Legislation WIll Withdraw Federal Funds From Carter Center,
Resolution Will Condemn Private Diplomacy
New York The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) applauds U.S. Representatives Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Bill Shuster (R-PA) for their efforts to hold accountable former President Jimmy Carter for his disgraceful embrace of Hamas, a State Department designated terrorist organization with Syrian and Iranian ties.
Congressman Joe Knollenberg (MI-09) introduced H.R. 5816, the Coordinated American Response to Extreme Radicals Act (CARTER Act), that will prevent the federal government from giving taxpayer money to the Carter Center, headed by former President Jimmy Carter. America must speak with one voice against our terrorist enemies, Knollenberg said. It sends a fundamentally troubling message when an American dignitary is engaged in dialogue with terrorists. My legislation will make sure that taxpayer dollars are not being used to support discussions or negotiations with terrorist groups. The Carter Center has received more than $19 million in federal taxpayer funds since 2001. The CARTER Act further stipulates that: The amounts [of federal monies] rescinded
shall be made available for programs to provide assistance to United States victims of terrorism.
H.Con.Res 329, introduced by Representative Bill Shuster, disapproves of former President Jimmy Carter’s freelance diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, which contradict the stated foreign policy position of the current Administration. It further calls on President Carter to cease all diplomatic efforts with recognized terrorist groups. The resolution also catalogs the long list of Hamas atrocities and notes that efforts of former presidents or high ranking political figures could jeopardize the security of the United States.
Daniel Pollak and Joshua London of the Division of Government Relations for the ZOA said: “We commend Representatives Shuster and Knollenberg for their efforts to bring attention to President Carters actions, and to curb his flagrant abuse of the deference that is naturally accorded to a former president. President Carter has once again exhibited very poor judgment in elevating Hamas international standing, further demonstrating his disturbing blindness in advocating the Arab side in every territorial dispute with Israel. President Carter is entitled to his distortions, inaccuracies and hostile opinions, but the US passport he uses should not be abused in this way to traffic with terrorists. Indeed, as Representative Sue Myrick (R-NC) has recently advocated, the Secretary of State should, at the very least, revoke Mr. Carters US passport for undermining United States foreign policy in this fashion. Nor would it be unwarranted for Congress or the Bush Administration to conduct an investigation into what appears to be a violation of the Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from engaging in efforts to interact with foreign agents in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States. Former president Carters unhelpful amateur forays into US foreign policy should not be allowed to continue free of penalty. Both H.R. 5816 and H.Con.Res 329 help establish just such a moral and financial penalty, and so we urge Congress to pass both efforts on a broad bi-partisan basis.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Former President Jimmy Carter has willfully and consistently advanced the Arab side in every dispute with the State of Israel, embracing and exhibiting an almost pathological anti-Israel mindset at every turn. At every juncture, Carter has been quick to criticize or condemn Israeli actions, while forgiving every Palestinian Authority failure to live up to their various peace process and Road Map commitments, even when doing so means defending murderous Palestinian terrorist atrocities against innocent Israeli civilians. Set against the backdrop of his inaccurate, shallow and vicious 2006 book about the Middle East conflict in which he attacks Israels defensive policies, and blames Israel for standing in the way of peace throughout the region, his current formal embrace of Hamas, while both wrong-minded and harmful, is perhaps not surprising. It should not, however, go officially unnoticed. We call upon the U.S. House of Representatives to respond to Carters destructive freelancing by passing both this legislation and this resolution.