Election 2012

Jimmy Carter Tears Into Obama Over Middle East Policy

He says the president shirked his responsibility in the region

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Three decades after leaving the White House, former President Jimmy Carter still functions inside the trappings of power, cruising through fiercely contested areas of this city on Monday in a 12-car motorcade, with Secret Service agents stationed strategically as he surveyed the view from the Mount of Olives.

But at 88, Mr. Carter, trying to nudge his agenda without an official platform, no longer filters his words for politics or diplomacy. On Monday, he ramped up his years of criticism of Israeli policy by saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lacked the courage of his predecessors and that he had abandoned the two-state solution that has been the accepted framework for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades. And just two weeks before the American election, he was almost as critical of President Obama, saying his administration has shirked the historical role played by the United States in the region.