Carter makes the legitimate and reality based point that even though Hamas has at times used unacceptable terrorist tactics it is a duly elected political entity that represents the feelings of millions of Palestinians both in Gaza and the West Bank. He went on to say "I'm not here to defend Hamas", when the Today's Meredith Vieira regurgitated the old right wing red herring and pro Israeli claims that somehow Carter is anti-Jew and anti-Semitic because he willing to talk to and include Hamas in peace talks.
The truth is that Carter is one of the few politicians with enough courage to state the obvious instead of falling back on the same pro Israeli rhetoric that Hamas main goal is to destroy Israel therefore they have no standing in any Middle Eastern talks. I'm sure Hamas would say that Israel main goal is to destroy Hamas and the creation of a Palestinian state, and the recent war in Gaza certainly would bare that out.
Carter also says that the ceasefire he negotiated in June 2008 held without any rocket fire from Hamas into Israel until Israelis did not fulfill their part of the deal to provide access to Gaza for basic provisions. Ironically , and somewhat reluctantly, I have argued in previous posts that Israeli leaders were in effect turning Gaza into a Israeli version of the Nazi run Warrsaw Ghetto except this time Jews were the persecutors. Carter also makes the point that in the year leading up to the ceasfire in June 2008 one Israeli was killed by Hamas rocket fire from Gaza while Palestinians were suffering an average of 49 deaths per month.
Aside from Carter's position, anyone in their right mind must realize that all the parties to the conflict need to be included if there is any hope that an agreement can be reached and sustained. You will get no lasting peace until you are willing to allow all the parties to conflict participate in on the process of finding a solution.