Israel Won't Help Protect Carter

Stonewalling by Olmert's security force 'unprecedented' breach: Secret Service
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2008 12:37 PM CDT
Jimmy Carter, right, listens to a police spokesman as he looks at home-made rockets that were fired at Israel, in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, Monday, April 14, 2008.   (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
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(Newser) – Israeli leaders won’t meet with Jimmy Carter, and Israeli security won’t help protect him on his trip through the country, Reuters reports. As Israel’s Shin Bet and the Secret Service sparred over whether the Americans asked for help, a source called the security snub “unprecedented.” Carter's intention to meet with a Hamas leader during his trip has incensed the Israeli government.

“The most important single foreign policy goal in my life has been to bring peace to Israel, and peace and justice to Israel's neighbors,” Carter told Ha'aretz. The Nobel laureate did meet with Israel’s essentially powerless president, but political leaders like Ehud Olmert refused to see the already unpopular Carter, who once referred to Israel's policies on the Palestinian territories as "a system of apartheid."