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Former President Jimmy Carter didn't let a Hamas leader's threat stop him.

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Hamas and Its Western Worms

Former President Jimmy Carter didn’t let a Hamas leader’s threat stop him.

Former President Jimmy Carter didn’t let a Hamas leader’s threat to conquer the city of Rome and then all of Europe from meeting the group less than week later.

For somebody who claims to love his Bible so much, Jimmy Carter doesn’t seem to heed its precepts very much. The Good Book, after all, cautions us through Jeremiah that the leopard is more likely to lose his spots or anyone of Ethiopian descent to change their pigmentation, than those who are accustomed to doing evil to change their ways (Jeremiah 13:23). But that didn’t stop Carter giving Hamas — the Islamic Resistance Movement that runs Gaza with an iron hand — the vast prestigious gain of a former President of the United States going cap in hand to the sworn enemies of Western and Christian civilization to give them an enormous boost throughout the Middle East and far beyond.

The visit was of course a great success — both for Hamas and for Carter’s unchangeably outsize ego. But as Jeremiah predicted, the prestige of hosting the 39th President of the United States did not ameliorate the behavior of Hamas or its public officials in the slightest. On the contrary, as anyone familiar with either the Bible or the clear record of modern history could have told Carter, it only served to embolden them to ever more outrageous statements. Yunis al-Astal a Hamas member of the Palestinian parliament, said flatly that he looked forward to seeing the city of Rome, the ancient capital of the Catholic Church, conquered and destroyed by his co-religionists. This is not the kind of talk you would expect to improve relations between the Christian and Islamic worlds. But, of course, Islamist spokesmen instead focused on Pope Benedict XVI’s action in baptizing Magdi Allam, an Egyprian-born former Moslem on Easter Saturday, as being the outrageous deed that shocked them. Jimmy Carter has yet to express any condemnation of the Hamas MP’s statement.

Al-Astal’s sermon was hardly a state secret. His boast that "the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital," would soon be seized by Islam as its advance base for the entire subjugation of Europe was broadcast on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV. And that was only going to be the starting point: As reported by Fox News, Al-Astal went on to prophecy that Rome would then become "an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread though Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, even Eastern Europe."

"Allah has chosen you for Himself and for His religion," al-Astal said, "so that you will serve as the engine pulling this nation to the phase of succession, security and consolidation of power, and even to conquests through da’wa and military conquests of the capitals of the entire world.

"Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our prophet Muhammad," he said.

Al-Astal was already notorious, Fox noted, because he in June 2007 he called on Palestinian women to blow themselves up in order to kill the maximum number of victims.

"The most exalted form of jihad is fighting for the sake of Allah, which means sacrificing one’s soul by fighting the enemies head-on, even if it leads to martyrdom," he said in a June 23, 2007 interview.

"When jihad becomes an individual duty, it applies to women too, because women do not differ from men when it comes to individual duties." Al-Astal also described Jews in that earlier interview as "the brothers of apes and pigs" who should "taste the bitterness of death."

Carter’s scathing outspokenness in blasting President Bush and the policies of his own U.S. government are well-known. So is his beloved conspiracy theory that President Ronald Reagan’s 1980 election campaign secretly negotiated with Iran behind his back, thereby undermining his own brilliant diplomacy. Yet here he is, flagrantly undermining the policies of the elected U.S. government just as he (falsely) claimed others did to him.

Carter would fantasize his behavior, no doubt, as courageous. But he has yet to condemn Al-Astal’s further comments on April 11 that “Today, Rome is the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital, which has declared its hostility to Islam, and has planted the brothers of apes and pigs in Palestine in order to prevent the reawakening of Islam.” Al-Yunis’s comments were recorded by MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, which has a remarkably impressive record of accuracy in monitoring such statements. Memri even runs a video of al-Astal’s speech on its web-site.

Carter’s spinelessness should come as no surprise. But how about Sen. Barack Obama, that lofty prophet of the “politics of hope.” He hasn’t said a word to condemn Al-Astal’s comments either. Perhaps he is concerned that Hamas would then withdraw the enthusiastic support it has given his presidential candidacy.

And for that matter, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also hasn’t said a word in condemnation of al-Astal’s comments. Not one. She has, however, decried that the term “jihadist” must never be used by any official of the U.S. government, as if that will make all the jihadists magically go away, or change their spots.

But then, perhaps Obama and Rice simply missed al-Yunis’s interesting comments: For the amazing truth is that apart from Fox News, the Washington Times and those other “usual suspects” Catholic World News, the Jerusalem Post, CNS, the American Spectator and the Christian Broadcasting Network, virtually no English language media outlet even carried them — As of April 25, a Google news search recorded not a single reference on the BBC, nor Time Magazine, nor Newsweek, nor the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, CNN, ABC, CBS, MSNBC – not one of them. Conservative blogs have been all over al-Astal’s comments. But not a single columnist in any mainstream American newspaper has yet mentioned them. What do we pay all these guys and gals their megabucks for to bore us stiff every Sunday anyway?

Adolph Hitler famously said after British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his foreign secretary, Lord Halifax betrayed Czechoslovakia to the Third Reich in 1938, “I met my enemies at Munich: They are worms.“Who can blame or disagree with the leaders of Hamas after seeing Jimmy Carter in action and the mountainous silence of the Western media to al-Astal’s comments, if they feel the same way?

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Written By

Martin Sieff is defense industry editor for United Press International. He has been nominated three times for the Pultizer Prize for international reporting. His latest book, ??The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Middle East,? was published in January by Regnery.

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