you put it like that, your objections totally make sense.

Something worth noting: the Daily Star article is about how former President Carter said he thinks what Israel does to Palestinians is terrorism, too, and I do have qualms with the definition of terrorism he’s using–essentially he’s equating it with violence against civilians. I think what Israel does to Palestinians is despotic and verging on genocidal, and in fact, much worse than most forms of terrorism. But as I’ve mentioned before, the definition of terrorism I find most useful excludes states as actors.