Sunday, April 20, 2008

Who is helping Hamas?

U.S. politicians are running from former President Jimmy Carter as though he was typhoid Mary. However, given the predicitable failure of the U.S. and Israel to successfully marginalize Hamas, not to mention the failure of the Olmert-Abbas negotiations, you can argue that George Bush has done a pretty good job helping Hamas himself.

As for Carter, he deserves credit for his political courage, which is not a quality that Mr. Bush has exemplified in his effort to achieve his oft-declared two-state solution. Many disagree of course, but what's new about that? Matthew Levitt argues that Carter is Legitimizing Hamas by meeting with it, and that no good will come of his meeting with Khalid Mashal. Not be outdone, Israel's UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman calls Jimmy Carter a bigot:

"He said it was "a shame" to see Carter, who had done "good things" as a former president, "turn into what I believe to be a bigot.""

In contrast, Haaretz, the independent Israeli paper, recalls Israel's debt to Carter, and notes that Carter's detractors have usually been a loss to provide alternative routes to peace.

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