Former President Jimmy Carter, who earlier this month declared that the United States must recognize Hamas as a “legitimate political actor,” is set to headline a fundraiser for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a Hamas front group that, reports Breitbart News, was implicated as the “lead conduit in a scheme to illegally pass on $12 million to Hamas, the Palestinian terror group established to annihilate the State of Israel.” Breitbart noted that Hamas has been “officially designated a terrorist group by the U.S. government.”
Breitbart noted that the Justice Department designated ISNA as “an un-indicted co-conspirator as part of its successful 2007 trial of those accused of coordinating fundraising efforts for Hamas in the United States through the Dallas-based Holy Land Foundation.”
While ISNA appealed for a reversal of the designation, a federal judge ruled against the Hamas front group, noting that there was sufficient evidence that Holy Land officials had “operated from within ISNA” in the funding scheme. “Key evidence presented at the trial were checks written to known Hamas terrorists and deposited into ISNA accounts from where they were passed on to Hamas,” reported Breitbart.
Shukri Abu Bakr, now serving a 65-year sentence for providing support to Hamas in its reign of terror against Israel, “admitted to working from inside ISNA’s headquarters as he served as Hamas’ top operative in the United States,” reported Breitbart, which went on to recount that evidence in the trial demonstrated that Bakr and ISNA worked together in support of Hamas' “deadly suicide bombing campaign that killed and wounded thousands of Israelis between 2000 and 2003, during the so-called '2nd Palestinian Intifada.'”
In addition to the 89-year-old former U.S. president, the fundraiser for ISNA will feature Elizabeth Eaton, current head bishop for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), America's first Muslim congressman.
All three notables will be part of the ISNA's 2014 convention in Michigan, which Breitbart noted is “home to both the country’s largest and fastest-growing Muslim population.” Michigan Governor Rick Synder will lend his support to the Hamas front group by welcoming delegates at the conference’s opening session on August 29.
Ultra-liberal celebrity attorney and former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, a vocal supporter of Israel, has charged that Carter's high-profile backing of Hamas, which showed up most recently in an editorial published by The Guardian newspaper, may actually be criminal. “Jimmy Carter wants the United States and the European community to recognize Hamas, to legitimate it,” Dershowitz told NewsMax.com. “It's against the law in the United States, even if you're a former president … to provide material support to a listed terrorist organization and Jimmy Carter's coming awfully close to that line.”
Dershowitz charged that Carter's call for the United States to legitimize Hamas as equal to Israel is as if “one would want to recognize and legitimate the Mafia or al-Qaida or the Taliban. But leave it to Jimmy Carter.”
In his Guardian editorial, co-authored with Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, Carter wrote that there “is no humane or legal justification for how the Israeli Defense Force is conducting this war, pulverizing with bombs, missiles, and artillery large parts of Gaza, including thousands of homes, schools, and hospitals, displacing families and killing Palestinian non-combatants. Much of Gaza has lost its access to water and electricity completely. This is a humanitarian catastrophe.”
Carter failed to address the hundreds of missiles that Hamas has fired against Israel's residents in the latest conflict, many launched from the schools, apartment complexes, and hospitals that Carter cites, in an attempt to use women and children as human shields, nor that Israel has often attempted to warn residents before mounting an attack against domestic targets.
In an editorial the Washington Times charged that the former U.S. president's comparison of the relatively few Israeli casualties to the nearly 2,000 deaths of Palestinians in Gaza “reflects a sophomore’s understanding of proportionality, and a deliberate brushing away of the facts. When Hamas shields its rocket launchers with schools, hospitals and thousands of children, what must it expect from an enemy struggling to survive?”
The Times editorial noted that men “nurtured in the West reserve their fiercest contempt for other men who hide behind women and children, and risk hurting the enemy’s women and children only as a last resort to protect their own. This is a principle that the Palestinians flout with an arrogant pride, and one that Mr. Carter seems not to understand.”
In his commentary Carter advised that the United States and the European Union “should recognize that Hamas is not just a military force but also a political one,” insisting that only in recognizing Hamas' legitimacy “as a political actor — one that represents a substantial portion of the Palestinian people — can the west begin to provide the right incentives for Hamas to lay down its weapons.”
That Hamas will never “lay down its weapons,” and, in fact, is committed to employing them in the hopeful goal of ultimately destroying the nation of Israel, was an element that Carter never presented in his pro-Hamas commentary.
Dershowitz argued that while Israel is “a vibrant democracy,” Hamas “murders its opponents, engaged in coup d'états, kneecaps critics, uses children as soldiers.... But to Jimmy Carter, there's no difference between Hamas and Israel and Jimmy Carter stands behind Hamas.”
In its editorial, the Washington Times argued that Carter's aggressive support for Hamas is based on a long-standing grudge he has held “against the friends of the Jews since Ronald Reagan, winning a record percentage of the Jewish vote, defeated him decisively in 1980. Mr. Carter imagined he deserved the credit for peace between Israel and Egypt after the accords reached at Camp David, but the Jewish voter in America recognized the Gipper as the true friend of Israel, and once turned out of office, Mr. Carter made nursing the grudge a full-time job.”
The Times also recalled Carter's 2007 book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, describing it as little more that a toxic collection of “slurs against the Jewish state.... Even the title was meant to insult Israel.”