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Jimmy Carter: World powers should rethink approach to Hamas
Published Wednesday 06/08/2014 (updated) 06/08/2014 15:50
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Gazans return to destroyed homes as ceasefire holds (AFP)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Former US president Jimmy Carter said in an op-ed Monday that in order for the Israel-Gaza status quo to change, the international community needs to recognize Hamas as a "legitimate political actor."

"Hamas cannot be wished away, nor will it cooperate in its own demise," an op-ed written by Carter and former Irish president Mary Robinson said.

"Only by recognizing its legitimacy as a political actor -- one that represents a substantial portion of the Palestinian people -- can the West begin to provide the right incentives for Hamas to lay down its weapons," the op-ed, published in Foreign Policy, said.

"Ever since the internationally monitored 2006 elections that brought Hamas to power in Palestine, the West's approach has manifestly contributed to the opposite result."

Carter and Robinson called for an "partial lifting" of the eight-year-old blockade on the Gaza Strip, and said an international force should be put into place to monitor border crossings.

The presence of an international force is also necessary to hold both sides accountable for ceasefire violations, they said.

The op-ed was also heavily critical of the Israeli army's handling of its offensive on Gaza.

"There is no humane or legal justification for the way the Israeli Defense Forces are conducting this war," the op-ed said.

"Hundreds of Palestinian noncombatants have been killed. Much of Gaza has lost access to water and electricity completely. This is a humanitarian catastrophe."

The op-ed also noted "unacceptable" actions by Hamas, but stressed that while Gaza militants have killed three civilians, the vast majority of the 1,875 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces throughout the assault have been civilians.

Both Carter and Robinson are members of the Elders, a non-governmental organization that describes itself as a group of "independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights."

Carter is among the most notable American public figures to criticize Israeli policy toward Palestinians. He is the author of "Peace Not Apartheid," a book for which he has earned praise for its frank speech about Israel and Palestine. Some key American figures, however, accuse him of being biased against Israel.
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1 ) Todd / US
06/08/2014 11:55
Bravo Carter! This is Israel's problem it calls anyone a terrorist who can defend the rights of the Palestinian people. Israel has one goal and one goal only to ethnically cleanse the rightful native people of the land the Palestinians. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH Israel's barbarism will be endured no more!

2 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
06/08/2014 13:38
I agree!! And in the meanwhile... world powers should rethink approach to "Israel" they are the real terrorists.

3 ) I love Jimmy Carter / Usa
06/08/2014 14:40
Thank you, thank, thank you.

4 ) Allen / USA
06/08/2014 16:47
We need more brave leaders like Jimmy Carter.

5 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
06/08/2014 16:54
Voices so enheartening to hear.

6 ) Paul / U.S.A.
06/08/2014 17:35
Yes....Jimmy Carters voice amongst all politicians is one alone which shows Heart,a man of good faith whose message is honest and sincere.Jimmy carter is a man worthy of respect a man who answers to his conscience,a man without "ve.eted interests"

7 ) Stallon / US
06/08/2014 17:36
Love you Jimmy!

8 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
06/08/2014 22:28
Jimmy Carter doesn't know what he is talking about. Israel has every right to kill innocent people because we are defending ourselves from those fireworks, I mean rockets that Hamas shoots after we steal Palestinian land, commit war crimes and violate humanitarian law. We give Palestinians rights, but it's only the right to die, suffer and have a bleak existence. Those are rights, aren't they?

9 ) Bob Forrest / U.S.
06/08/2014 23:12
Most Americans today from moderate to far right,consider Carter a senile,ultra leftist.

10 ) Canadian Voice / Canada
06/08/2014 23:25
Israel's stronghold on Canada USA must be challenged. In the era of technology and information using remote controlled military might to "mow the grass" blading children as if weeds, destroying the hopes and lives of over one million people...Carter's condemnation of what is the Israel "maintenance" by murder is one man's voice that the world, like Gaza and Palestine, like people who are morally compassionate thirst for!! Canada needs to also hear moral true strong voices like Jimmy Carter.

11 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
07/08/2014 12:21
Number 9 : Speak for yourself, Bob.

12 ) jennie / NewZealand
07/08/2014 14:55
Jimmy Carter is completely right . Even if you disagree with Hamas ..and I do , they were democratically elected. This was due to the obvious failure of Fatah to achieve anything for Palestine through endless "peace talks." Now I despise Israel and worry that Hamas has a point.

13 ) Varg i Veum / Sweden
10/08/2014 15:24
I agree with Carter - Hamas should be taken seriously, but only after it has abandoned its threat to clear israel from the map. No one can be that stupid that it will negotiate with someone who only aim is to destroy israel and kill jews or "sionists" as they are referred to sometimes.

14 ) mexica / mexico
17/08/2014 06:13
jimmy carter is the true american honest best president ever.
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