Jimmy Carter: Peace Now Could Be More Difficult Than When I Was President

“I think that what John Kerry faces now is even maybe more formidable than it was back in those days.”

Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday that he didn’t think Israel-Palestinian peace is easier today than when he was president. Carter said so while participating in a discussion on the status of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as well as the conflict in Syria hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“I don’t think it’s easier now than it was when I was there,” Carter said when asked about there being possibly more resistance now to things that were understood in the past as conditions to peace talks. “You have to remember that when I become president there was no demand on me to be engaged in peace talks. There had been four terrible wars during the previous 25 years. And we felt that when Menachem Begin was elected that was the end of the possibility for peace talks. I found that Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin were strong enough, and courageous enough, and wise enough to reach an agreement. So we just proceeded to make an effort.”

Carter continued, speculating what John Kerry faced today could be more
“formidable” than what he faced as president.

“I think that what John Kerry faces now is even maybe more formidable than it was back in those days,” Carter said. “I can’t say that for sure, but it’s hard to judge, both times are very difficult. The key issue is whether the Palestinian people and the Israeli people want peace enough to prevail on their leaders ‘lets make some compromise for peace.’”

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Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.

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