Jimmy Carter, our 39th president, has just written a book in which he purports to clarify the causes jof the unending Israel-Arab conflict. The title of the book shows the bias that permeates it: Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. It is ascurrilous comparison with the opression of the black majority in South Africa. The entire book is shot through with falsehoods, distortions, and omissions of facts.
What are the facts?
There are so many falsehoods in the book that it isn’t easy to know where to begin. But here are just a few of the many distortions in it.
• Yasser Arafat, the “leader” of the Palestinians for decades, was the man responsible for many murders that he had personally authorized. Hafez-al-Assad, the former tyrant of Syria, was also a mass murderer, personally responsible for the killing of at least 25,000 in the Syrian city of Hama. Both are described as leaders who diligently sought peace with Israel. Mr. Carter knows better, of course.
• Mr. Carter asserts that peace would have descended on Israel/Palestine if the Israelis had not “colonized” Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”). But that is quite incorrect. In the first place, the term “colonization” is not applicable. It presupposes that Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”) is Palestinian territory, which those aggressive Israeli Jews have usurped. Not so, of course! Jews have had a presence in the area since time immemorial and certainly have at least the same rights to live there as the Arabs. It was never “Palestinian” land. So there can’t have been any “colonization.” Mr. Carter knows that, of course.
• Mr. Carter makes a great to-do about the “apartheid wall that snakes through of what is left of the West Bank.” The purpose of this “wall,” which is really a fence over most of its course, is to safeguard the Israeli populace from the marauding murder gangs that have terrorized Israel for years and have caused hundreds of victims. The fence has successfully done that. Mr. Carter knows that, of course.
• Mr. Carter focuses on Security Council Resolution No. 242, which calls for return of captured territories in exchange for peace, recognition, and secure boundaries. Nowhere does he mention that Israel accepted the Resolution and has fully complied with it. While not having returned all of those territories (the Resolution did not call for that), it has returned all of Gaza and, more important, the vast Sinai, with its strategic passes, its strategic port, its strategic expanse of a huge buffer zone, and the oil fields that Israel had developed. They yield over $1 billion in revenues per year, which would have made Israel independent of petroleum imports for the foreseeable future. And he does not mention that the Arab nations rejected Resolution 242 out of hand and instead issued their famous “three no’s:” No peace, no recognition, and no negotiation with Israel. Mr. Carter knows that, of course.
• Mr. Carter blames Israelis for their lack of effort to compose their interminable differences with the Palestinians. But that is an outrageous lie. The Israelis have almost compulsively tried, time and time again, to find a solution to this never-ending problem. All of their efforts have faltered because of the racist and theocratic hatred that the Palestinians and Muslims have against the Jews, a hatred that nothing seems to assuage. One of the last memorable such efforts was in the last year of President Clinton’s presidency, when he met with Mr. Arafat and with Ehud Barak, then prime minister of Israel. Mr. Barak declared his willingness to turn over 95% of the “West Bank” and the Arab quarter of Jerusalem to the Palestinians and to financial compensation to the “refugees.” He did balk at allowing all of those so-called refugees – now miraculously swollen from the original 600,000 to 5 million – to “return” to Israel. It would (as intended) have meant the end of the Jewish state. Mr. Arafat left in a huff and started his second intifada, which has killed and maimed thousands on both sides. Mr. Carter knows that, of course.
• Space does not permit to give more examples of the lies, and omissions in Mr. Carter’s malicious book. But there are certainly many, beginning with his not mentioning that in 1947 the United Nations advocated a division of the country into a Jewish and an Arab sector, with Jerusalem being internationalized. The Jews accepted that compromise; the Arabs rejected it and instead invaded Israel with five national armies. He does not mention that the largest contingent of Israelis are Jews expelled or forced to flee from their Arab home countries, where they had been living for centuries.
Mr. Carter knows all of that, of course.Mr. Carter was certainly one of our most ineffective presidents, comparable perhaps to Fillmore, Buchanan or Harding. But he was probably one of the most intelligent. It is therefore not likely that the lies, misstatements, and omissions in his book are the result of ignorance. They must be the result, therefore, of malevolence – against Israel and against the Jews.
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Gerardo Joffe, President