Former President Jimmy Carter will headline a fundraising convention for Hamas, a group which has been recognized by the U.S. as a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
Breitbart News reports
that Carter, 89, long known as a supporter of Hamas in its struggle with Israel, will be welcomed this weekend to the Detroit event by members of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), implicated by the Justice Department in a scheme to funnel $12 million to Hamas.
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Expected to speak at the meeting at Cobo Hall are unindicted co-conspirators Jamal Badawi, named in 2007 in the Holy Land Foundation Trial, and Siraj Wahhaj, listed for his involvement in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the U.S., and Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim member of Congress, also will speak.
Carter's involvement may be in violation of the law, U.S. Code 2339B, Section 18, which makes it a crime for any U.S. citizen to provide material support to any group designated as a foreign terrorist organization.
Constitutional law expert Alan Dershowitz stressed that Carter's actions, in raising funds for the ISNA, place him "very close, if not across the line," of criminal behavior.
In a recent article in Foreign Policy
, Carter accused Israel of "war crimes" and wrote that in order to end the Israel/Hamas conflict, Hamas must be recognized as a "legitimate political actor" in the Middle East.
"There is no humane or legal justification for the way the Israeli Defense Forces are conducting this war. Israeli bombs, missiles, and artillery have pulverized large parts of Gaza, including thousands of homes, schools, and hospitals. More than 250,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Gaza. Hundreds of Palestinian noncombatants have been killed. Much of Gaza has lost access to water and electricity completely. This is a humanitarian catastrophe.
"There is never an excuse for deliberate attacks on civilians in conflict. These are war crimes," Carter wrote.
"The United States and EU should recognize that Hamas is not just a military but also a political force. Hamas cannot be wished away, nor will it cooperate in its own demise. 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."
Carter's position on Israel also is bringing political trouble to his grandson, Democrat Jason Carter, in his effort to unseat Georgia Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, while Georgia Republican Senate candidate David Perdue told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
he was "offended" by Carter's comments.
"I have been on the front page of the paper talking about the ways in which I disagree with my grandfather. I believe that Israel has a right to defend itself, especially against Hamas' terrorist actions," Jason Carter said.
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