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January 14, 2007

Simon and Schuster Changing Its Tune?

The Los Angeles Times reports that Jimmy Carter spokeswoman Deanna Congileo

noted that Carter and his publisher, Simon and Schuster, "have said that if there are any factual errors, they will be corrected in subsequent editions."

Now, either this is another Carter falsehood, or Simon and Schuster is changing its tune. Last month, in response to CAMERA's New York Times ad which called on Simon and Schuster to correct factual errors, Adam Rothberg, head of S&S corporate communications, told Publishers Weekly:

“We’re going to stick with the president’s version.”

Also, the LA Times story covered Kenneth Stein's first detailed public comments since his resignation from the Carter Center. The Times reported that during his address Thursday in Los Angeles,

Stein . . . said that in two of the most serious errors, Carter misrepresented the wording of a key U.N. resolution and gave a false account of a 1990 meeting he held with former Syrian President Hafez Assad, which Stein attended.

See the CAMERA ad for more on Carter's distortion of U.N. Resolution 242. According to the Times, Stein is writing a review of Carter's book for Middle East Quarterly.

Posted by TS at January 14, 2007 07:22 AM

Comments

Here's my contribution on Carter's Peace Not Apartheid.
Edward Green, Professor Emeritus, Sociology,
Eastern Michigan University
Review of Jimmy Carter, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid
By Edward Green

The book is essentially a memoir of Jimmy Carter’s efforts in trying to resolve Israeli-Palestinian differences. It includes a brief history of the conflict, portraits of the key players, the involvement of other American presidents, and recent developments from the year 2000 to 2006. One cannot help but suspect that Carter must have known that the use of the word apartheid, given its standard meaning, an acute form of racism, and with the fresh memory of the United Nations approval of the resolution, Zionism Equals Racism, would inflame Jews who would throng booksellers to obtain the book and confront their accuser.
The sketchiness of the narrative enables Carter to amplify information favorable to his position and to omit or downplay unfavorable information. Carter issues a stern indictment against Israel for the treatment accorded Palestinians— the suppression of human rights by physical barriers, checkpoints, naval and air blockades which deny Palestinians fishing and shipping, and access to the outside world. Most egregious of Israeli offenses is the encroachment on land recognized internationally as Palestinian secured by walls and fences which inexactly follow the line of separation between Israel and Palestine. Constructed on the Palestinian side of the line, the barriers destroy the integrity of communities and farms by cutting through them and gouging inward to accommodate Jewish settlements on the West Bank.
The word apartheid, though part of the book’s title, appears only twice in the book, and then near the end, where it signifies the repressive outcome of Israeli policy rather than a legal or guiding principle. The separation of the two peoples, as Carter sees it, is not based on ethnicity but on land, with the Palestinians shunted on to the remnants of a once larger territory recognized by law as legitimately theirs. Carter uses apartheid ambiguously: In one context, a state of apartheid now prevails; in another context, apartheid, still in a nascent stage, is an option which should be rejected.
No doubt Palestinian interests suffer under existing conditions. Carter puts the blame squarely on a minority of Israelis, mainly settlers and Zionist zealots, who use their political clout to frustrate legitimate Palestinian claims. But Carter also knows that those factions are balanced in Israel’s democratic assemblies by equally vocal groups, Briera for example, that demonstrate in support of much of the Palestinian agenda. No such constituency in sympathy with Israel’s interests surfaces on the Palestinian side, let alone the whole Arab world.
More detrimental to Palestinian interests than anything the Israelis do is their own self-destructiveness, the consequences of which are laid on to the Jews. Carter must surely know of the blatant endemic corruption of the Palestine Authority whose highly placed officers. benefit from continuing the standoff with Israel. As reported in the CBS show Sixty Minutes , November 9, 2003, “So far, Prince's [auditing] team has determined that part of the Palestinian leader's [Arafat’s] wealth was in a secret portfolio worth close to $1 billion -- with investments in companies like a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Ramallah, a Tunisian cell phone company and venture capital funds in the U.S. and the Cayman Islands.” Political rivalries, a policy of unwillingness to come to terms with Israel, encouragement of intifada, praise of martyrdom, and the resulting terrorist attacks have blunted the hope of many Israelis that fruitful negotiations are possible. Thus the separation that Carter calls apartheid, the denial of Palestinians access to Jewish areas, is perceived on the Israeli side as a long overdue and effective strategy for preventing the entry of Palestinians intent on blowing up Jews.
Carter’s scheme for the resolution of the conflict strikes a questionable equivalence between the requirements of the two sides. It proposes, that in exchange for withdrawal from lands seized in the Six Day War in 1967 all Arab neighbors must “pledge to honor Israel’s right to live in peace.” Israel, in negotiations, has demonstrated a willingness to accept that proposal. Enough Palestinians and Arabs generally, however, are indoctrinated from early years, in schools and media to act out hatred of Jews, making Arab compliance highly problematic. Here are some other expressions of Carter’s attitude which in their totality betray a mind-set that extends beyond the issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

p. 26 Carter mentions a complaint by Samaritans he met on travels in Israel, that their holy sites were not being respected (how is unspecified) by Israeli authorities. He bolsters the complaint by invoking Jesus and his disciples who heard the same complaint almost two thousand years earlier. Carter should be informed that archaeology is a national passion in Israel and that no nation surpasses Israel in devotion to the protection and preservation of antiquities.
p. 59 In the Six Day War, Carter writes, Israel launched pre-emptive strikes against Egypt, Syria, and then Jordan. The fact is that Israel asked Jordan to stay out of the conflict and did not attack Jordan until Jordan began an assault on Israel to honor its treaty obligations to Egypt. I heard King Hussein say exactly that on TV shortly after the cessation of hostilities.
p. 84-5 Carter discussing Jordan’s economic losses from the Six day War, has another opportunity to say that Jordan hit first, but doesn’t take it. In describing the losses in population and income in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, they are described as Jordanian, not Palestinian losses: tacit notice that eighteen years after the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish portions that Palestinian nationalism had not yet widely diffused.
p. 85 Re: the civil war in Jordan between Palestinian guerillas and the Jordanian army. Carter says Syrian forces under Defense Minister Assad of Syria refused to attack Jordan’s forces and Hussein was able to prevail. The fact is that Syrian forces had already penetrated Jordan to assist the guerillas, but under Israeli threat, withdrew.
p. 95 In the course of Israel’s intervention in the Lebanese civil war in 1982, as many as 3500 non-combatant Muslims in the Shatila and Sabra Palestinian refugee camps controlled by Israel’s allies were slain, for which, Carter writes, Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon was held accountable. Carter omits to say that the killings were done by Maronite Christian militiamen. Ariel Sharon’s role in the matter is controversial. As commander of the Israeli and allied forces, the buck extended to him, but there is no evidence that he sanctioned the killings. He invited Lebanese Phalangist militia units to enter the refugee camps and expel the PLO fighters. Israeli soldiers would remain outside the camp while the Maronite forces under the direct command of Elie Hobeika, who would later become a longtime Lebanese parliament member and also a cabinet minister, entered. The Maronite phalangists exceeded Sharon’s orders, slaying an estimated 700-3500.
p. 127 In a stunning non sequitur Carter connects the benefits accorded the deeply religious Jewish parties in Israel, their excuse from military service and funding for benevolent causes, to his understanding “..for the first time why there was a surprising exodus of Christians from the Holy Land.”
p. 150 Carter’s discussion of the negotiations regarding a settlement of land issues between Yassir Arafat and Ehud Barak refereed by President Bill Clinton gives the impression that neither side extended itself in order to reach accommodation. That’s not the way Clinton remembers it in his biography: “Barak had shown ‘particular courage , vision, and understanding,” in making concessions and Arafat refused to seize the moment.
A friendly suggestion, Jimmy Carter from one who voted for you twice. Concede that not only are you mistaken on many facts, but that your objectivity is frayed by transparent biases of which you should be aware. And finally recant your witless statement on television that the misery in Palestine is worse than in Rwanda where an estimated 800,000 were slain by thug militias.


Posted by: Edward Green at January 21, 2007 03:43 PM

Mr. Carter has betrayed an extraodinarily complex form of anti-Israel sentiment. Either his memory is exraordinarily bad--even for events in which he took part--or his vision is totally jaundiced when it comes to things Israeli. Does he admit--I wonder--that the Arab nations rejected the two-state solution in 1948? Does he admit--I wonder--that the Arab nations attacked the new state and committed themselves to its destruction? If we can get him to begin at the beginning, maybe he will see the tremendous gap between his present state and the reality of Middle Easter political life.

Posted by: Myron Taube at January 26, 2007 03:17 PM

Doctor Green,

Your post about Carter shows that you write as well as when you were a fiery young man.

I have always loved you.

Russell Wakefield

Posted by: Russell Wakefield at April 20, 2009 04:25 PM

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