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) rm.ajs KUNA 042252 Apr 07NNNN