Carter comments leave ADL doubting his ‘Al Chet’


(JTA) — Jimmy Carter’s apology last December to the Jewish community was insincere, the Anti-Defamation League said.

The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement last Friday questioning Carter’s apology, which came in a letter published by JTA,  following a speech by the former U.S. president during a conference in Atlanta last week on U.S.-Arab relations.

"As far as I’m concerned, there is no ‘Al Chet,’ " Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director, said in the statement, referring to Carter’s evocation of a prayer for forgiveness said on Yom Kippur. "President Carter’s recent comments on Israel are profoundly disappointing and leave little doubt of the insincerity of his apology."

Carter accused the U.S. of being "much more attuned to the sensitivities of the Israelis" and of having "yielded excessively to the circumstances in the Holy Land as Israel has confiscated several lands within Palestine." He also called the Obama administration’s shuttle diplomacy efforts "feeble."

His comments came amid tensions in the Israel-U.S. relationship over Jewish housing starts in eastern Jerusalem and the breakdown of newly started proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

In a March 25 letter to Carter, Foxman questioned the sincerity of his apology and offer to continue discussions in the future — an offer Carter had proffered in a call to ADL the same day of his speech in Atlanta, according to the ADL statement.

"I do not believe further discussions between us will be fruitful," Foxman wrote. "I continue to hope the day will come when you have truly repented of your insensitive views of Israel and the Jewish people.

Recommended from JTA