Rivlin, Netanyahu spurn meeting with Jimmy Carter in Israel

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected invitations to meet with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

The invitations reportedly were declined after consulting with the Foreign Ministry and the National Security Council, Haaretz reported Monday.

Carter, who reportedly will visit Israel in the coming weeks, has planned meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

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The spurned invitation by Rivlin was first reported on Israel’s Channel 10.

An unnamed senior government official said the recommendation to not meet with Carter came over his “anti-Israeli stance” in recent years, including his strong criticism of Israel during last summer’s conflict with Gaza.

Israel did, however, approve Carter’s request to visit Gaza.

Carter, who wrote a book titled “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid,” is a member of The Elders, an international group of elder statesmen who advance peace and reconciliation. Carter also has called for the labeling of goods that originate in the West Bank, and said that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was among the factors that led to the deadly attacks in January in Paris.