ZOA to Democrats: Rescind Convention Invitation to Jimmy Carter
August 16, 2012

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has called upon the Democratic National Convention Committee and Obama for America to rescind its invitation to former President Jimmy Carter to address the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Convention is due to be held during September 3-6. The ZOA has pointed to President Carter’s decades-long hostility towards, and defaming of, Israel and advocacy of negotiations with Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls in its Charter for the destruction of Israel and the global murder of Jews, as evidence of the inappropriateness of the invitation.

The invitation to President Carter has been criticized by both the Republican Jewish Coalition and the National Jewish Democratic Council. Yet, the Democratic National Convention has called Carter “one of the greatest humanitarian leaders of our time and a champion of democracy around the globe.” 

ZOA National Chairman of the Board Dr. Michael Goldblatt said, “The invitation to President Carter to address the Democratic National Convention is an insult to American Jews, Christian Zionists and all Americans who care — as polls show them to do in large numbers — for Israel.

“President Carter defamed Israel in a 2007 book called, Peace Not Apartheid, which contained numerous falsehoods about Israel, not least the vicious insinuation in its title that Israel resembles the evils of the apartheid regime in South Africa. In fact, the title seems to have been maliciously chosen to harm Israel’s reputation in the minds of anyone who merely sees the book’s cover, because even Carter admitted in the book that the situation in Israel ‘is unlike that in South Africa.’

“In this book, as the ZOA outlined in detail at the time, Carter falsely claimed that, not Arab non-acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state, but Jews living in Judea and Samaria, is the “primary” obstacle to peace. He has thus endorsed the Palestinian agenda of setting up a Jew-free state

“In his book, President Carter also falsely claims Palestinians have accepted a Palestinian state alongside Israel, which is an untruth the ZOA has frequently exposed. Other truly Orwellian untruths litter this book — including the claims that UN Security Council Resolution 242 calls for Israel to withdraw from all the territories conquered by Israel in the 1967 war; and that Arab-Jewish violence supposedly began when ‘Jewish militants’ attacked Arabs in 1939, whereas in fact Jews were on the receiving end of Arab assaults throughout the period of British rule, in 1920, 1921, 1929 and 1936-39.

“In 2008, Carter falsely stated that “a recent poll of Israelis … showed 64 percent favored direct talks between Israel and Hamas” (Jimmy Carter, ‘Pariah Diplomacy,’ New York Times, April 28, 2008). In fact, a March 4, 2008 Maagar Mohot Survey showed that 54% of Israelis prefer war against Hamas over a ceasefire deal, with 36% disagreeing (Angus Reid Global Monitor, ‘Polls & Research Israelis Reject Ceasefire Deal with Hamas,’ March 11, 2008), while a May 2007 Dahaf Institute poll found that 53% oppose withdrawals from Judea and Samaria even in return for a ‘real peace.’ The Haaretz poll cited by Carter showed that 64% of Israelis favored talks with Hamas only for the purpose of attempting to obtain the release of kidnapped Israeli reservists and to secure a ceasefire, not for any other purpose. Yet, Carter omitted this fact and thus misled the American and wider public into believing that a majority of Israelis favor recognizing and negotiating peace with Hamas.

“In 2009, Carter wrote falsely that in its military operations in Gaza during December 2008 and January 2009, Israel destroyed 40,000 homes; destroyed hospitals; rendered several hundred thousand Palestinians homeless; that Gaza was surrounded by an impenetrable wall; and that the Goldstone Report had investigated the deaths of 1,387 Palestinians in that conflict (‘Goldstone and Gaza,’ International Herald Tribune, November 6, 2009). In fact not a single one of these claims was correct; they were all lies against the Jewish state of Israel.

“Carter’s animus against Israel has been confirmed from many reliable quarters. His Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, once revealed that if Carter had won a second term, he intended to sell Israel down the river. In The Unfinished Presidency, Douglas Brinkley writes, ‘There was no world leader Jimmy Carter was more eager to know than Yasir Arafat,’ whom he befriended already in 1990, three years before Arafat supposedly accepted Israel’s right to exist and signed the Oslo Accords. But what would one expect from someone who won a prize from Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates whose Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up has promoted Holocaust denial?

“Far from being a champion of human rights, Jimmy Carter has harmed the cause of human rights, especially in regard to the continuing Arab war on Israel. The Democratic National Convention Committee and Obama for America should do the right thing and rescind their invitation to Jimmy Carter.”

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