Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Carter, The Elephant & the Jewish Problem

As the old joke has it, everything is related to "the Jewish problem." Jimmy Carter has added new urgency to the non-comical conflation of all the woes of Palestinian society to Israeli actions. According to Carter, in his latest sweeping attacks, the apartheid-like occupation is responsible for some of the worst human rights deprivations in the world. When pressed by an MSNBC reported to compare those deprivations to the sufferings of Rwandans in the last decade, Carter brushed the question aside, claiming he didn't want to discuss the "ancient history" of Rwanda. Never mind the ongoing genocide in Darfur. In Carter's strange universe, about the only thing the occupation isn't responsible for is the Avian flu.
It's important to see where Carter goes wrong. As Dennis Ross tersely puts it, "everyone is entitled to their own opinions. They're not entitled to their own facts." Excellent rebuttals to Carter's serial distortions of history can be found at http://israelproject.org/ and http://standwithus.org/
See articles by Alan Dershowitz, Mitch Bard, David Harris, Ethan Bronner, Jeffrey Goldberg, and many others. Perhaps most telling is the money trail; in Carter's one-way universe, being the recipient of millions of dollars from the Arab world in no way compromises his even-handedness, even as he laments how the American media and government are at the beck and call of nefarious Jewish power brokers (see "Ex-President for sale" http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474976879837). And on Al-Jazeera TV, Carter dismissed criticism of his book by declaring that "most of the condemnations of my book came from Jewish-American organizations." More on this in Deborah Lipstadt's excellent article, "Jimmy Carter's Jewish Problem."
A careful look at Carter's long political career shows that this is not a late-life aberration, but rather of a consistent thread with his courting and defense of despots on both the far left and right. Even in his much vaunted human rights crusades, he has conveniently looked the other way in places as extreme as North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and of course the Palestinian territories. See Joshua Muravchik,s "Our Worst ExPresident" below
Ironically, Carter's book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," and his subsequent media statements, undermine his intentions of furthering the Palestinian cause of independence and statehood by miring them-and their supporters-in mythologies that retard rather than foster those goals.


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...


Interesting comments re: Jimmy Carter and his "Jewish Problem." As a former resident of Georgia, where I lived adjacent to the Emory campus, I can tell you that the fact that Professor Ken Stein quit his post with the Carter Center was quite the earth-shattering event, even though they hadn't worked together in years. Dr. Stein has always been known as one of the more "even-handed" analysts of the Middle East, and his recognition of the obvious bias in the ex-President's book made obvious its extreme bias.

I recalled reading an article describing the attention that the Carters (Jimmy and Rosalyn both) paid to Yasser Arafat after leaving office, to the point where they pointed out their inability to do anything in the US due to Congress being in Israel's pocket (or something to that effect) If anyone can find and cite that article, it does put a historical perspective on their motivations.

The writing on the wall re: Jimmy Carter, and the dictators he loves to coddle, has been evident for quite a while. One only has to look at his interactions with North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela (look at how the Carter Center botched their supervision of the 2003 recall referendum) and Romania under the Ceausecu regime to see that he is either woefully naive, or (more likely IMHO) driven by more sinister motivations.

Prof. Lipstadt addressed those best in her article when she said: "When David Duke spouts it, I yawn. When Jimmy Carter does, I shudder." The fact that she can associate a former President and a former Klansman with the same views on Jews is something all Americans should pay attention to.