US cannot be Mideast peacemaker as "knee-jerk" supporter of all Israeli
gov'ts -- Carter
WASHINGTON, April 4 (KUNA) -- The United States cannot be a Mideast
peacemaker if American government leaders are seen as "knee-jerk supporters of
every action or policy of whatever Israeli government happens to be in power
at any particular time," former President Jimmy Carter said on Wednesday.
"That is the essential fact that must be faced and, unfortunately, is not
being faced in this country," Carter said during a speech at the National
Press Club, where he came to accept the 2007 Ridenhour Courage Prize by the
Fertel Foundation and the Nation Institute. "The American friends of Israel
who demand such subservience are in many cases sincere and well-intentioned
people. I know them. But on this crucial issue, they are tragically mistaken.
Their demands subvert America's ability to bring to Israel what she most
desperately needs and wants -- peace and security within recognized borders."
Today the growth of Islamic extremism and unprecedented hostility toward
America, even inside countries like Jordan and Egypt, where the popularity of
the United States is now less than 5 percent, is directly related to the
continuing bloodshed between Israelis and Palestinians and a lack of progress
toward peace for Israel and justice for the Palestinians, Carter said.
"To think otherwise is foolish and dangerous," he added.
Carter said his prayer is for U.S. elected officials to "have the courage
to face the facts and to do what is necessary to return America to its honored
position as a peacemaker." (end)
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