In Merced, California, Jimmy Carter discusses current affairs

Former President Jimmy Carter concurred with Gen. David Petraeus' recent linkage of U.S. security interests in the Middle East and U.S. policies in the region that tilt toward Israel.

Carter, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has been outspoken in both speeches and books about the need for the U.S. to adopt a more equitable position toward the Palestinians if there's ever to be peace in the Middle East.

According to Foreign Policy magazine and other sources, Petraeus sent a slide show to the Joint Chiefs reporting that "there was a growing perception among Arab leaders that the U.S. was incapable of standing up to Israel."

His (Petraeus) primary concern was that the United States was neglecting Palestinians' basic rights," Carter told the Sun-Star in a 10-minute exclusive interview. "That does alienate, not only people who are Arabs, but also of Islamic belief all over the world. So I think Petraeus was right."

That statement, Carter added, had been repeated by President Obama.

Sipping a Cherry Coca Cola, the former president said peace could be reached in the Middle East only through a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

Such a solution would "greatly reduce animosity" toward the U.S. throughout the world.

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