Jimmy Carter
Photo: Reuters
Carter apologizes for 'stigmatizing Israel'
Former US president offers US Jewish community heartfelt apology for any contribution he may have had to Jewish nation's negative image

WASHINGTON – Former US President Jimmy Carter on Monday asked for the Jewish community's forgiveness for any negative stigma he may have caused Israel over the years.


Carter, who is not a popular character in Israel, enraged the American Jewish community's in the past with various statements made in his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid."


In the book, Carter blamed Israel for impeding the Middle East peace process via settlement construction, further claiming such a policy will lead to apartheid.


The former president also accused Israel of interfering with US efforts to broker peace in the region.


"We must recognize Israel’s achievements under difficult circumstances, even as we strive in a positive way to help Israel continue to improve its relations with its Arab populations, but we must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel.


"As I would have noted at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but which is appropriate at any time of the year, I offer an Al Het for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so," he said.


"Al Het" refers to the Yom Kippur prayer asking God forgiveness for sins committed.


Head of the Anti-Defamation League Abraham Foxman welcomed Carter's apology, saying it marked the beginning of reconciliation.


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