Thursday, October 19, 2006

Jimmy Carter's New Book: Israel Is Apartheid

Jimmy Carter, the gift that keeps on giving to the GOP, is coming out with a new book: Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

Here he goes again.

According to The Forward:
Israel’s current policy in the territories, Carter writes in the book’s summary, is “a system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights.” In a separate passage in the advance draft, the former president stated that “Israel’s continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land.”

In addition, Carter takes what is being interpreted by some critics as a swipe at the pro-Israel lobby. “Because of powerful political, economic, and religious forces in the United States, Israeli government decisions are rarely questioned or condemned,” the former president writes.
Left unexplained is how land that was never under the control of a "Palestinian People" can be characterized as 'Palestinian land'. Then again, fine historical points and facts have not been known to stand in the way of Jimmy Carter.

More interesting is the actual history of the 1979 Camp David Accords--Carter's sole claim to any success or expertise in the Middle East, especially considering his disastrous mishandling of the Iran Crisis. Yet the actual extent of that role is debatable:

According to Jay Nordlinger in the National Review in an article in 2002:
Whatever the weather, Carter has enjoyed a reputation as a Middle East sage, owing to his role in the 1979 Camp David accords. Yet that reputation rests on shaky ground. The painful truth is, Sadat and Begin had their deal worked out before ever approaching Washington. Prof. Bernard Lewis, dean of Middle East scholars, put it this way to PBS's Charlie Rose recently: "The popular mythology is that Sadat made this enormously courageous and imaginative gesture of offering peace. . . . [Sadat and Begin] then went to the United States to discuss it further, and thanks to the wise statesmanship of Jimmy Carter and his staff, they were able to bring [their work] to a successful conclusion, to a peace treaty." Why, in fact, did the two principals ring the White House? "Well, obviously," explained Lewis, "they needed someone to pay the bill, and who but the United States could fulfill that function?"
Apparently there is good reason to question Carter's alleged role as an honest broker, based on funding he has received for his Carter Center from various Arab donors:

NewsMax has reviewed annual reports that indicate millions of charitable dollars have flowed into the center from His Majesty Sultan Qaboss bin Said Al Said of Oman, Jordan, from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and from the Government of the United Arab Emirates.

Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated to the center by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. H.R.H. Prince Moulay Hicham Ben Abdallah of Morocco has also contributed tens of thousands of dollars.

There are no corresponding contributions apparent from Israeli sources, however.

So it is not surprising to read in another article by Nordinger about Jimmy Carter:
No one quite realizes just how passionately anti-Israel Carter is. William Safire has reported that Cyrus Vance acknowledged that, if he had had a second term, Carter would have sold Israel down the river.
Nor is it surprising that Carter has the Democrats in a bit of a quandry in the remaining weeks leading up to the elections:
With less than three weeks left before Election Day, Jewish Democrats have been quick both to disavow Carter’s views and to assert that Carter is a marginal figure within the party on the issue, despite being a former president and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. At the same time, however, the Democratic National Committee included him in a list of past pro-Israel presidents in an advertisement this week that was aimed at shoring up support among Jewish voters. The ad features a 1977 quote from Carter describing the “special relationship” between the United States and Israel, and saying that “it’s absolutely crucial that no one in our country or around the world ever doubt that our number one commitment in the Middle East is to protect the right of Israel to exist, to exist permanently, and to exist in peace.”
Carter's book is not going to be providing as much election-fodder as it could since the publication date has been moved from November 1 to November 14. According to the publisher's spokesperson, this was done to allow Carter time to add material from the Hezbollah war.

I don't understand why Carter would need the extra time.
Anything he is going to say about Israel, he has already said.
And will keep on saying.

See also Alan Dershowitz's critique on Carter's book

Crossposted on Israpundit

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