Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is being strongly criticized for comments suggesting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict helped motivate the terrorist attacks in Paris.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called President Carter’s views “divorced from the realities of the anti-Semitic and fanatical anti-Western beliefs” of the French terrorists.

In a January 12 appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” President Carter was asked by Stewart if he believed there was another factor – and not a religiously motivated belief – that inspired the kind of extremism seen in the Paris terrorist attacks. President Carter responded, “Well, one of the origins for it is the Palestinian problem. And this aggravates people who are affiliated in any way with the Arab people who live in the West Bank and Gaza, what they are doing now — what’s being done to them.”

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

President Carter continues to show his bias against Jews and Israel in his latest comments linking the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris. His on-air remarks were highly insensitive to the victims and their families, and his downplaying of the role of radical extremist Islamic ideology in the attack, and suggestion that other external factors were to blame, is divorced from the realities of the anti-Semitic and fanatical anti-Western beliefs of the perpetrators of the attacks in France.

At a time when Christians are being targeted for violence by extremists in Arab countries throughout the Middle East and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians have lost their lives in Syria, President Carter used his appearance on the Daily Show to once again express his ossified perspective on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

While we agree with President Carter’s concluding analysis that the Paris attacks are a wakeup call in the fight against a ‘new evolutionary development in terrorism,’ ignoring the true root causes of these attacks by focusing on unrelated factors will ultimately prove counterproductive in international efforts to combat growing anti-Western and anti-Semitic extremism and terrorism.

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