Saturday, December 23, 2006  

You say Apartheid, I say containment...

Lo these many years, a peanut farmer climbed onto the National Stage, and got wacked by Reagan's posse.
And then, the not quite as simple as he seemed farmer, stepped on to the International Stage and did credit to himself and to his nation, which is more than I can say for a number of presidents past and present.

Carter's new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid is roiling the ranks in a healthy (more or less) turmoil. I haven't read the book yet, I'm still trying to finish my review of Zighn's Still Moments (hard to get these things right, sometimes) and reading The Yacoubian Building, so I really won't and can't comment on the contents. I do, however, find a current situation rather interesting.

The San Diego Union Tribune- not known for a conscious libral thought, although occasionally the Editorial Board hiccups and something profoundly decent surfaces (for which I imagine they don hairshirts and flagellate themselves profusely). Their latest foray into non-Iraqi ME commentary was the following:

Carter's Calumy/Deceptive book on Palestine rewrites history


December 16, 2006

Jimmy Carter has spent years burnishing his reputation as “America's greatest ex-president.” Now, with the publication of his book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” – which likens Israel to the former racist regime in South Africa – Carter has put all that in jeopardy.

No one questions that Israel has a long and checkered history in its dealings with the Palestinians. But in recent years, Israel has made many overtures and concessions only to find itself without a willing partner for peace. Even many of the Palestinian Authority's once-ardent European supporters now agree that it is a corrupt sham.

Given this history, it is simply stunning that Carter could put out a book with this succinct thesis: It's all the Jews' fault.

He ignores that the current and previous Israeli prime ministers have worked to reverse past decisions to permit settlements on Palestinian land – which is his main grievance against Israel. He pretends the goal of Israel's security fence is not to stop murderous suicide bombers but to “imprison” Palestinians. Against the testimony of President Bill Clinton and all available evidence, he absolves Yasser Arafat for the collapse of the very promising 2000 Camp David talks – indeed, he still holds out Arafat as a heroic figure.

All this is bad enough. But Carter also finds common ground with the anti-Semitic groups who insist Israel's monstrous ways are ignored by Congress and the media because they are manipulated by American Jews more sympathetic to Israel than the United States.

This is destructive nonsense. The good news is that the overwhelming reaction to his book reflects the recognition that it consists of destructive nonsense.

The bad news is that Carter's prominence ensures his fact-deprived analysis will pollute policy debates for years to come. Yet he offers himself up as a statesman. That's amazing – and sad.

As I said, I haven't read the book itself, but having written on, been involved in, dealt with Israeli/Palestinian issues off and on for years, I'd say the editorial writer a) didn't read the book either and b)is a sorry excuse for a journalist

But I'll leave the real commentary on the commentary to the letters to the editor section. It's very interesting. Check it out.

Love the use of the word "calumy." It's always nice to broaden one's vocabulary and then road test it.

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