Former US president Jimmy Carter speaks at the opening of a new exhibit in New York.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Muslim anger over the festering Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the contributing causes of the kind of Islamist-inspired terrorism that claimed the lives of 20 people in France last week, former president Jimmy Carter told Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.
When asked what he thought were the factors that led to the killings, Carter replied: “Well, one of the origins for it is the Palestinian problem. And this aggravates people who are affiliated in any way with the Arab people who live in the West Bank and Gaza, what they are doing now — what’s being done to them. So I think that’s part of it.”
Carter, the Georgia Democrat who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in helping to mediate talks to solve global conflicts after he left office, said that the world was now witnessing “a new evolutionary development in terrorism.”
“I think this is a new evolutionary development in terrorism, where people go into Syria, they get trained there, they have a passport from France, from Great Britain or from the United States,” he said. “They stay there for a few months and learn how to be a terrorist and then they come back through Turkey and you know they have been there and you know who they are. And I think this event in Paris is going to waken up the people in charge of security to watch those people more closely than they have in the past - and not single out all of the Muslims in the country.”
Carter has criticized successive US administrations for failing to clinch an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. He has advocated controversial positions, chief among them that the West should engage Hamas in diplomatic negotiations.