The discussion started when he asked me what I thought about the former President's visit to Gaza and his embracing Nasser Shaer, a senior Hamas politician and presenting a wreath at the tomb of mass murderer Yasir Arafat.
Since I have never held back my feelings for Mr. Carter, his Presidency or his so-called legacy, I was quite animated in my disgust of Carter's actions. But I never raised my voice, nor did I call the former President anything bad. I simply, yet sternly, pointed out that by meeting with members of the Hamas government, he was legitimizing the propaganda that they are spreading around the world. I mentioned as well that this was far from the first time he had done this and each time he has, it has led to further death and destruction along the way. Of course, I was thinking about his meetings in North Korea in 1994 and his "certification" of the rigged Venezuelan election in 2004.
My friend disagreed. He felt that talking to Hamas is the right thing to do. His reasoning is "how do make peace if we aren't willing to listen?"
I should mention that he is voting for Obama.
I thought about his comment for a moment and my first reaction was, "wow, that may just be the most naive answer I've ever heard."
I tried to tell him that we have been listening, but that Hamas is not interested in real peace. He didn't buy it. He gave me the same lecture someone else gave me in the 1980's about the Soviet Union, which was basically repeating the lyrics for Sting ("I hope the Russians love their children too").
He told me that Hamas has a legitimate gripe and that they have been elected by the Palestinian people to be their government. I was not even going to question him on what a "Palestinian" is. I then asked him what he thought Hamas' gripe was and he told me that they just want their homeland and for Israel to stop their incursions into their land.
So I asked him why he thought Israel was the agressor and he told me it was because Israel has nuclear weapons and they fear that they will be used against them. That was also why it would be wrong for President Bush to attack Iran - who obviously have every right to nukes as we do.
Now, here's where I made a mistake. I should have just walked away from him and just write him off as a moral-equivalent waste of human flesh. But you know what? He pissed me off. I knew right there and then that I was not going to win a battle with a man who knew too little to be arguing with. So I told him that he was crazy and that if it were up to people like him, we'd all be speaking German today.
He basically called me a right-wing nut job and I laughed at him.
But tonight, I wanted to show him (or anyone else who is still wondering "how do make peace if we aren't willing to listen?"
The answer is that we are listening. We just don't like what we're hearing. We don't like it so much, that we are refusing to accept it as truth. Because we ourselves can not fathom anyone else not thinking like we do, we can not believe that they are actually evil to the core.
I will give you this example from just this week:
A sermon last Friday by a prominent Muslim cleric and Hamas member of the Palestinian parliament openly declared that "the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital," would soon be conquered by Islam.Did I miss something? Was that not what he said?
Look, I can give you hundreds, if not thousands of quotes from the lowest level official to the Prime Minister of the PA himself stating that their ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel and the complete overthrow of western civilization.
Excuse me Donny, What am I missing? What more do I need to hear that will prove otherwise?
All I hear now is that they want to kill me and my people - and ultimately, freedom. Jimmy Carter has spend the better part of 30 years bringing that to fruition.
Aside from being a blatant anti-Semite, he has become a nightmare and he needs to be stopped. The Bush administration has not acted wisely in this matter. While they said the right things and refused to sanction his plans, they should have done more to stop him. He is an embarrassment to the country and to the free world.
Jimmy, you have always lied down with snakes and sewer rats. I suppose it's no surprise that you turned into one.