Read this one sitting down. “Carter blasts US policy on Palestinians,” by Shawn Pogatchnik for the Associated Press:
DUBLIN, Ireland – Former President Jimmy Carter accused the U.S., Israel and
the European Union on Tuesday of seeking to divide the Palestinian people by reopening aid
to President Mahmoud Abbas’ new government in the West Bank while denying the same to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was addressing a human rights conference in Ireland, also said the Bush administration’s refusal to accept Hamas’ 2006 election victory was “criminal.”
Carter said Hamas, besides winning a fair and democratic mandate that should
have entitled it to lead the Palestinian government, had proven itself to be far more organized in its political and military showdowns with Abbas’ moderate Fatah movement.
Hamas fighters routed Fatah in their violent takeover of the Gaza Strip last week. The split prompted Abbas to dissolve the power-sharing government with his rivals in Hamas and set up a Fatah-led administration to govern the West Bank.
Carter said the consensus of the U.S., Israel and the EU to start funneling aid to Abbas’ new government in the West Bank but continue blocking Hamas in the Gaza Strip
represented an “effort to divide Palestinians into two peoples.”
“All efforts of the international community should be to reconcile the two, but
there’s no effort from the outside to bring the two together,” he said.
During his speech to Ireland’s annual Forum on Human Rights, the 83-year-old
former president said monitors from his Carter Center observed the 2006 election that Hamas
won. He said the vote was “orderly and fair” and Hamas triumphed, in part, because it was
“shrewd in selecting candidates,” whereas a divided, corrupt Fatah ran multiple candidates
for single seats.
Far from encouraging Hamas’ move into parliamentary politics, Carter said the
U.S. and Israel, with European Union acquiescence, sought to subvert the outcome by shunning Hamas and helping Abbas to keep the reins of political and military
“That action was criminal,” he said in a news conference after his
“The United States and Israel decided to punish all the people in Palestine and
did everything they could to deter a compromise between Hamas and Fatah,” he said.
Carter said the U.S. and others supplied the Fatah-controlled security forces
in Gaza with vastly superior weaponry in hopes they would “conquer Hamas in Gaza” “” but
Hamas routed Fatah in the fighting last week because of its “superior skills and discipline.”