Former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter sent a seasonal message to the Jewish community, asking for forgiveness for any stigma he may have caused Israel. The conclusion of the letter read:
“We must recognize Israel’s achievements under difficult circumstances, even as we strive in a positive way to help Israel continue to improve its relations with its Arab populations, but we must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel. As I would have noted at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but which is appropriate at any time of the year, I offer an Al Het for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so.”
National director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, was pleased by the statement, calling it a “beginning of reconciliation”:
“We welcome any statement from a significant individual such as a former president who asks for Al Hetâ€¦to what extent it is an epiphany, time will tell. There certainly is hurt which needs to be repaired.”
Carter has angered many Jews in recent years with writings and statements which place the burden of peacemaking on the Jewish country, by likening Israel’s settlement policies to apartheid, and blaming the pro-Israel lobby for inhibiting a fair US foreign policy.
Born in Plains, GA on October 1st, 1924, Jimmy Carter was the thirty-ninth President of the United States of America, from 1977 to 1981.
His books “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid,” from 2006, and “We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work” from 2009, were both best-sellers which brewed much controversy and negative sentiments toward Israel.