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January 09, 2007

Ross on Carter's Map Manipulations

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Ross says Carter "badly misrepresents the Middle East proposals advanced by President Bill Clinton in 2000" by misrepresenting the maps. The map shown here is from Ross' Missing Peace

Today in the New York Times Dennis Ross addresses the controversy that emerged concerning Jimmy Carter's unattributed use of maps similar to those of Ross. Ross charges:

In his book, Mr. Carter juxtaposes two maps labeled the “Palestinian Interpretation of Clinton’s Proposal 2000” and “Israeli Interpretation of Clinton’s Proposal 2000.”

The problem is that the “Palestinian interpretation” is actually taken from an Israeli map presented during the Camp David summit meeting in July 2000, while the “Israeli interpretation” is an approximation of what President Clinton subsequently proposed in December of that year. Without knowing this, the reader is left to conclude that the Clinton proposals must have been so ambiguous and unfair that Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, was justified in rejecting them. But that is simply untrue. . . .

When I decided to write the story of what had happened in the negotiations, I commissioned maps to illustrate what the proposals would have meant for a prospective Palestinian state. If the Clinton proposals in December 2000 had been Israeli or Palestinian ideas and I was interpreting them, others could certainly question my interpretation. But they were American ideas, created at the request of the Palestinians and the Israelis, and I was the principal author of them. I know what they were and so do the parties.

It is certainly legitimate to debate whether President Clinton’s proposal could have settled the conflict. It is not legitimate, however, to rewrite history and misrepresent what the Clinton ideas were.


Posted by TS at January 9, 2007 05:37 AM

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