INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAIILY
Diplomacy - Our worst ex-president honors the memory of Yasser Arafat while hugging Hamas-cidal terrorists. Instead of embracing terrorists, Jimmy Carter should be laying wreaths at the tombs of their victims.
Carter's world terror tour continued this week with the laying of a red-rose wreath at the West Bank grave site of Arafat, founder of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the man who's been called the "godfather of terrorism."
Palestinian officials who were present quoted Carter as saying Arafat was a "peace fighter and a clear friend of mine."
Arafat may have been Carter's friend, but so have some of the world's worst tyrants, including former Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev, Cuba's Fidel Castro, North Korea's Kim Il Sung and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Arafat was a fighter, but not for peace.
At Camp David in 2000, Arafat walked away from what U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross called "the best deal he could ever get": a Palestinian state with its capital in a shared Jerusalem. Arafat not only rejected that astonishing offer from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, he also made no counteroffer. He didn't want a Palestinian state next door to Israel; he wanted a Palestinian state replacing Israel, and thus launched the "intifada" against the Jewish state.
His legacy was one of violence and corruption. While the Palestinian people languished in refugee camps, Arafat found himself ranked sixth on Forbes' annual listing of "Kings, Queens and Despots" in 2003, with a fortune estimated at $300 million. That year, "60 Minutes" said Arafat had squirreled away $1 billion in Palestinian funds.
In 1970, starting with the bombing of Swissair flight 330 bound for Tel Aviv, he pioneered the hijacking of airliners for terror. In 1973, decades before al-Qaida got the idea, Palestinian terrorists attacked the Saudi Embassy in Sudan, killing U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel and others.
In 1985, terrorists reporting to Arafat hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, shooting Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly, wheelchair-bound American, before throwing him overboard.
In the northern Israeli town of Maalot in 1974, Arafat's PLO took over a school, threw children out of windows and killed 26 people in all, 21 of them students. That same year, despite his participation in the schoolyard massacre, Arafat became the first non-head of state to address the United Nations General Assembly, while holstering a gun at his hip — another first.
Before visiting Arafat's grave, Jimmy Carter hugged and kissed senior Hamas leader Nasser Shaer in Ramallah. Shaer, who served time in an Israeli prison for terrorist activities, served as deputy prime minister and education minister in the Hamas-led Palestinian government that was toppled last year.
It was reminiscent of the hugs and kisses Carter, patron saint of tyranny, gave Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev in June 1979 at the signing of the Salt II accords, shortly before Brezhnev invaded Afghanistan.
Carter's world terror tour is to culminate Friday in Damascus, Syria, where he's scheduled to meet with exiled Hamas chieftain Khaled Meshall, head of another terrorist organization that has killed Americans, starting with the three Americans who were among the victims of a 1996 Hamas bombing of a passenger bus. Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., believes Hamas is responsible for the deaths of at least 26 Americans.
As retired Army Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis notes in the magazine Human Events, Hamas is also a threat to the U.S. Before his 2004 assassination, Hamas chief Abdel al-Aziz Rantisi wrote that attacking America was "a moral and national duty."
In August 2004, Hamas operative Osmail Elbarasse was arrested videotaping the cables and structural features of Maryland's Bay Bridge. FBI Director Robert Mueller has said: "Although it would be a major strategic shift for Hamas, its United States network is theoretically capable of facilitating acts of terrorism in the United States."
The man who set in motion the chain of events that overthrew the Shah of Iran and gave us Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is still working feverishly to make the Middle East safe for tyranny and terrorism.