Former President Jimmy Carter is "an all-out supporter of Hamas" and if his advocacy turns into material support he will be committing a crime, Harvard law professor and legal analyst Alan Dershowitz said on Newsmax TV's
"America's Forum" Thursday.
"Jimmy Carter has now become an all-out cheerleader for Hamas," Dershowitz said.
"Jimmy Carter wants the United States and the European community to recognize Hamas, to legitimate it. It's against the law in the United States, even if you're a former president, it's against the law to provide material support to a listed terrorist organization and Jimmy Carter's coming awfully close to that line."
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Carter, Dershowitz said, is calling for the recognition of Hamas, saying the terrorist organization should be seen by the world as an equal with Israel.
"It's as if one would want to recognize and legitimate the Mafia or al-Qaida or the Taliban," he said. "But leave it to Jimmy Carter."
Dershowitz also blamed Carter for advising then-PLO leader Yasser Arafat to reject peace deals that would have changed the course of life in Gaza and the West Bank.
"Jimmy Carter advised Yasser Arafat to reject the offer of statehood in 2000, 2001, saying that if he did it, he'd be killed. So when you look at Jimmy Carter, he has blood on his hands for having advised Arafat to turn down the deal.
"Can you imagine how much better the world would have been if Arafat had accepted the offer of ending the occupation of the Gaza? Of ending the 95 percent of the occupation of the West Bank? But Jimmy Carter was giving advice to Arafat at the time and we know what Arafat did. He turned down the peace offer. Jimmy Carter has a lot of answering to do. There are a lot of people who would be alive today if Jimmy Carter had advised Arafat to accept the deal rather than to object to it."
Dershowitz also opined about the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire
between the Palestinians and Israel that began Tuesday, saying Israel has achieved its goal of destroying dozens of Hamas tunnels used by the Palestinians to launch attacks.
"There was a plan for Hamas to use all 40 of the tunnels on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, this year the end of September, and have a massive attack hoping to kill thousands of Israeli civilians and the destruction of the tunnels may have prevented this massacre, which would have resulted in an all-out war, obviously, in the Middle East and it may have taken close to 70 Israeli soldiers, this massacre, but if that report is correct, then everything Israel did was completely proportional," Dershowitz told host J.D. Hayworth.
"Israel has finished its job
, especially. Hamas has been weakened. This is probably a good time for a cease-fire to take hold and for Israel and the United States, as [Secretary of State John] Kerry said, to put Hamas to a choice. You can either have remilitarization, which means bringing in more weapons, more rockets, more tunnels, in which case Israel will maintain its blockade in order to prevent Hamas from doing that, or you can demilitarize Gaza and then Israel will end its blockade and expect that either it or an international force will serve to prevent rearming with rockets and tunnels. Those are the basic options and if Hamas is ready to accept that, there'll be peace."
Allegiances in the Middle East bear almost no resemblance to what they looked like five or 10 years ago when Turkey, "a non-Arab, Muslim moderate country" was Israel's biggest supporter, according to Dershowitz.
"Today Turkey is one of the most important facilitators of Hamas's terrorism," he said. "Qatar has become one of the most important supporters of Hamas terrorism and Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority, because of fear of terrorism by Hamas have — I wouldn't say become allies of Israel, but they have a common enemy and they're working together."
Dershowitz is most concerned about Hamas receiving international support with the help of people like former President Carter.
"Israel is of course a vibrant democracy which elects its officials," he said. "Hamas murders its opponents, engaged in coup d'états, kneecaps critics, uses children as soldiers, 160 some odd children were killed building these tunnels, and it uses child warriors. But to Jimmy Carter, there's no difference between Hamas and Israel and Jimmy Carter stands behind Hamas."
Dershowitz noted that South Africa's Bishop Desmond Tutu, and others in the international community, are siding with Carter on the issue, something that is cause for great concern.
"Has Jimmy Carter read the Hamas charter? The charter says that Hamas to fulfill Allah's prophecy and Mohammed's prophecy of killing every Jew standing behind every rock. It blames all the world's ills past and present on the Jews and this is Jimmy Carter's organization that he is basically standing behind and cheerleading for? So it's that kind of international support and legitimacy that I worry about because it equates terrorism with established governments."
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