Jimmy Carter's new book about the Middle East, We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work, is now available, and so the former president has again hit the media circuit for promotional interviews, introducing new falsehoods. An interview on NBC's Today Show with Meredith Vieira yesterday, for instance, typifies Carter's self-aggrandizing, his position that Hamas is not a terrorist group, and his carelessness when it comes to the facts. Here's the part of the interview that relates to the Middle East:
Note that when Vieira says "you've been criticized for [meeting with Hamas], sir, because Hamas is considered a terrorist group," Carter gives a little grin and responds:
By some they are, and they've done some bad things, but for instance a year before we had the cease-fire that I helped to orchestrate last June the 19th, there was one Israeli killed by rockets. And on an average, 49 Palestinians were killed every month during that previous year. And as soon as the cease-fire went into effect, Hamas obeyed it completely. There was no serious rocket fire during the next four or five months. Whereas, Israel did not restore providing provisions for the -- for the Palestinians and Gaza.
In actuality, four Israelis were killed by rocket fire in the year prior to the cease-fire that began on June 19, 2008. They were:
May 9, 2008 - Jimmy Kadoshim, 48, of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, was killed by mortar fire from the Gaza Strip while tending his garden.
May 12, 2008 - Shuli Katz, 70, of Kibbutz Gevaram, was killed while visiting relatives at Moshav Yesha, some 15 kms (9 miles) from the Gaza Strip.
June 5, 2008 - Amnon Rosenberg, 51, of Kibbutz Nirim was killed and four other employees were wounded when a mortar bomb fired by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip exploded outside the Nirlat paint factory in Kibbutz Nir-Oz. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
Feb 27, 2008 - Roni Yihye, 47, of Moshav Bitcha in southern Israel, a student at Sapir College, was killed Wednesday afternoon when a Kassam rocket exploded in a parking lot near the Sderot campus. He died shortly after sustaining massive wounds to his chest. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
Carter also ignores a number of other deadly Hamas attacks from Gaza that occurred during that year. Hamas claimed responsibility for a Jan. 15, 2008 sniper attack that killed Carlos Andres Mosquera Chavez, a 21-year-old Ecuadorian volunteering at a Kibbutz in southern Israel; a Feb. 4, 2008 suicide bombing in Dimona that killed 73-year-old Lyubov Razdolskaya; and the April 25, 2008 shooting death of Shimon Mizrahi, 53, and Eli Wasserman, 51, at an industrial park near the West Bank. And Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who infiltrated Israel on April 9, 2008 murdered Oleg Lipson, 37, and Lev Cherniak, 53.
Furthermore, Carter contradicts himself, on the one hand stating definitively that Hamas obeyed the cease-fire "completely," and in the next sentence stating there "was no serious rocket fire." In the first five months of the cease-fire, until Nov. 4, Palestinians fired 18 mortars at Israel, beginning on the night of June 23, and 20 rockets, starting on June 24, when three rockets hit Sderot. In Carter's world, in which Hamas is not a terror group, these rocket attacks are not "serious," and not at all a violation of the cease-fire.
Other ostensibly non-"serious" acts of Palestinian aggression against Israel during the cease-fire non-violations, in Carter's mind are the July 6 light arms fire from Gaza on farmers working in the fields of Nahal Oz, an Aug. 15 night-time cross-border Palestinian shooting attack at Israeli soldiers near the Karni crossing, and the planting of an explosive device near the security fence in the area of Sufa crossing. On Oct. 31, as an IDF patrol approached the device which they had spotted, Palestinians fired two anti-tank missiles.
There were two Palestinian attempts to infiltrate from Gaza into Israel apparently to abduct Israelis. Both were major -- "by some" (to borrow Carter's words) serious -- violations of the ceasefire.
The first came to light on Sept. 28, when Israeli personnel arrested Jamal Atallah Sabah Abu Duabe. The 21-year-old Rafah resident had used a tunnel to enter Egypt and from there planned to slip across the border into Israel. Investigation revealed that Abu Duabe was a member of Hamass Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and that he planned to lure Israeli soldiers near the border by pretending to be a drug smuggler, capture them, and then sedate them with sleeping pills in order to abduct them directly into Gaza through a preexisting tunnel. For more details click here and here.
The second abduction plan was aborted on the night of Nov 4, thanks to a warning from Israeli Intelligence. Hamas had dug another tunnel into Israel and was apparently about to execute an abduction plan when IDF soldiers penetrated about 250 meters into Gaza to the entrance of the tunnel, hidden under a house. Inside the house were a number of armed Hamas members, who opened fire. The Israelis fired back and the house exploded in total 6 or 7 Hamas operatives were killed and several were wounded. Among those killed were Mazen Saadeh, a Hamas brigade commander, and Mazen Nazimi Abbas, a commander in the Hamas special forces unit. For more details click here.
In Carter's calculation, Hamas was supposedly "completely" abiding by the cease-fire (mortars, rockets, shootings, attempted abductions and anti-tank missiles aside), "Whereas Israel did not restore providing provisions for the -- for the Palestinians and Gaza." This charge is also false Israel did open the crossings and allowed truckload after truckload of supplies to enter Gaza. Closures until November were short, and in direct response to Palestinian violations, some of which were detailed above.
As reported by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information center:
On June 22, after four days of calm, Israel reopened the Karni and Sufa crossings to enable regular deliveries of consumer goods and fuel to the Gaza Strip. They were closed shortly thereafter, following the first violation of the arrangement, when rockets were fired at Sderot on June 24. However, when calm was restored, the crossings remained open for long periods of time. On August 17 the Kerem Shalom crossing was also opened for the delivery of goods, to a certain degree replacing the Sufa crossing, after repairs had been completed (the Kerem Shalom crossing was closed on April 19 when the IDF prevented a combined mass casualty attack in the region, as a result of which the crossing was almost completely demolished).
Before November 4, large quantities of food, fuel, construction material and other necessities for renewing the Gaza Strips economic activity were delivered through the Karni and Sufa crossings. A daily average of 80-90 trucks passed through the crossings, similar to the situation before they were closed following the April 19 attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing. Changes were made in the types of good which could be delivered, permitting the entry of iron, cement and other vital raw materials into the Gaza Strip.
... Israel, before November 4, refrained from initiating action in the Gaza Strip but responded to rocket and mortar shell attacks by closing the crossings for short periods of time (hours to days). After November 4 the crossings were closed for long periods in response to the continued attacks against Israel. (Rearranged from p 11- 12)
Day to day details of the supplies delivered to Gaza and the numbers of trucks involved have been published by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and are available here. The figures confirm that the passages were indeed open and busy.
No plan for peace in the holy land will work so long as it is based on dismissiveness of Hamas terror and historical revisionism.