Carter Center calls for Gaza cease-fire, draws comparisons to Jimmy Carter’s 1979 Iranian hostage crisis

Nov 1, 2023 | Political News

On Tuesday, former President Jimmy Carter’s human rights nonprofit organization The Carter Center called for a cease-fire in Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists. Hamas attacked Israel on October 7 and Israel responded by declaring war on the terror group. Hamas is also calling for a cease-fire, which would give the terrorists time to regroup amid the war.

The organization, founded by Carter and former first lady Rosalyn Carter, said in a statement, “This weekend, Israeli forces moved into Gaza and intensified their devastating attacks. Israel, like all nations, has a right to defend itself; it also has the obligation of proportionality under international law. Violence will only beget more violence.”

The statement continued, “We urge all parties to agree to a cease-fire. We ask for the opening of humanitarian corridors into Gaza and the reinstatement of essential services to the area. We urge the immediate, safe return of all hostages, and we call on both sides to abide by international law.”

The organization called “…antisemitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Palestinian sentiments around the world,” a dehumanization “gateway to violence and must be condemned wherever it arises.”

It continued, “Collective punishment is contrary to international law. So is the murder of civilians. The violence must stop now. There is no military solution to this crisis, only a political one that acknowledges the common humanity of both Israelis and Palestinians, respects the human rights of all, and creates a path for both societies to live side by side in peace.”

Reaction came swiftly on social media, with many drawing comparisons between the over 200 hostages, including Americans, taken by Iran-funded Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7 and Carter’s botched response to the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979.

On Nov 4, 1979, militarized students captured the US embassy in Iran in response to then-President Jimmy Carter’s decision to allow the deposed Shah into the US for medical treatment.

Though Iran's supreme religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini eventually allowed female and minority Americans as well as non-US captives to be released, fifty-two hostages remained and were released after 444 days shortly after Ronald Reagan took office in 1981.

One of the Iranian captives, Rocky Sickmann, a former Marine who survived the 1979 hostage crisis, told Fox News, “Forty-four years ago, the war on terrorism started the day that the Islamic Republic of Iran attacked the American embassy using women as shields as they broke through the basement. Just as you heard that story about Gaza having a missile launcher right next to a hospital. I mean, it's their fingerprints all over this thing, and it's very sad.” 

Sickmann added, “We, as Americans, should never forget those individuals that are over there. The Islamic Republic of Iran has done this for 44 years. They have humiliated every president that we have had. And here they are, to this day, doing the same thing.”

Though Biden administration officials deny Iran’s involvement in the current crisis, leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah have claimed that the world’s number one state sponsor of terror aided in planning the surprise attack on Israeli civilians.

This is despite the Wall Street Journal previously reporting that Iranian security officials approved the plan to attack Israel at a meeting in Beirut.