Carter: Ne­tanyahu seems too ea­ger for war on Iran

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics - BY DAVID ELDRIDGE

For­mer Pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter expressed con­cerns Tues­day that Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu may be too will­ing to go to war with Iran.

“I don’t think that’s his first pref­er­ence, but I think he’s much more ea­ger to go to war with Iran than Pres­i­dent Obama [is]. And I was glad to see Pres­i­dent Obama dis­cour­age that im­me­di­ate re­sump­tion of hos­til­i­ties be­tween Is­rael and its neigh­bors that the Is­raelis seem to be in­clined to do,” the for­mer pres­i­dent said in an in­ter­view with The Washington Times-af­fil­i­ated “Amer­ica’s Morn­ing News” ra­dio broad­cast.

Mr. Ne­tanyahu is in Washington this week to meet with Mr. Obama and other Amer­i­can lead­ers about the Ira­nian nu­clear pro­gram, and Mr. Carter said “my hope is that Pres­i­dent Obama will pre­vail and we can avoid war with Iran.”

”I think the eco­nomic sanc­tions would be ad­e­quate,” Mr. Carter added. “War with Iran can and should be avoided.”

The for­mer pres­i­dent, who won the No­bel Peace Prize in 2002, pre­dicted that the Camp David Ac­cords, the 1979 peace treaty he bro­kered be­tween Egypt and Is­rael, would sur­vive the rise to power of the Mus­lim Brother­hood in Egypt.

Mr. Carter said he has met re­cently with the Mus­lim Brother­hood’s po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious lead­er­ship, and “they know it’s very im­por­tant to Egypt to main­tain peace with Is­rael.”

“They as­sured me per­son­ally — and they have made public state­ments ac­cord­ingly — that they will honor the peace treaty that I helped to ne­go­ti­ate back in 1979 . . . and I don’t have any doubt that they will carry out their prom­ise to me.”

De­spite his role in the Camp David ne­go­ti­a­tions, Is­rael’s first peace treaty with any of its Arab neigh­bors, Mr. Carter has seen his stock tum­ble in re­cent years in Is­rael and with the coun­try’s Amer­i­can back­ers since his 2006 book “Pales­tine: Peace, Not Apartheid.” Mr. Carter’s use of the word “apartheid” prompted re­bukes and crit­i­cism of vary­ing de­grees, most notably from for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton and then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and an un­wanted en­dorse­ment from Osama bin Laden.

The for­mer pres­i­dent is pro­mot­ing his lat­est book, “NIV Lessons from Life Bi­ble: Per­sonal Re­flec­tions with Jimmy Carter.”

Jimmy Carter

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