Rivlin and Carter meet in Jerusalem
Photo: Yitzhak Harari

Rivlin to Carter: Public views you as Hamas supporter

Harsh message to former president: Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin blasts Jimmy Carter in Jerusalem, says meetings with Hamas leaders create impression of support for terrorists; Carter says main objective is to bring peace to region

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) slammed former US President Jimmy Carter Thursday, telling him that the Israeli public perceives him and his colleagues as Hamas supporters as result of their conduct. 


Rivlin met with Carter and with former Irish President Mary Robinson and blasted them for meeting with Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal and with the the group's Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh. He also criticized the former leaders for failing to condcut themselves objectively. 


Robinson offered her own criticism, saying that planned Israeli legislation is discriminating towards Arabs.


The Elders organization delegation, comprising former leaders and headed by ex-President Carter, met with the Knesset speaker in Jerusalem and faced harsh criticism over its perceived support for terror organizations.


Carter with Palestinian baby (Photo: AP)


Rivlin was especially adamant over the delegation's meetings with Mashaal and Haniyeh. He said that Israel views these meetings as indication of the delegation's support for Hamas and terrorism.


"Mashaal and Haniyeh represent Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's positions," Rivlin said, adding that Hamas also objects to any agreement with Israel and aims to destroy it. 


"Hamas and Hezbollah are Iranian satellites," he said.


Carter and Robinson responded by making it clear that those meetings are not tantamount to endorsement of terrorism. The former president said that the main goal of the Elders group is to bring peace to the region, and explained that this is the reason for the meetings.


The Jerusalem question

The Elders delegation visited eastern Jerusalem Thursday morning, and declared that the Jewish people could live under full Palestinian sovereignty.


In response, Rivlin said that "Jews and Arabs do live together side by side in Jerusalem," but that it would be impossible to divide the city as such a move is a recipe for disaster.


During the meeting, Robinson claimed that planned Israeli legislation features bills that discriminate against the Arab population. However, Rivlin noted that the Arabs do not serve in the army, understandably, and therefore preference is given on many fronts to those who do serve. He added that all Arabs receive full citizenship rights, including national insurance payments.


Delegation members also expressed the need to stop the violence and solve the conflict through dialogue. Rivlin said he objects to any kind of violence, but that in order to prevent it one must sometimes use force. He concluded tby saying: "Once the Palestinians want peace, there will be peace."



פרסום ראשון: 10.21.10, 16:51
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