Sunday, December 10, 2006


That’s what the LA Times titled Jimmy Carter’s op-ed. Unfortunately, that isn’t what President Carter did in this op-ed.

The many controversial issues concerning Palestine and the path to peace for Israel are intensely debated among Israelis and throughout other nations, but not in the United States. For the last 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee and the absence of any significant contrary voices.

If we based our opinions on just what’s said in this paragraph, we’d believe that Jimmy Carter is the lone man willing to stand up to AIPAC. We’d believe that he’s the only man willing to ’speak truth to power’. I’d use many adjectives to describe Jimmy Carter but courageous isn’t one of those adjectives. I can’t even tell you that I think he’s got a grip on reality. What I can tell you is that AIPAC is powerful inside Washington. Then again, the pro-Arab lobby is powerful, too. That’s what makes this next quote so extraordinary:

It would be almost politically suicidal for members of Congress to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine, to suggest that Israel comply with international law or to speak in defense of justice or human rights for Palestinians. Very few would ever deign to visit the Palestinian cities of Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Gaza City or even Bethlehem and talk to the beleaguered residents.

While it’s true that speaking out against Israel would be politically suicidal, it’s equally true that speaking out against certain Arab groups is politically suicidal in districts like the ones represented by John Conyers and John Dingell. In fact, the truth is that it’s almost fashionable to speak out against Israel in the more liberal Jewish communities. That’s due to the fact that many liberal Jews think that Israel is to blame for the Middle East’s problems. That’s certainly the perspective of Tikkun Magazine’s editorial staff.

These options are consistent with key U.N. resolutions supported by the U.S. and Israel, official American policy since 1967, agreements consummated by Israeli leaders and their governments in 1978 and 1993 (for which they earned Nobel Peace Prizes), the Arab League’s offer to recognize Israel in 2002 and the International Quartet’s “Roadmap for Peace,” which has been accepted by the PLO and largely rejected by Israel.

This is simply delusional thinking on Carter’s behalf. Nobody in their right mind thinks that the PLO has accepted the Roadmap. Nobody in their right mind thinks that Israel has rejected the Roadmap except when Hamas terrorists threaten Israel’s right to exist. Even a pacifist like President Carter knows that the UN Charter provides for the right of a country to defend itself.

Fred Barnes brought up something tonight on the Beltway Boys that I’d never heard before. He said an Israeli official once told him that they considered Carter to be an anti-Semite. Barnes said that he never believed that but this book is making him rethink that. That’s quite the stunning statement.

Here’s another troubling aspect to President Carter’s book:

Former President Jimmy Carter faced new criticism Friday over his controversial book on Palestinian lands when a former Middle East diplomat accused him of improperly publishing maps that did not belong to him. The new charge came as Carter attempted to counter charges from a former top aide that the book manipulates facts to distort history. Ambassador Dennis Ross, a former Mideast envoy and FOX News foreign affairs analyst, claims maps commissioned and published by him were improperly republished in Carter’s book. “I think there should be a correction and an attribution,” Ross said. “These were maps that never existed, I created them.” After Ross saw the maps in Carter’s book, he told his publisher he wanted a correction. When asked if the former president ripped him off, Ross replied: “it sure looks that way.”

I’d think that this book represents a new low for Jimmy Carter. Not only does he paint an inaccurate picture of what’s happening in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel but he’s also ‘appropriated’ maps created by longtime Middle East envoy Dennis Ross. That type of appropriation is often called plaziarism or theft.

This begs another question: How much further can Jimmy Carter sink in terms of integrity and honesty?

No comments: