Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter confused Israel’s demand for the Palestinian Authority to recognize it as a ‘Jewish state’ for meaning that all Arabs living there would need to convert.
In an interview with the Associated Press on Monday, Carter said, “Israel can claim `We are a Jewish state.’ I don’t think the Arab countries will contradict that Jewish statement. But to force the Arab people to say that all the Arab people that they have in Israel have to be Jews, I think that’s going too far.”
Carter continued, incorrectly implying that the 1.5 million Arab-Israelis citizens would either have to convert to Judaism or leave, rather than recognize that the essence of the country, it’s laws, calendar, legal structure, would be based, as they are, on Jewish tradition, rather than Muslim or Christian ideals.
“I don’t see how the Palestinians or the Arab world can accept that premise, that Israel is an exclusively Jewish state,” Carter said. “This has never been put forward in any of the negotiations in which I was involved as president, or any president, before (Benjamin) Netanyahu became prime minister this time. And now it has been put into the forefront of consideration.”
Blogger Elder of Ziyon, who flagged the former president’s statement on Tuesday, also pointed out that, in fact, the question of declaring Israel the ‘Jewish state’ far precedes Netanyhau’s government.
Elder of Ziyon wrote: “Carter accepts the absurd premise, being spouted by Palestinian Arabs as well as others across the Arab world, that if Israel is recognized as a Jewish state then it means that only Jews can live there. He even goes further than the idiot Arabs who keep repeating this, by claiming that it means that Arabs ‘have to be Jews’ to live in Israel. Given this level of cluelessness, it is hardly worth pointing out that Carter is also wrong in saying that Netanyahu is the first to demand Israel be recognized as a Jewish state.”