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Carter and the Jews:

Ha'aretz columnist Brad Burston:

What Carter reveals, in the end, is that he knows the organized Jewish community of the United States in ways he will never know the Jewish community - or for that matter, the Palestinian community - in the Holy Land. He knows America's Jewish leadership as do few American Jews. He was, after all, twice the nominee of the Democratic Party.

These people elected him president. They applauded him at Camp David. They sang his praises for forging the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab nation.

Carter knows these people, all right. He knows their vulnerabilities, their gut fears, their feelings for Israel. He knows what makes them tick. He knows what makes them squirm. He knows what makes them livid with rage. And Carter plays them, all of them, all at once, with the brio of a virtuoso on his farewell concert tour.

The thesis that Carter is "out to get" the American Jewish leadership is an interesting one. It's not exactly true that the Jewish leadership was enthusiastic for Carter, except for a brief time following the Camp David Accord (which in many ways came about despite, rather than because of Carter, who preferred an international peace conference including the Soviet Union!) Jewish leaders mostly supported Scoop Jackson in the '76 primaries. Many implicitly or explicitly supported Ted Kennedy in the 1980 primaries. And Carter got less than half the Jewish vote in 1980, a remarkably bad performance considering that Ronald Reagan's political predecessor, Barry Goldwater, received about 10% of the Jewish vote in 1964, compared to Reagan's 40% (Anderson's 15% rounded out the total). Of course, even 100% of the relatively small Jewish vote wouldn't have put Carter over the top in 1980, but the hostility of a large part of the Jewish community, which is a core constituency of the Democratic Party, made his life a lot more difficult.

Of course, I can't read Carter's mind, but something has to explain obviously misleading statements like this: "My most troubling experience has been the rejection of my offers to speak, for free, about the book on university campuses with high Jewish enrollment and to answer questions from students and professor." This sounds a lot like Carter claiming that the Jewish establishment has the will and power to stop universities from hosting an ex-president who volunteers to speak "for free." So here's a challenge to Mr. Carter: name even ONE university where you were unable to speak "for free"--and I mean really "for free", not a situation in which the university has to pay for a private plane to take you roundtrip from Georgia, and pay additional thousands for your security.

Oh, he didn't really mean "for free," he just meant "without an honorarium!?" Perhaps he was just trying to "stimulate discussion" about the Jewish establishment's influence, his equally lame excuse for using the term "apartheid" to discuss the Israeli occupation of the territories, even though he acknowledges that this occupation [which Israel basically offered to end in Camp David in 2000] is not a manifestation of "racism."

EricH (mail):
Of course, even 100% of the relatively small Jewish vote wouldn't have put Carter over the top in 2000

I think you mean in 1980.
1.15.2007 10:14pm
Tex:
It's just that kind of egregious factual error that makes Carter's book so unacceptable.
1.15.2007 10:33pm
Steve:
Burston highlights the rather stark contrast with the non-event Carter's book has apparently been in Israel, as opposed to the screams of "Jew-hater!" that have erupted from certain quarters in this country.
1.15.2007 10:52pm
Justin (mail):
Gee,

If we intentionally interpret what Carter said in a way that is different from what Carter meant, then we can catch him in a lie, since he obviously meant what, uhhh, he meant.

This is the type of logic that makes men cry.
1.15.2007 10:56pm
John (mail):
Prof. Alan Dershowitz says that Carter's antipathy toward Jews is the result of massive Saudi gifts to his Center and to himself, and has called on Carter to make full disclosure of all his Arab funding.
1.15.2007 11:01pm
Buckland (mail):
We're led to believe that the famous among us don't tend to lose much as they age. Variations of "His mind is as quick as ever" is often heard when talking about an aged star.

However we all know that's not true. The rich as famous among us are subject to the same ravages of time as the we mere mortals. The difference is they have a coterie of yes men around them whose positions involve keeping up the pretense that the the famous one is still at the top of his game.

I've often wondered if a 52 year old Dan Rather would have asked more questions of his staff in late 2004 than did the 72 year old reporter when confronted with fantastic documents and story. I also wonder if a 60 year old Jimmy Carter would have put out the same statements as did an 80 year old (note that I say put out, not "written" as older stars tend to write less and less of their own words). Maybe a 60 year old would have been better able to gauge the reaction of the public. The 80 year old seems to have been pretty slow to realize to what people across the political spectrum would think of his effort.

But sympathy and good taste demanded that we avert our eyes when Strom Thruman obviously no longer knew what year it was when he arrived from his bed in Walter Reed to cast his vote in the senate well. Bad form to mention that you wonder if grandpa recognized you today. And, indeed, this may be the time that we're supposed to avert our eyes and silently wonder when a former president take up fly fishing full time.
1.15.2007 11:09pm
Hans Gruber:
Carter was a terrible president for the very simple reason that he is a fool; no reason to imagine more sinister explanations wrt his recent book and any inaccuracies it may contain.

Also, I hope supporters of Israel realize crying anti-semite when what one really means is anti-Irsael undermines their position, at least that is how I see it as someone who tends to favor Israel. Conservatives don't like it when a liberal resorts to the racism canard, which tends to end rather than further debate. Conservative supporters of Israel should no more tolerate the same tactic with respect to criticism of Israel; either the criticisms have merit or they do not, there is no reason to question Carter's motives.

One more point: Describing the situation in Israel and Palestine as "apartheid" is inflammatory, but is it really so hard to see why Israel critics use it? Does it look nothing like apartheid? Really? There is more than a little irony in that the response to Carter playing the racism card is to play the race card on Carter!
1.15.2007 11:10pm
PersonFromPorlock:
The main point about Carter's antisemitism, if it exists, is that it doesn't matter because nothing about Jimmy Carter matters. He is a profoundly trivial man and his main accomplishment, such as it was, was to prove that America can survive four years without a president.
1.15.2007 11:13pm
neurodoc:
Professor Bernstein, have you forgotten, Carter isn't antisemitic, he is only prejudiced against Israel and Israelis. Isn't that what you so recently concluded was the fairest conclusion based on the available evidence? Now are you changing it to "prejudiced against Israel and Israelis and American Jews"? And you think he is disingenuous in his responses to criticism of him and his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid? But you are reluctant to label him an antisemite why, because you reserve that one for the likes of a David Duke?; or it isn't clear to you that Carter dislikes Jews qua Jews, and may just dislike them for the support they give Israel?; he hasn't signaled his feelings about French or Argentinian Jews, only Israeli and American ones?; or what?

What do you think about this from Carter's book, "It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel." Not exactly disapproving of terrorism against Israel in the service of Palestinian nationalism, is it? How far is that from "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter," since once the Palestinian "freedom fighters" have achieved their goals, they will have no further need for terrorism.

And Carter not only choses to ignore the Hitlerian antisemitism that spews forth from the Muslim world, especially Palestinian media, he consorts with those who fund the antisemitism (Sheikh Zayed of UAE), at least if they also fund him through the Carter Center and bestow honors (and honoraria) on him.

You don't have to wait for Ha'aretz to conclude that Carter is an antisemite. You should be able to see for yourself before that decidedly leftist Israel paper tells you that Carter's appearance, gait, and utterances are sufficiently like those of an antisemite that one can justify calling him an antisemite now.
1.15.2007 11:15pm
neurodoc:
Justin, you write, "This is the type of logic that makes men cry." Tell us if it made you cry, so we may know if there is something that might show you to be a "man." Your repeated taunting of Professor Bernstein says little for you or the points you wish to make.

And since you seem to believe that Carter's words have been tendentiously twisted to give them meaning he never intended, I would be very interested to hear how you think we should understand, "It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel."
1.15.2007 11:24pm
Steve:
Prof. Alan Dershowitz says that Carter's antipathy toward Jews is the result of massive Saudi gifts to his Center and to himself, and has called on Carter to make full disclosure of all his Arab funding.

As a member of the same tribe as Prof. Dershowitz, I think it's awesome that we are flipping this one around at long last. We must expose the shadowy Arab cabal!
1.15.2007 11:27pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Concluding that Carter has a grudge against the American Jewish leadership is not the same as concluding that he is anti-Semitic, though he may use anti-Semitic themes as part of his grudge match.

And no, it's nothing like apartheid. Before there were persistent suicide murders and other violence emanating from the Pal side, there was basically free movement between the territories and Israel, and within the territories. In the 1980s, the same folks who are now shouting "apartheid" were shouting "creeping annexation" because of the lack of boundaries between the occupiers and the occupied.
1.15.2007 11:51pm
neurodoc:
Professor Bernstein, why do you skip past Carter's call for the "general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups" to pledge an end to "suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism" after they have attained what he Carter thinks fair? Do you think that reflected expression by him doesn't say more about this ex-Prez than that he is simply "prejudiced" against Israel and Israelis, while also holding a "grudge" against American Jews?

And Carter's acceptance of, if not affection for, Arafat and others who most Americans find execrable? I suppose since the evidence incriminating Arafat in the murder of our ambassador to Sudan was deemed insufficient to prosecute him, Carter saw no reason not to embrace warmly his fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Arafat.
[can't link to 1986 NYT story. It can be Googled using "Arafat" and "American ambassador," though.]

Professor Bernstein, perhaps you are insufficiently familiar with Carter's record. Jay Nordlinger has several times noted the highlights, doing a pretty good job, though it is hard ever to do Carter's record real justice:
[Again, don't know how to link Nordlinger's pieces, but they too can be found through Google.]
1.16.2007 12:16am
Hans Gruber:
Mr. Bernstein,

I will not quibble with your distinction, because I agree with it, the sort of "apartheid" Carter describes is for the most part necessary for the security of Israel. But that isn't so much a "this isn't apartheid" argument as an "apartheid is justified in this case" argument, is it not? Obviously Carter seeks to discredit Israel with the comparison (counting on the fact that nobody wishes to defend racial or religious separatism), but certainly he would concede some of the substantive differences you think make the Israel situation "nothing like apartheid." Yet he still thinks the comparison has some value. Why is that? Being no expert, I'm far from entrenched on this, so feel free to expand on your points.
1.16.2007 12:20am
Colin (mail):
neurodoc, you can link to a page by typing the text of the link (as in, "NYT story"), highlightig it, and pressing the "Link" button just above the comment window. Paste the URL into the box that pops up, and hit "OK." That will insert the HTML into your comment to make your selected text a link to the URL you entered.

As for this:

And since you seem to believe that Carter's words have been tendentiously twisted to give them meaning he never intended, I would be very interested to hear how you think we should understand, "It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel."

Come on. We just had a monster thread on that quote. A significant majority of people seemed to read it not as "if and only when" but rather as just "when," as it is written. You may not agree, but demanding that people justify the quote is a little bit silly - you can just scroll down the main page and see an awful lot of commentary supporting a strictly textual interpretation of that sentence.
1.16.2007 12:53am
pmorem (mail):
Mr. Carter, defeated in his quest for re-election by Ronald Reagan in 1980, speculated that "had I been elected to a second term, with the prestige and authority and influence and reputation I had in the region, we could have moved to a final solution."
1.16.2007 1:00am
TRE:
Hans Gruber: If you are willing to concede that Carter is a fool, then perhaps you will concede that he is a socialist. Then if Anti semitism is the socialism of fools clearly Carter is an antisemtite!
1.16.2007 1:37am
neurodoc:
[b]Colin[/b], I either didn't see EV's post a couple of days ago or forgot about it. But I agree with EV's take on what Carter had to say, and I don't understand why it should be necessary to try so hard to find a non-outrageous meaning in it. This was not the off-handed utterance of a "non-statesman," but rather the reflected expression of an ex-President, Nobel Peace Prize winner in a book whose subject is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. You think those who see Carter's call for Palestinians to commit themselves to giving up terrorism after they achieve those as revealing have a weaker case than those who see it as not so telling?

Thanks for the explanation of how to create a link. And again I would recommend to everyone's attention the NYT item and Nordlinger's several pieces on the subject of James Earl Carter. Perhaps one day, William Buckley, wo devoted 50+ pages of the National Review to an indictment of his fellow conservatives Pat Buchanan and Joseph Sobran, along with one of not-conservative Gore Vidal, as antisemites, will take up Carter's case. There is, I think, a lot of material to mine there.

(I look forward to reading the comments in response to EV's post.)
1.16.2007 1:43am
Just a Nut (mail):
It is interesting to note that Israel's deep political ties to South Africa predate any violence in the territories.

As a Jewish friend pointed out, religion in Israel is a nationality. Thus, dumping on Palestinians does not have quite the stigma for some that racism may elicit. One irony in this situation is that Jews who were compelled or elected to convert to Islam, for instance, to avoid migration (note that the very first purge of non-muslims was in Medina, where an entire Jewish tribe had its men slaughtered and women and children enslaved under guidance of Muhammad for not submitting to Islam) are now not worthy of any type of reintegration or respect for their choice of religion. What they did for survival is grounds for wanna-be-Jews of today expelling them or refusing them entry into their homeland that they clung to for more than a thousand years, even if as muslims.

The present state of Israel does not have equity on its side for many additional reasons. It has not been kind or accomodating to non-Jews and is increasingly sliding towards orthodoxy that may exclude even more of the Jews. What Israel does to Palestinians (read original inhabitants of the present Israel) is an indication of what awaits other non-mainstream Jews and their practices should they protest when politically weak. In a manner of speaking, the dynamic labelled as apartheid in describing the treatment of Palestinian refugees is quite appropriate with water rights, family reunification, land occupancy and movement all restricted in a manner to reduce Palestinians to a captive cheap labor force that is disciplined by disproportionate force for the benefit of its masters accross the border. No Israeli has been substantively punished for advocating liquidation of Palestinians or even killing a few or more. Palestinian children have been shot dead for throwing stones at forces out to destroy their homes and security-- again.

The only way out is to force integration of all people with a right to vote to all, be they Palestinian, refuggess or not, or Jewish or Druze or whatever. If demographics hurt the Orthodox Jews-- tough luck. Make yourself palatable to the rest to survive politically. Then, with equal access to housing subsidies from the Israeli government (presently restricted to Jewish citizens), apartheid can be removed and normalcy and peace prevail.

The pretence that Jewish tribes are at a greater risk of annhilation than other people is just that. It is not a proper reason to promote the present policies of apartheid that reek of overkill.

That said, in the present political climate, it is unlikely that Israel will see any value in fairness towards the dispossesed. Instead, executions and assasinations and other acts of violence will continue to be the norm for all sides in this conflict.
1.16.2007 1:49am
Jimmy Carter:
And not only President Carter! The ranks of anti-semites who dare to make the invidious claim of Israeli apartheid grow daily. Consider:

Israeli historian Benny Morris observed that Zionists could choose from only two options: "the way of South Africa" -- i.e., "the establishment of an apartheid state, with a settler minority lording it over a large, exploited native majority" -- or "the way of transfer" -- i.e., "you could create a homogeneous Jewish state or at least a state with an overwhelming Jewish majority by moving or transferring all or most of the Arabs out." [1]

Norman Bentwich, a Jewish officer in the Mandatory government who later taught at the Hebrew University, recalled in his memoir that, "One of the causes of resentment between Arabs and Jews was the determined policy of the Jewish public bodies to employ only Jewish workers....This policy of 'economic apartheid' was bound to strengthen the resistance of Arabs to Jewish immigration." [2]

More than a decade ago while the world was celebrating the Oslo Accords, seasoned Israeli analyst and former deputy mayor of Jerusalem Meron Benvenisti observed, "It goes without saying that 'cooperation' based on the current power relationship is no more than permanent Israeli domination in disguise, and that Palestinian self-rule is merely a euphemism for Bantustanization." [3]

A major 2002 study of Israeli settlement practices by the respected Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem concluded: "Israel has created in the Occupied Territories a regime of separation based on discrimination, applying two separate systems of law in the same area and basing the rights of individuals on their nationality. This regime is the only one of its kind in the world, and is reminiscent of distasteful regimes from the past, such as the apartheid regime in South Africa." A more recent B'Tselem publication on the road system Israel has established in the West Bank again concluded that it "bears striking similarities to the racist Apartheid regime," and even "entails a greater degree of arbitrariness than was the case with the regime that existed in South Africa." [4]

The editorial board of Israel's leading newspaper Haaretz observed in September 2006 that "the apartheid regime in the territories remains intact; millions of Palestinians are living without rights, freedom of movement or a livelihood, under the yoke of ongoing Israeli occupation" [5]

As well as former Israeli Knesset member Shulamit Aloni [6],

Former Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Alon Liel, South African Archbishop and Nobel Laureate for Peace Desmond Tutu [7]

And "father" of human rights law in South Africa John Dugard [8].

If making the claim that Israel has set up an apartheid system to control its "Palestinian Problem" constitutes anti-semitism, the world is awash in it. Methinks Mr. Bernstein dost protest too much...

1. Benny Morris, "Revisiting the Palestinian exodus of 1948," in Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim (eds), The War for Palestine (Cambridge: 2001), pp. 39-40.

2. Norman and Helen Bentwich, Mandate Memories, 1918-1948 (New York: 1965), p. 53.

3. Meron Benvenisti, Intimate Enemies (New York: 1995), p. 232.

4. B'Tselem (Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories), Land Grab: Israel's settlement policy in the West Bank (May 2002), p. 104. B'Tselem (Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories), Forbidden Roads: Israel's discriminatory road regime in the West Bank (August 2004), p. 3.

5. "The Problem That Disappeared," editorial, Haaretz (11 September 2006),

6. Roee Nahmias, "'Israeli Terror is Worse'," Yediot Ahronot (29 July 2005) (Aloni),

7. Chris McGreal, "Worlds Apart: Israel, Palestine and Apartheid" and "Brothers In Arms: Israel's secret pact with Pretoria," Guardian (6 February 2006, 7 February 2006) (Tutu, Liel),

8. John Dugard, "Apartheid: Israelis Adopt What South Africa Dropped," Atlanta Journal-Constitution (29 November 2006).

(My thanks to Norman Finkelstein, son of Holocaust survivors, for the pointers)
1.16.2007 1:53am
Jay Myers:
Hans Gruber:

I will not quibble with your distinction, because I agree with it, the sort of "apartheid" Carter describes is for the most part necessary for the security of Israel. But that isn't so much a "this isn't apartheid" argument as an "apartheid is justified in this case" argument, is it not?

It isn't apartheid at all. Those Arabs who live inside Israel are allowed full citizenship including the ability to vote and hold elective office. Since the entire argument of the Palestinians is that the occupied territories are not a part of Israel, I cannot for the life of me see why it would be analogous to apartheid for Israel to control its national borders and not allow free entry to non-citizens. Sure, Israel has generally imposed controls upon Palestinians living in the occupied territories but that has no resemblance to apartheid either. The proper inflamatory comparison would be Nazi-occupied France or something. If Carter is going to attack Israel then he should at least use comparisons that aren't completely inapplicable.

Obviously Carter seeks to discredit Israel with the comparison (counting on the fact that nobody wishes to defend racial or religious separatism), but certainly he would concede some of the substantive differences you think make the Israel situation "nothing like apartheid." Yet he still thinks the comparison has some value. Why is that? Being no expert, I'm far from entrenched on this, so feel free to expand on your points.

Because it is an appeal to emotion and one that implies that only one side is in the wrong and that fixing the situation requires that side to act unilaterally. Of course Israel already acted unilaterally to offer Arafat 97% of everything he was asking for plus a committment to a second round of negotiation that would decide the fate of Jerusalem. The Palestinians' response was to start the second intifada.

That response should give everyone pause since the obvious best choice would have been to take the deal and then build up a genuine military force to use to take the rest. Of course that assumes that the ultimate goal of the decision-makers was to get 100% of what the PLO was publicly demanding. Under what circumstances would refusing the deal in favor of a second intifada make sense? If the ultimate goal was to destroy Israel and you wanted to use dead Palestinians to generate international disapprobation of the Jewish state.
1.16.2007 2:24am
Observer:
I think its missing the point to describe Carter as antisemitic. Let's remember: Mr. Carter is a leftist. Like all leftists, Mr. Carter believes that that which advances the socialist cause is truth. Mr. Carter's deeply immoral and unqualified support for Islamonazism flows not fom anti-semitism but from his leftism.
1.16.2007 2:28am
ReVonna LaSchatze:
DB:

Please answer this question for free, at your earliest convenience.

Why is Israel planning, against American policy wishes, to build a new settlement in the West Bank? For security purposes?

As an American non-Jew, I think we need to look closer at our "allies" support.

If they are pursuing their own interests -- settlement expansion -- against expressed American policy, at a time when the US is bogged down in Iraq and America is sacrificing more of her men in the Middle East, we should have an honest and open discussion.

No "selective" interepretation like in the EV thread, no quick charges of anti-Semitism or racism... just an honest question of why someone who is supposed to be on America's side insists on continually building on land under contention.

Again as a non-Jew, I think there is something to Palestinian complaints that Israel would "give" them a pockmarked state, portions of land here and there split by exclusive roads to settlement entrances. Now they're building more??

I've heard that this new settlement is fulfilling a promise to those extremist settlers who were evacuated from Gaza and wished to remain together.

Why not stand up to those, and have Israel explain that she cannot build on contested land right now, due to a committment to a major ally (US). If Israel wants to go it alone, I would be all for that too as an American.

What I don't like is that my country (US) suffers from its unconditional support of Israel, who is acting in its own interests and not thinking of the thousands of American servicepeople who apparently will be stationed in the MidEast for the next 20 years ... or until the first nuclear bomb falls ... or until the Jewish and Arab peoples can learn to coexist in peace.

If I were a betting man, unfortunately, I'd have to bet on the middle option. Fired by Israel, is my prediction. I think we'll look back in time, and wish more Americans and Israeli-Americans would have questioned Israel's land confiscation and treatment of non-Jews. I'd put Jimmy Carter in that camp.

None of us want an uglier world for our children just so some Jewish settler's children may have their own rooms in their new house built on Palestinian land. If the settler's are willing to risk their children's lives, so be it. But American children should not have to grow up without their fathers to pay this price.
1.16.2007 5:34am
steve (mail):
"..had I been elected to a second term, with the prestige and authority and influence and reputation I had in the region, we could have moved to a final solution."

Why does this use of italics remind of Woody Allen's "proof" that antisemitism was all around him because people were always saying 'd'you..." Annie Hall
1.16.2007 7:35am
DavidBernstein (mail):
Despite requests, I'm not going to use this thread to rehash various arguments regarding Israel's policies; the question I raised is why Carter is so vitriolic toward the organized Jewish community--he could hold exactly the same substantive views, without intimating that the organized Jewish community has the universities, the media, etc., in its grasp.
1.16.2007 8:34am
Justin (mail):
DB basically admits that's what he meant, first of all. Second of all, the whole proof that Carter is "lying" is that

a) DB "interprets" what he said to mean something different

b) DB res ipsa loquitor states how absurd that new meaning is (and yes, that new meaning would be absurd).
1.16.2007 8:36am
anonVCfan:
This is the quote Prof. Bernstein criticizes:

"My most troubling experience has been the rejection of my offers to speak, for free, about the book on university campuses with high Jewish enrollment and to answer questions from students and professor."

I suppose it would have been more honest for Carter to substitute "for free" with "waiving my usual fee" or something like that, but according to this site, Carter usually charges $50-75k to speak.

If he offers to waive his fee in some circumstances, I don't think it's dishonest of him to advertise that fact without tacking on the caveat that he still intends to send his receipts to his host.

Justin's a little nasty about it, but he's right.
1.16.2007 8:52am
ReVonna LaSchatze:
the question I raised is why Carter is so vitriolic toward the organized Jewish community--he could hold exactly the same substantive views, without intimating that the organized Jewish community has the universities, the media, etc., in its grasp.

I think there is an argument to be made that President Carter is frustrated that no true discussion regarding Israeli policies, and America's linkage to this ally, is being had in American society.

If we can't ask and answer the questions raised above about America's role as either leader or follower to Israel's internal decisions, they we have to wonder whether the American democracy should face the consequences of poor policy decisions.

President Carter suggests that if pro-Israel lobbying groups were not so reluctant to answer these questions and take part in an American discussion about Israel -- open to all Americans -- perhaps they would not be so dominant in driving America's MidEast policy.
1.16.2007 9:47am
DavidBernstein (mail):
I didn't say Carter was "lying," I said his statement was "misleading." And Carter is appearing "for free" all over the place to promote his book, including bookstores and t.v. programs, but I seriously doubt he's asking the local Barnes &Noble to send a private plane for him.
1.16.2007 10:11am
Elliot Reed:
I have no well-formed opinion on the Israel/Palestine conflict and have criticized the interpretation of other statements by Carter as anti-semitic. In this case, however, Prof. Bernstein does seem to have the right of it. Unless some important bit of context has been omitted (and it seems it hasn't, as far as I can tell) Carter does seem to be claiming that some kind of Jewish conspiracy has been keeping him from speaking at universities.
1.16.2007 10:16am
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Also, I hope supporters of Israel realize crying anti-semite when what one really means is anti-Irsael undermines their position, at least that is how I see it as someone who tends to favor Israel. Conservatives don't like it when a liberal resorts to the racism canard, which tends to end rather than further debate. Conservative supporters of Israel should no more tolerate the same tactic with respect to criticism of Israel; either the criticisms have merit or they do not, there is no reason to question Carter's motives.


Agreed the way that some people have acted crying “anti-Semitism” for being critical of Israel or not denouncing terrorism enough has become almost a parody of the old Cold War cliché about a state-mandated “spontaneous” protest of the United States in a communist country complete with mass-produced placards and the secret police going from protester to protester whispering in their ear “comrade, you are not protesting vigorously enough.”
1.16.2007 11:03am
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Prof. Alan Dershowitz says that Carter's antipathy toward Jews is the result of massive Saudi gifts to his Center and to himself, and has called on Carter to make full disclosure of all his Arab funding.


If someone had claimed that a person was biased towards the Jews because of “massive Jewish gifts to their center and themselves” and called on that person to “make full disclosure of all of his Jewish funding” they would probably be denounced as an anti-Semitic bigot. If Alan Dershowitz really said what you claimed he said, what would that make him?
1.16.2007 11:03am
Hoosier:
Re: apartheid

Jay makes a couple very good points.

It's important--to amplify--that we have a definition of 'Apartheid'. Since the word is Afrikaans, let's stick with the South African usage. With that in mind, something that a country does on land that is not it's own, with people that are not it's residents, can't be apartheid. Perhaps one might want to compare Israel's actions in the territories to, say, white South Africa's incursions in Namibia.

But that's not apartheid.
1.16.2007 11:03am
Hoosier:
"its"
1.16.2007 11:07am
Falafalafocus (mail):

Agreed the way that some people have acted crying “anti-Semitism” for being critical of Israel or not denouncing terrorism enough has become almost a parody of the old Cold War cliché about a state-mandated “spontaneous” protest of the United States in a communist country complete with mass-produced placards and the secret police going from protester to protester whispering in their ear “comrade, you are not protesting vigorously enough.”


I completely agree. Just the other day, I was walking in the mall when a jewish friend of mine whispered "you must denounce Carter's antisemitism." I naturally did, for I was in fear of my life. He then pointed out that if I did not burn an effigy of Jimmy Carter, my wife might have an "accident." I naturally did what I had to do. If only more of us were willing to speak out about this cabal, the world would be a safer place.
1.16.2007 11:39am
markm (mail):
I think the biggest difference between South African apartheid and the situation with the Palestinian territories is that the blacks were never part of a plan to invade the country or kill all the whites. The separation of Palestinian and Israeli territories was forced by the Paliss when they left their lands to join force with invading Arab armies. The borders were closed only when Pali terrorists made it necessary. Considering how predictable the results of those actions were, I have to think that the Palis chose this separation, not the Israelis.
1.16.2007 11:57am
anonVCfan:
Other than this Boston Globe article paraphrasing the Brandeis president, in which it seems clear that Carter's people and Brandeis's people disagree about what the other side has said and done during negotiations, is there any support for the contention that JC always requires a private plane and special security when he speaks somewhere, and that his offers to speak "for free" do not include waiving that cost?

I'm not crying, but the logic seems faulty to me.
1.16.2007 11:59am
JB:
Thorley: The difference is that Saudi Arabia is a government which openly purports to act as an organized force. Now, if "The Arabs" were giving money to Jimmy Carter, you'd be right, but in this case it's not problematic at all.
1.16.2007 12:28pm
Pete Freans (mail):
So this is about the book? Is that why we are flirting with the intellectually lazy argument that President Carter has some hidden agenda that needs to be clarified? Aside from his charitable work, I'm not fond of Carter's foreign policy positions. But that is very different from suggesting that he is harboring anomosity toward a race via rhetoric, innuendoes, and alternative avenues of argument. It's a pity though; I would have enjoyed a debate between the professor and the peanut.
1.16.2007 12:43pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Carter knows he would get trounced in a debate with Dershowitz, that’s why he won’t agree to it. Moreover why should anyone pay for Carter’s private jet? His security and comfort is his problem. Look at all these believers in global warming flying around in private jets while telling the rest of us we generate to much co2.
1.16.2007 3:22pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Carter knows he would get trounced in a debate with Dershowitz, that’s why he won’t agree to it.


Or maybe he just remembers the old saying about why it’s not a good idea to mud wrestle with a pig.
1.16.2007 4:52pm
Michael B (mail):
This is Jimmy Carter in full, unashamed, Madonna-esque mode - proding, poking and goading for pub, for publicity, without the slightest sense that he is to be held answerable for any such claims and misrepresentations. To the contrary, he decidedly dodges serious debate and has opted instead for yet additional evasiveness and yet additional attention-getting goads. Madonna-like pretensions and deflections fronting an ex-president's anti-intellectual and ahistorical claims; and doing so to the applause of a low-born populism.
1.16.2007 6:18pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
“Or maybe he just remembers the old saying about why it’s not a good idea to mud wrestle with a pig.”

I am frequently not in accord with Dershowitz on many issues, but I would hardly call him a “pig” even in a metaphorical sense. Carter must know that he made factual errors in his book like claiming that Israel attacked Jordan first. What we see here is simply the reluctance to engage. Just call your adversary a bigot, a racist, a fascist, a denier, etc and withdraw.
1.16.2007 7:47pm
Colin (mail):
Madonna-like pretensions and deflections fronting an ex-president's anti-intellectual and ahistorical claims; and doing so to the applause of a low-born populism.

Aside from the fact that this is a sentence fragment, what do you mean by "low-born populism?" Have we gone from a culture war to a class war?
1.17.2007 12:08pm
Michael B (mail):
No, it has literally nothing - nada, nil, zil - to do with class in the manner you're suggesting, i.e. socio-economic class. Low-born refers directly back to the anti-intellectual and ahistorical claims, which claims are often declaimed by the gnostic knowers and the upper and upper-middle classes in the West, in socio-economic terms (as is the case with Carter himself).

Too, unlike the earlier thread, this thread concerns an aspect of Carter's PR methods and attempted appeals to that low-born populism, moreso than the content of the book per se.
1.17.2007 4:22pm
Colin (mail):
So "the gnostic knowers and the upper and upper-middle classes in the West" "declaim" "anti-intellectual and ahistorical claims"? That's not meant to be a clarification of what you wrote - I realize that reordering the words makes it foggier - but it's not clear to me (A) what claims you oppose, (B) who makes those claims, or (C) what makes the claims or the claimants "low born."
1.17.2007 5:26pm
Michael B (mail):
What disingenuous and very nearly vapid boorishness. Do you ever respond in more ingenuous, less beguiling terms?

Firstly, obviously (A) is true, I had made a general statement only, I didn't develop a detailed thesis addressing particulars. As to (B) and (C), forget about the general application alluded to, at least for the moment, and refocus back upon Carter, his recently published book and the type of appeals he is offering. But as with (A), in terms of (B) and (C) it was a general allusion only, not a detailed thesis addressing specifics - I was responding to your query concerning socio-economic class distinctions.

Back to (A) again, even Norman Finkelstein, a well known anti-Israel polemicist in academe and a decided bigot in that vein, opens his own review of Carter's book with the following admissions: "The historical chapters of [Carter's book] are rather thin, filled with errors small and large, as well as tendentious and untenable interpretations," emphases added. (And the "historical chapters" comprise the greater part of the book, the prescriptive aspects of the book are largely comprised in the closing two chapters.)
1.17.2007 6:13pm
Colin (mail):
I don't see where I've been disingenuous or "beguiling." And I still don't understand what "low-born" is supposed to mean. Your clarification didn't clarify anything. How about this: is it the people or the claims that are low-born? I'm not sure which you're trying to disparage.
1.17.2007 9:13pm
Michael B (mail):
I don't believe in or trust your proffered "sincerity." Still, I'll close with the following. Given the fact I've already, twice now, unambiguously mentioned the ahistorical and anti-intellectual quality of the claims, additionally noting Finkelstein's admission of much the same, those are substantial indicators as pertains to my opinion of the claims, if only in general terms. As to the people, it's certainly not the people per se, in general terms.
1.18.2007 1:22am
Colin (mail):
I don't know who you're quoting; I never claimed to be "sincere." I am sincerely confused about what you're trying to say. I am also, I have to admit, amused by your inability to clarify yourself.

You still haven't explained what "low-born" means, other than--if I may put words into your mouth--"a person or claim that I do not like." My dictionary doesn't have a "low-born" entry, and if did, I doubt it would say, "the ahistorical and anti-intellectual quality of . . . claims."
1.18.2007 1:56am
Yankev (mail):
First, as to Carter's anti-Semitism, I can't see why it is anti-Semitic to point out that "the Jews" contol the press and for decades have manipulated the Congress and the White House for the interests of world Jewry and against the interests of the U.S., and have destroyed anyone who exposes their machinations. Such statements are no more than objective observation, just like pointing out that "the Jews" secretly control the world monetary system and the Tri-Lateral Commission, invented AIDS to devastate the non-Jewish world (now that anti-biotics are available to combat the Black Plague, which "the Jews" had earlier used for the same purpose)and murder non-Jewish children in order to use their blood in making matzoh.

And I do not for a minute think that Saudi funding is the reason Carter publishes his lies and distortions about Israel and his anti-Semitic musings. It's much more reasonable to conclude that Carter's lies and anti-Semitic musings are the reason Carter receives Saudi funding.
1.19.2007 1:43pm
Michael B (mail):
In terms of the conflict in contemporary terms Shlomo Ben-Ami's Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy is a very solid place to gain some traction, some real comprehensions. He's a substantial centrist, a realist and democratic/classical liberal in terms of his foundational social/political values, also possessing solid human rights sensibilities.
1.19.2007 6:29pm