WASHINGTON — Former President Jimmy Carter aimed to bring peace to the Middle East during his presidency and has some thoughts on Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent goals for Middle Eastern peace negotiations and the controversy surrounding the possible release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.
Carter, 89, says he didn’t think Kerry’s efforts were valid with parts of the negotiations in the Middle Eastern peace talks.
U.S. officials have said they are considering releasing Pollard as part of a package to extend talks beyond the current April 29 deadline.
“I think there was an outcry of oppositions from Republicans, Democrats, liberals and conservatives about doing that,” Carter said on WTOP Thursday.
Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, was convicted of handing classified documents to Israel in the 1980s.
“I think Pollard will be eligible for parole next year … I think that’s the proper time to address that issue,” Carter said.
Carter’s work to bring peace to the Middle East through the Camp David Accords is known on the international stage, and now it will be relived on a local stage, too. The historical drama “Camp David” debuts at D.C.’s Arena Stage Thursday evening.
Carter is in town Thursday to attend the show.
“I hope maybe the play will give some guidance to the leaders in that country now, leaders in government,” Carter says.
“I’ve been praying that we would find peace for Israel for the last 30-something years and I know that you can’t find peace for Israel unless you find peace also for their immediate neighbors.”
Carter is touring the country to promote his new book, “A Call to Action,” which discusses women’s rights, religion and power among other things.