When former President Jimmy Carter revealed that Israel has more than 150 nuclear weapons, he clearly had a motive, according to his administration’s deputy senior adviser, Marc Ginsberg: “I think there’s no doubt — particularly given the vantage point I had in the White House at the end of his administration — that he resents the way in which Israel and the American-Jewish community have failed to express sufficient gratitude for his efforts on behalf of peace in the Middle East.
“In my judgment, there’s no other explanation,” Ginsberg says.
Ginsberg, a former ambassador to Morocco and now senior global affairs analyst for Fox News, says that Carter knows what he said is something never discussed by America or Israel and that disclosing Israel’s nuclear arsenal is due to his growing antagonism towards the Jewish state.
“There’s no doubt he knows exactly what he is doing when he’s making these statements, or making misrepresentations that Hamas has agreed to recognize Israel if certain conditions occur, or to the book he wrote [‘Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid’] referring to Israel.”
Ginsberg says Carter’s revelation fits into a pattern of mischief on the part of the former president in recent months, “probably fueled by the amount of money the Carter Center is getting from Arab sources.”
Israel and the United States have gone on record as saying Carter’s remarks are irresponsible, but Ginsberg says they are “down right mischievous.”
“He drops these mischievous lines and engages in mischievous diplomacy that, I believe, are counterproductive not only to America’s interests in the Middle East, but also, ultimately, to his own legacy,” he says.
“The idea that you drop the number of nuclear weapons Israel may have at a time when it’s been tradition to treat the number from a position of ‘strategic ambiguity’ is not only irresponsible, it also fuels incentives on the part of countries like Iran to justify their own nuclear program.”
Ginsberg also can’t fathom why Carter tries to engage with Hamas, a sworn enemy of Israel, at a time when Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist. He says Israel has enormous disdain and contempt for Carter’s actions and believes Carter can never again play a role in the peace process now that he no longer enjoys the impartiality of either side.
“It seems to me to be counterproductive to the legacy he wants to preserve: that he’s a man of impartiality and a man of peace,” he says.
Carter’s presidency was defined by the American hostage crisis in Tehran, where 52 U.S. diplomats were held for 444 days. Ginsberg thinks Carter is doing and saying things now to try to change the way history records him.
“I was very proud when I worked for him at Camp David, and I thought he was clearly committed to long-term efforts to forge a peace in the Middle East. But these acts, particularly during the last few months, undermine the legacy I think he’s trying to create,” Ginsberg says.
“He’s no longer an honest broker in the Middle East.”
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