A year ago, the fighting had resumed in Gaza and people resumed their killing, dying and acts of inhumanity beyond the comprehension and power of anyone to stop it.
In May 2015, Jimmy Carter visited Israel and Palestine with the former Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland. As the world knows, Carter has devoted much of his energy to searching for justice and peace in the Middle East, but in May, Israeli leaders rejected him and refused to meet with him. Carter called the situation in Gaza 8 months after the war ‘intolerable’. The deplorable conditions haven’t changed.
There’s much that can be said, and should be said, to remind the world (and especially the young people) about President Carter’s contributions at home and abroad. This interview in September 2011 is one of the best I’ve read.
I’ve admired him for many years. I wrote to him a few years ago when Zionists were suing him for defamation over his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid“. I thanked him for writing the book and I soon received a handwritten note back from him, thanking me for my words of encouragement. That epitomizes for me his generous spirit.
I saw him in person only once, about a month ago in Washington, DC where he was signing his new book “A Full Life” at Politics and Prose Bookstore. Hundreds of people, me included, waited in a line outside as the rain began to pour, hoping to catch a moment with President Carter inside. He signed every single book with a smile, but his security men kept the line of people moving and we never had a chance to exchange words or a handshake.
I started a petition this Spring, a petition urging Congress to invite President Carter to speak to both Chambers about his recent visit to the Middle East. That petition is now sitting with my Representative. I hope she will forward it to Congressional leaders with her letter of support. Whether or not Carter would/could accept the invitation to speak to Congress, I think it’s important to honor and respect his wisdom about the Middle East conflict.
I’ve written a short card that I’m sending today.
Dear Mr. President and Mrs. Carter,
In the ugly, dark world of politics and greed,
You shine a light of what is good and right.
While humanity causes so much hurt and pain,
You both share hope and love.
From the global to the personal,
Your spirit infuses us all with
Kindness, gentleness, and compassion.
Thank you, gracias, shukran!
For modeling a life of transformative power,
For modeling the Golden Rule
Day by day, year by year.
God bless you!