Earlier this week, former President Jimmy Carter made headlines when he weighed in on the escalating situation in the Gaza Strip, calling on Israel to remove its forces.
“Both sides must distinguish between combatants and noncombatants, and Israel must ensure that its use of force is proportionate in accordance with international humanitarian law,” he said. “More immediately, all combat operations must stop, and Israeli troops should withdraw from Gaza,”
His grandson, state Senator Jason Carter, is of course the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia.
Though at times he’s cast daylight between himself and his grandfather’s issue positions, it hasn’t stopped him from tapping the substantial national network of the former president.
Days after the legislative session ended, the younger Carter was wheels up to New York for a star-studded fundraiser featuring his grandfather as the honored guest. In early June, Jimmy Carter hosted a weekend in Plains to raise money on his grandson’s behalf, with a price tag clocking in at $20,000 per couple.
Those ties that bind have led some onlookers to question why more scrutiny isn’t being aimed Jason Carter’s way on the topic of Israel, and whether or not he echoes his grandfather’s sentiment when it comes to withdrawing troops from Gaza.
Just two days ago, Jason Carter was in attendance at a pro-Israel rally in Midtown, as was Republican Senate nominee David Perdue and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, whose support of Carter could be called tepid at best. Attorney General Sam Olens, the highest ranking Jewish elected official in the state, spoke at the event.
Yet to our knowledge no question was asked of Carter as to if he concurs in his grandfather’s opinion.
Other candidates seeking office this year, including Perdue, have had to answer questions regarding the proximity of their views with relatives who previously held office.
An email to Governor Nathan Deal’s campaign regarding the topic drew a response that pulled no punches and brandished a call for his rival to return contributions raised by his famous grandfather.
“Senator Jason Carter can’t fundraise off his granddaddy’s name while claiming he holds different views on issues across the board. When it comes to Israel, President Carter has been an outspoken critic of the U.S. ally and the only stable democracy in the Middle East, said Deal spokeswoman Jen Talaber. “With his granddaddy’s latest demands that Israeli troops withdraw from Gaza, Georgians deserve to know if Jason Carter agrees with his fundraiser-in-chief. If he’s going to say he disagrees with his granddaddy on every issue the former president raises, Senator Carter should return the money that Jimmy Carter raised for him, particularly those sordid dollars raised by auctioning off seats in church.”
In late June, Deal trekked to Israel for a trade mission. Carter simultaneously issued a white paper on the country, in which he voiced opposition to boycotts and efforts “that seek to isolate and delegitimize Israel.”
That was, however, before Jimmy Carter’s comments this week regarding the Gaza Strip.