A Michigan congressman has proposed cutting all federal funding for ex-President Jimmy Carter’s Carter Center because of his current trip to meet with leaders of terrorist organizations.
The CARTER Act, by U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, of Farmington Hills, Mich., would prevent federal dollars from being used to finance discussions and negotiations with terrorist groups, he said.
The Coordinated American Response To Extreme Radicals Act estimates taxpayers already have given the Carter’s think-tank foundation some $19 million. But Knollenberg is suggesting no more.
“America must speak with one voice against our terrorist enemies,” he said in a statement at the time the proposal was readied for Congress. “It sends a fundamentally troubling message when an American dignitary is engaged in dialogue with terrorists. My legislation will make sure that taxpayer dollars are not being used to support discussions or negotiations with terrorist groups.”
Knollenberg was the first member of Congress to speak out against Carter’s plans to meet with Hamas, sending a letter to Carter suggesting his travel itinerary was troubling.
“As a former president of the United States, you undoubtedly understand that the United States must speak with one voice to our enemies. I hope and pray that we all as Americans stand in strong opposition to acts of terror and the terrorist groups that coordinate and fund them,” the letter said.
On Commentary Magazine, Eric Trager said if Carter had had his wishes, the situation would have been worse than the meetings with Hamas.
“Palestinian Islamic Jihad has announced that its leadership has refused former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s request for a meeting,” he reported. “According to PIJ’s QudsNews website, Egyptian authorities contacted PIJ Secretary-General Dr. Ramadan Shallah on Carter’s behalf earlier this week, inviting Shallah to meet with Carter in Cairo.”
He reported Shallah is on the FBI’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists and the reward for information leading to his capture is $5 million.
But Shallah declared Carter was “carrying an American-Israeli agenda” and refused.
Jimmy Carter’s book, ‘Palestine Peace Not Apartheid
The Carter Center did not respond to Trager’s requests for confirmation.
“PIJ is generally considered even more extreme than Hamas,” he wrote. “While PIJ shares many of Hamas’ militant features – including its coordination of terrorist activities, calls for Israel’s destruction, and theocratic aims – PIJ lacks Hamas’ social and political significance. … Carter is therefore unable to argue that PIJ is somehow central to any Israeli-Palestinian peace process…”
“This isn’t the first time the Carter Center has come under fire because of the anti-Israeli stance of its founder. In December, 2006, Emory University Middle East scholar Kenneth Stein resigned both as Middle East scholar at the Center and from its advisory board in response to the publication of Carter’s book, ‘Palestine: Peace not Apartheid,” wrote Winfield Myers at The Democracy Project.
“In mid-January of last year, 14 advisory board members resigned from the Center to protest Carter’s extraordinarily biased and error-ridden book.”