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Nice Going, Jimmuh

The appalling Jimmy Carter wrapped up his barnstorming tour of the Middle East with a speech in which he claimed to have achieved a breakthrough in his meetings with Hamas officials–Hamas had now accepted Israel’s right to exist:

Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday that Hamas — the Islamic militant group that has called for the destruction of Israel — is prepared to accept the right of the Jewish state to “live as a neighbor next door in peace.” ***

Hamas leaders “said that they would accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders” and they would “accept the right of Israel to live as a neighbor next door in peace,” Carter said.

But someone forgot to tell Hamas, which said today that it had made no such concession and continues to call for Israel’s destruction:

Hamas said yesterday it was prepared to accept a Palestinian state within 1967 borders, but contradicted a statement by former President Jimmy Carter that it would accept Israel’s right to exist if that was the will of the Palestinian people. ***
[A]t a later press conference in Damascus, Mr. Mashaal backed away from the concession announced by Mr. Carter.

“We accept a state on the [1967] line with Jerusalem as capital, real sovereignty and full right of return for refugees, but without recognizing Israel,” Al Jazeera quoted him as saying.

Carter also claimed, rather ludicrously given the public comments by American officials that were reported in the press, that he “never got a clear signal” from the U.S. government that it opposed his meetings with Hamas. Condoleezza Rice rebutted that assertion earlier today:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday the Bush administration explicitly warned former President Jimmy Carter against meeting with members of Hamas, the Palestinian faction that controls the Gaza Strip and which is regarded by the U.S. as a terror group. ***

“I just don’t want there to be any confusion,” Rice said. “The United States is not going to deal with Hamas and we had certainly told President Carter that we did not think meeting with Hamas was going to help” further a political settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

It is long past time for the disgraceful Jimmy Carter to get off the international stage. I would never suggest that Barack Obama is as feckless, as deluded or as dishonest as Jimmy Carter. But Carter’s example should make one think about the wisdom of electing as President a man who seems to believe that the world’s dangers can most effectively be met with an endless willingness to talk with our enemies.

SCOTT adds: At NRO Rep. Eric Cantor has one of the best columns on Carter’s disgraceful performance with his genocidal friends: “Carter’s grave wrong.”

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