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May 22, 2006

Carter Stands by His Errors

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Former President Jimmy Carter sticks to his recent public falsification of Arab-Israeli diplomatic history and international law, even when confronted with the facts.

William Bilek, a physician in Atlanta, wrote to Carter on March 20, following the publication of the former president’s column in that day’s edition of the British newspaper the Guardian. Carter's commentary also appeared in the Israeli paper Ha’aretz. (See “Jimmy Carter’s Syndicated Errors.”)

Bilek shared with us the content of his letter in which he challenged Carter on several erroneous statements. He wrote:

Most egregiously you wrongly state that U.N. [Security Council] Resolution 242 (1967) has ‘mandated Israel’s withdrawal from the [emphasis added] occupied territories. You are more aware than most, that that article, “the,” is expressly omitted in the definitive, official, legal English version of that resolution, specifically to permit final border changes in a peace agreement.

This is true. The resolution’s co-drafter, former U.S. Undersecretary of State Eugene Rostow, explained in a 1991 article in the New Republic:

Five-and-a-half months of vehement public diplomacy in 1967 made it perfectly clear what the missing definite article in Resolution 242 means. Ingeniously drafted resolutions calling for withdrawals from "all" the territories were defeated in the Security Council and the General Assembly. Speaker after speaker made it explicit that Israel was not to be forced back to the "fragile" and "vulnerable" Armistice Demarcation Lines, but should retire once peace was made to what Resolution 242 called "secure and recognized" boundaries, agreed to by the parties. In negotiating such agreements, the parties should take into account, among other factors, security considerations, access to the international waterways of the region, and, of course, their respective legal claims.

That a former President could be so ignorant of this history is difficult to believe.

Among other Carter falsehoods noted by Bilek in the Guardian commentary were the assertions that all U.S. administrations have agreed that Israel’s permanent borders must “coincide with those established in 1949.”

Not only does the Bush administration not hold that view, as Bilek reminded Carter, but both Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan are on record that Israel could not be expected to return to the extremely vulnerable ‘49 lines, no more than nine miles wide at one of Israel’s most populous points.

Presented with undisputable facts — or at least facts that cannot in good faith be disputed — Carter returned Bilek’s letter with this handwritten note, which highlights the ex-president’s rigid insistence on rewriting history :

To Dr. Bilek: All international laws, resolutions & U.S. policies call for Israel’s withdrawal and the non-acquisition of territory by force. It’s obvious that you disagree — Best Wishes, Jimmy C.

Carter has since recycled his Guardian/Ha’aretz piece in USA Today, May 16, as “Israel’s new plan: A land grab.” (See "CAMERA ALERT: Jimmy Carter Blunders in USA Today”.)

Bilek concluded his letter to Carter by noting that “it is unclear why a former president, with such accolades to his reputation, has now come out practically as a shill for the recognized terrorists of Hamas, in the process attempting to skew history to suit a particular point of view.”

Whatever the reason, Jimmy Carter repeatedly, in mass circulation newspapers and individual correspondence, discredits himself as a source on Arab-Israeli matters. If the Surgeon-General’s purview included polemics, Carter’s maunderings would carry an advisory: “Caution: Hazardous to your intellectual health.”

Posted by ER at May 22, 2006 04:54 PM

Comments

Bill Clinton also proposed borders that do not correspond to the armistice lines.

Stan

Posted by: Stan at May 24, 2006 09:30 AM

Dear Sir;
I am ashamed of our formar PresidentCarter, why he is so much aganist our friend Isreal I don't know, He is a both a liar and no friend now even of USA.

Posted by: irving parker at May 25, 2006 11:47 AM

Electing Jimmy Carter was the equivalent of picking someone out of the phone book to be President.

Posted by: Ripper [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 6, 2006 04:30 PM

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