The return of the man from Georgia

Ahead of his visit here next week, Jimmy Carter, 86, speaks to Haaretz about his dismay at the standstill in the peace process and what has changed in the three decades since the Camp David agreement.

Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, will be visiting Israel next week, but he won’t be welcomed by all. Policy-makers in Jerusalem don’t like hearing what Carter has to say about what they are doing to the Camp David agreements he shepherded 32 years ago. They don’t want to know what the heads of Hamas in Damascus will be telling him and his fellow Elders – an independent group of eminent and experienced global leaders – concerning an agreement with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas or about Gilad Shalit’s condition. At best, President Shimon Peres will receive the delegation for a courtesy meeting.

Toward the end of September, three days before his 86th birthday, Carter was hospitalized in Cleveland after complaining of abdominal pain during a flight. He was on a book tour around the country, speaking about his newest offering, “White House Diary,” in which he chides his two Democratic successors, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, for their impotence in the face of construction in the settlements. This week he spoke with Haaretz from his offices at the Carter Center in Atlanta.

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