Former President Jimmy Carter has achieved legendary status for his role in the Camp David Accords, the historic peace treaty between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1978. It was the first treaty officially declaring a formal end to war between Israel and neighboring Arab state.
Later, his Carter Center in Atlanta was renowned for its work in international disease and control and prevention. Carter himself even won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Center.
Most recently, Carter publicly declared the desire to leave the Iran deal a “serious mistake.” It was apparently a risk President Donald Trump was willing to take as he pulled the country out of the deal this week.
And while Carter’s noble history of waging peace is certainly commendable, there have long been rumors that he — via the Carter Center — may have been enabling terrorist organizations. In April, the Trump administration sought dismissal of a suit brought by the Zionist Advocacy Center against the Carter Center alleging the humanitarian organization had taken $30 million in taxpayer grants and violated “federal statutes barring it from using the cash to provide material support to terror groups.” The administration said it was too expensive to prosecute at the time.
Now however, Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), says his organization is filing a suit alleging basically the same thing.
“It is well known that former President Jimmy Carter and his Carter Center are no friends of Israel.” And now that the @ACLJ has filed a new lawsuit to find out if the Carter Center has been providing “material support or resources” to #Hamas. https://t.co/fT9QjQxIvT
— Jay Sekulow (@JaySekulow) May 10, 2018
As the ACLJ explains on its website in a post about their suit, they filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the State Department seeking documents related to the Carter Center’s taxpayer funding and whether or not it supplied “material support or resources” to designated terrorist groups. It may not be a hard case to win, if what the ACLJ says is true.
[T]he Carter Center also openly describes its regular contact with Hamas – designated by the State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) since 1997 – stating that “The Carter Center works both with grassroots activists and with high-level decision makers in its efforts to further conflict resolution, human rights and democratic development in Palestine,” and that the Center maintains “regular contact with leaders of the two largest Palestinian political parties, Fatah and Hamas.” For context, other organizations carrying this same designation – FTO – include ISIS, al Q’aeda, Boko Haram, and al-Shabaab.
The Carter Center received $306 million in cash, pledges, and in-kind gifts in 2015-2016 alone. The State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are listed as donors, alongside the Open Society Foundations founded by George Soros, the U.S. Middle East Partnership Initiative, and a number of Islamic government donors. In 2016 alone, the State Department and USAID fell into the highest category of donors to the Carter Center – donating a minimum of 100,000+, and $1 million or more over the lifetime of the Center’s existence. In fact, the Carter Center has reported over $4 million in accounts receivable from the federal government.
The ACLJ has reason to believe that the Carter Center may actually be using U.S. taxpayer funds to provide “material support or resources” to both Hamas and the PFLP in violation of U.S. law.
While no one relishes the thought of persecuting a former president — who is now an elder statesman who has beaten back cancer — the thought of innocent taxpayers footing the bill for terrorist activities is more disturbing. As the ACLJ notes, “now [they] will finally get some answers in court.”