Tags: jimmy carter | israel | president | middle east

Jimmy Carter and Israel: 10 Quotes By Former President About Middle East

By    |   Sunday, 14 December 2014 04:17 PM

Jimmy Carter had a sometimes tumultuous relationship with Israeli leaders.

The 39th president of the United States made history when he brokered the 1978 Camp David peace accord between Jewish Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

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However, Carter's 2006 book, "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid," reportedly outraged Jewish leaders who blasted the former president for what appeared to be his likening of Israel's settlement practices to apartheid and seeming to place most of the blame for a lack of peace on Israel.

Here are 10 notable quotes from Carter regarding efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East:

  • “When I was elected President nobody asked me to negotiate between Israel and Egypt. It was not even a question raised in my campaign. But I felt that one of the reasons that I was elected President was to try to bring peace to the Holy Land. And I was blessed with two other deeply religious persons, in fact Menachem Begin was the first religious Prime Minister of Israel.” – Carter in a 2012 interview with the Huffington Post.
  • "It was mean. They were brutal with each other, personal.” – Carter to his wife, Rosalynn Carter, describing initial talks between Sadat and Begin during the 1978 summit, according to PBS.
  • "Our friendship is over. You promised me that you would stay at Camp David as long as I was willing to negotiate ... I consider this a serious blow ... to the relationship between Egypt and the United States." – Carter to Sadat after Sadat said he was leaving the 1978 summit, according to PBS. Sadat decided to stay.
  • “Begin, as I said, wanted good relations with the United States, and he wanted Israel to be accepted in the world community by the major Arab nation that had been a threat militarily and politically to Israel above all others. The fact that Sadat was finally willing during the Camp David accords to give full diplomatic relations with Israel was important to him. He wanted peace, and he wanted to demilitarize the Sinai if he gave up control of it.” -- Carter in a speech made in 2003 on the 25th anniversary of the Camp David accords, according to cartercenter.org.
  • "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be the children of God." -- Carter in a statement made in 1978 at the end of the Camp David Summit, according to PBS.
  • “The book describes the abominable oppression and persecution in the occupied Palestinian territories, with a rigid system of required passes and strict segregation between Palestine’s citizens and Jewish settlers in the West Bank. An enormous imprisonment wall is now under construction, snaking through what is left of Palestine to encompass more and more land for Israeli settlers. In many ways, this is more oppressive than what blacks lived under in South Africa during apartheid. I have made it clear that the motivation is not racism but the desire of a minority of Israelis to confiscate and colonize choice sites in Palestine, and then to forcefully suppress any objections from the displaced citizens.” – Written by Carter in 2006 in the Los Angeles Times about his book published that year, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”
  • “If it provokes debate and assessment and disputes and arguments and maybe some action in the Middle East to get the peace process, which is now completely absent or dormant, rejuvenated, and brings peace ultimately to Israel, that’s what I want.” – Discussing “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” in 2006 on “Meet the Press.
  • "I would say that in the last 30 years or so one of my main commitments in life, certainly in international affairs has been to bring peace to Israel. That has been a major goal and I've supported every move that's been made to bring a peace to Israel and acceptance by all the Arab countries of Israel's right to exist to life in peace." -- Speaking to Newsweek in 2006.
  • “I am writing another book about the Middle East because the new president of the United States is facing a major opportunity — and responsibility — to lead in ending conflict between Israel and its neighbors. The time is now. Peace is possible.” – Part of an excerpt published on Today.com from his 2009 book, “We Can Have Peace in the Holy Lane: A Plan That Will Work.”
  • “The international community's initial goal should be the full restoration of the free movement of people and goods to and from Gaza through Israel, Egypt, and the sea. Concurrently, the United States and EU (European Union) 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.” – From an August 2014 piece co-written by Carter and Mary Ireland, former president of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, on foreignpolicy.com.
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Here are 10 notable quotes from Carter regarding efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East.
jimmy carter, israel, president, middle east
Sunday, 14 December 2014 04:17 PM
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