Posted by: noticeable | January 13, 2007

More Reaction to President Carter’s Book

This story has completely captured my attention. While sustained violence continues to take place in Palestine, the West engages in its endless intellectualism and word-splitting. I am excited that President Carter has written on this subject, but the reaction only proves what many of us fear: the media is orchestrated by those with interest in and connections to Israel. They are the ones who set the agenda and define the parameters for accepted discourse.

This may not be the proper venue to express such sentiment as I strive to maintain a civil blog, but recently my discontent with Israel and her defenders has reached a level I am not proud of (catch my drift?). These people tend to be of a certain background, status and religion (that strange evangelical Christianity which has seemed to have forgotten Christ’s teachings of love and justice and Jews who equate Judaism with the political state of Israel).

Please read the following piece from the Guardian. While the article is in bold, my own commentary is bolded and underlined. Please understand that today’s post is written mostly off the fly. Nonetheless, I believe there is value in an unrestrained emotional reaction to political affairs…sometimes.

CARTER FACES REVOLT OVER BOOK ON MIDDLE EAST

· Walkout by 14 members of ex-president’s rights group
· Criticism of Israel seen as ‘malicious advocacy’

Ed Pilkington in New York
Friday January 12, 2007
The Guardian

The former US president Jimmy Carter was facing a revolt from some of his own supporters yesterday after 14 members of the advisory board of his human rights organisation resigned in protest at his view on Israel and the Palestinians.
Mr Carter has faced a backlash to the argument in his latest book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, for a renewed effort to kick-start the Middle East peace process. The book has been denounced by some commentators as anti-Israeli. Which means what exactly? If someone is anti-Israeli, have they committed a mortal sin? Have they betrayed humankind?

The 200-strong advisory board of the Carter Centre is drawn from prominent local figures in Atlanta, Georgia, where it is based. In a letter to Mr Carter explaining their decision to quit, the 14 members accused him of holding a “strident and uncompromising position”. Their little understanding of the occupation is painfully on display. They said the book “portrays the conflict between Israel and her neighbours as a purely one-sided affair with Israel holding all the responsibility for resolving the conflict … It seems that you have turned to a world of advocacy, including even malicious advocacy.” Malicious advocacy? We’re talking about a physical occupation of a foreign land by one state over another complete with a concrete barrier, military patrols, senseless and random invasions into towns and villages, not to mention a vicious Jewish settler population who may kill, maim and humiliate the native population because G-d is on their side.

Mr Carter’s book, which is number five in the New York Times bestseller list for hardback non-fiction, has been the subject of mounting criticism. Last month a fellow of the centre and long-time Carter adviser, Kenneth Stein, became the first to resign.

The book tracks the peace process from Mr Carter’s role as an architect of the 1979 treaty between Egypt and Israel. It blames all sides in the conflict but is especially critical of successive Israeli governments. “Israeli bad faith fills the pages,” wrote the New York Times book reviewer.

The most vociferous attacks on Mr Carter have come from the pro-Israeli Alan Dershowitz, a professor at Harvard law school. In a series of articles published on a Boston website under the title Ex-President For Sale, Prof Dershowitz has accused Mr Carter of having been in hock to Arab leaders in countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The spat between the two men led to further controversy within Brandeis, a Massachusetts university founded by the Jewish community in America. Mr Carter declined an invitation to speak there because he would have had to debate with Prof Dershowitz. Yesterday, Mr Carter announced that he would speak at the university this month, but only after the law professor had been taken off the ticket.

His spokeswoman said he would be happy to answer all questions.

Prof Dershowitz said he would be at the event and ask questions from the floor. “I will be the first person to have my hand up. I guarantee they won’t stop me from attending,” he told the Associated Press.

Part of the reason reaction to Mr Carter’s book has been so fervent has been his use of the word apartheid to describe the lot of Palestinians, a comparison with the former racist regime in South African vehemently rejected by Israel.

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Responses

  1. Thank You


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