December 12 , 2006|
Because Jimmy Carter's New Book Gets It So Wrong, We Have to Ask: Is He Evil . . . or Just Crazy?
Dear Friend of FLAME:
Surely you've been as upset as I have by Jimmy Carter's recent book-length diatribe against Israel, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." Carter reveals his bias starting with the title itself. He places the onus for Palestinian statehood square on the shoulders of Israel and implies that Israel is committing racism similar to that practiced in South Africa. Carter's book could and more accurately should have been titled, "Palestine: Statehood Not Terrorism."
While the book has received very few favorable reviews, and the Democratic Party has stated that Carter does not speak for it on the subject of Israel, we should note that the website of the Muslim Brotherhood (parent organization of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas) has praised it.
Even Kenneth Stein, a professor of history at Emory University, who has been associated with Jimmy Carter's Carter Center from its founding (he was its first executive director and co-wrote Carter's first book on the Middle East) resigned last week, saying he was "ashamed" that Carter would put his name to a book "based on unvarnished analyses, factual errors, . . . superficialities, glaring omissions and simply invented segments." Stein also charges Carter with plagiarism, maintaining that his book is "replete with copied materials not cited."
Mitchell Bard, a pro-Israel author, reviewed the book and notes that Carter ultimately admits that his inflammatory title is specious and misleading. "Curiously, enough," Bard writes, "if you read through almost the entire book, which persistently accuses Israel of apartheid acts, you arrive at page 189, where he specifically contradicts the entire thesis by stating, ‘The driving purpose for the forced separation of the two peoples is unlike that in South Africa."
Yes, Jimmy, in South Africa, the ruling majority kept the black minority separate and oppressed to exploit them economically. On the other hand, Israel's Arab citizens have full civil rights and enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the Middle East; Israel fortifies its borders from outsiders only to prevent Arab terrorists from coming in to kill its people. Big difference.
Finally, we are reminded of the anecdote related by Andrew and Leslie Cockburn in their book, "Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship," about how Jimmy Carter, discussing his fading re-election prospects and his sinking approval rating in the Jewish community, snapped, "If I get back in, I'm going to [expletive] the Jews."
Is Carter evil or just crazy? That's probably not the right question. His book is clearly biased, his premise is false, and his "facts" are often false. Carter and his book need to be condemned from every quarter. To give you a full analysis of this spiteful tome, we offer Alan Dershowitz's incisive review from FrontPageMagazine.com. This piece will allow you to speak forcefully in any discussion about the Carter book and to answer questions that naïve readers may have about its assertions.
World According to Carter
Sometimes you really can tell a book by its cover. Former president Jimmy Carter's decision to title his new anti-Israel screed Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid tells it all. His use of the loaded word "apartheid," suggesting an analogy to the hated policies of South Africa, is especially outrageous, considering his acknowledgement buried near the end of his shallow and superficial book that what is going on in Israel today "is unlike that in South Africa—not racism, but the acquisition of land." Nor does he explain that Israel's motivation for holding on to land it captured in a defensive war is the prevention of terrorism. Israel has tried, on several occasions, to exchange land for peace, and what it got instead was terrorism, rockets and kidnappings launched from the returned land.
In fact, Palestinian terrorism is virtually missing from Carter's entire historical account, which blames nearly everything on Israel and almost nothing on the Palestinians. Incredibly, he asserts that the initial violence in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict occurred when "Jewish militants" attacked Arabs in 1939. The long history of Palestinian terrorism against Jews—which began in 1929 when the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem ordered the slaughter of more than 100 rabbis, students and non-Zionist Sfardim whose families had lived in Hebron and other ancient Jewish cities for millennia—was motivated by religious bigotry. The Jews responded to this racist violence by establishing a defense force. There is no mention of the long history of Palestinian terrorism before the occupation, or of the Munich massacre and others inspired by Arafat. There is not even a reference to the Karine A, the boatful of terrorist weapons ordered by Arafat in January 2002.
The Carter book is so filled with simple mistakes of fact and deliberate omissions that were it a brief filed in a court of law it would be struck and its author sanctioned for misleading the court. Carter too is guilty of misleading the court of public opinion. A mere listing of all of Carter's mistakes and omissions would fill a volume the size of his book. Here are just a few of the most egregious:
And it's not just the facts; it's the tone as well. It's obvious that Carter just doesn't like Israel or Israelis. He lectured Golda Meir on Israeli's "secular" nature, warning her that "Israel was punished whenever its leaders turned away from devout worship of God." He admits that he did not like Menachem Begin. He has little good to say about any Israelis—except those few who agree with him. But he apparently got along swimmingly with the very secular Syrian mass-murderer Hafez al-Assad. He and his wife Rosalynn also had a fine time with the equally secular Yasir Arafat—a man who has the blood of hundreds of Americans and Israelis on his hands:
Rosalynn and I met with Yasir Arafat in Gaza City, where he was staying with his wife, Suha, and their little daughter. The baby, dressed in a beautiful pink suit, came readily to sit on my lap, where I practiced the same wiles that had been successful with our children and grandchildren. A lot of photographs were taken, and then the photographers asked that Arafat hold his daughter for a while. When he took her, the child screamed loudly and reached out her hands to me, bringing jovial admonitions to the presidential candidate to stay at home enough to become acquainted with is own child.
There is something quite disturbing about these pictures.
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