Jimmy Carter: 'World Must Recognize Legitimacy of Hamas'
Former President Jimmy Carter is making waves this morning with an op-ed that calls for the world to recognize Hamas in order to end the current conflict in Gaza. The column, co-authored by the 39th president on ForeignPolicy.com, claims "there is no humane or legal justification for the way the Israeli Defense Forces are conducting this war."
Here's a portion of what he wrote:
The international community's initial goal should be the full restoration of the free movement of people and goods to and from Gaza through Israel, Egypt, and the sea. Concurrently, the United States and EU should recognize that Hamas is not just a military but also a political force. Hamas cannot be wished away, nor will it cooperate in its own demise. Only by recognizing its 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. Ever since the internationally monitored 2006 elections that brought Hamas to power in Palestine, the West's approach has manifestly contributed to the opposite result.
Ultimately, however, lasting peace depends on the creation of a Palestinian state next to Israel.
Leaders in Israel, Palestine, and the world's major powers should believe that policy changes are within reach that would move Israelis and Palestinians closer to a day when the skies over the Holy Land can forever fall silent.