Thursday, November 30, 2006

Taking issue with President Jimmy Carter

As I glanced online this morning at the Courier-Journal's website, I cannot help but think how much my opinion of former President Jimmy Carter has changed iver the years. First and foremost, I will not read his new book at all nor will I be at the book signing at Sam's Club in Jeffersontown tonight.

The Zionist Organization of America has condemned the new book as being "inaccurate, shallow, and vicious."
Carter: “The overriding problem is that for more than a quarter of a century, the actions of some Israeli leaders have been in direct conflict the official positions of the United States, the international community, and their own negotiated agreements. ... Israel’s continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land.”
Fact: Judea and Samaria are historically, legally and religiously Jewish land and form part of territory originally earmarked for a Jewish state by the League of Nations. There has never been a Palestinian Arab state in these areas, despite offers to establish one in 1937, 1948 and 2000 and Israel won Judea and Samaria in the 1967 war of self-defense. This land was no-one’s sovereign territory and had been illegally occupied and annexed by Jordan in 1948. When under Arab control, no Palestinian state was set up there. Jews have more right to live in Judea and Samaria than any other people.

Carter: Palestinian Arabs have long supported a two-state solution and the Israelis have always opposed it.
Fact: The 1937 Peel Commission partition plan, the 1947 UN partition plan and the 2000 peace plan all proposed a Palestinian state alongside a Jewish state. Palestinians rejected all three.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz had a piece in the New York Sun where he was strongly critical of the Carter book.
Sometimes you really can tell a book by its cover. President Jimmy Carter's decision to title his new anti-Israel screed "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" (Simon & Schuster, 288 pages, $27) 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 acknowledgment 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-Arab terrorism is virtually missing from Mr. 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 Sephardim 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 byYasser Arafat. There is not even a reference to the Karine A, the boatful of terrorist weapons ordered by Arafat in January 2002.

Mr. Carter's 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. Mr. Carter too is guilty of misleading the court of public opinion. A mere listing of all of Mr. Carter's mistakes and omissions would fill a volume the size of his book. Here are just a few of the most egregious:

Mr. Carter emphasizes that "Christian and Muslim Arabs had continued to live in this same land since Roman times," but he ignores the fact that Jews have lived in Hebron, Tzfat, Jerusalem, and other cities for even longer. Nor does he discuss the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab countries since 1948.[...]

"Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" is so biased that it inevitably raises the question of what would motivate a decent man like Jimmy Carter to write such an indecent book. Whatever Mr. Carter's motives may be, his authorship of this ahistorical, one-sided, and simplistic brief against Israel forever disqualifies him from playing any positive role in fairly resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. That is a tragedy because the Carter Center, which has done much good in the world, could have been a force for peace if Jimmy Carter were as generous in spirit to the Israelis as he is to the Palestinians.
I agree with the point of view of Prof. Dershowitz and I have yet to read the book. I can tell by the title that it's not one I would agree with.

In other news, Congressman Duncan Hunter plans to formalize his presidential candidacy soon.

Outgoing Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is announcing his presidential candidacy today.

I'm watching the ADC conference on C-SPAN2 and they are talking with media strategists representing potential 2008 candidates. Doug Sosnik suggested the biggest endorsements are those of the local community leaders. Jim Jordan said that Dean had widespread online support but his campaign still crashed and burned--he said John Sweeney's endorsement of a candidate would be huge. Steve Murphy agrees, though he would advise his candidate to go after the netroots.

The Democratic members of Congress have rejected a key issue of the 9/11 commission recommendations.
It was a solemn pledge, repeated by Democratic leaders and candidates over and over: If elected to the majority in Congress, Democrats would implement all of the recommendations of the bipartisan commission that examined the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

But with control of Congress now secured, Democratic leaders have decided for now against implementing the one measure that would affect them most directly: a wholesale reorganization of Congress to improve oversight and funding of the nation's intelligence agencies. Instead, Democratic leaders may create a panel to look at the issue and produce recommendations, according to congressional aides and lawmakers.

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