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December 11, 2006

Clinton Anxious To Assure World He Is Still Scum-Sucking Pig

Here's an excerpt from a speech Bill Clinton gave a few months ago to the United Jewish Communities' Lion of Judah conference in Washington (downloadable here):

...when Mr. Arafat rejected my last peace proposal late in 2000 and the Intifada had begun, it changed a feeling – the attitude that peace was possible because there didn’t seem to be any partner for peace anymore. It affected the psychology of the Israeli people, and I think of Jewish people of the world over, and people devoted to the security of Israel the world over. The big question seemed to shift from what the details of a peace plan ought to be to how can we insure Israel’s security in what may be a permanently hostile environment.

Elsewhere in the speech, Clinton also refers to "the rejection of my peace proposal by Yasser Arafat" and "the seminal events of Arafat’s rejection." this true? Did Arafat reject Clinton's peace proposal, generally known as the "Clinton parameters," late in 2000? Let's ask the the guy who said this on January 8, 2001:

Both Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat have now accepted these parameters as the basis for further efforts. Both have expressed some reservations.

I'd really like to introduce Clinton to that dude. It shouldn't be too hard to get them in the same place at the same time.

It's hard to overstate how loathsome Clinton's behavior is here. The story told about the Camp David summit in 2000 and the negotiations afterward—that Arafat inexplicably turned down various proposals—did indeed "affect the psychology of the Israeli people, and of Jewish people of the world over." This in turn contributed to the dynamics that made the intifada so vicious, thus helping to cause the deaths of thousands of innocent Palestinians and Israelis.

The problem, of course, is that THAT STORY WAS FALSE. (Details on request.) And there's no one more responsible for spreading these lies than Clinton.

The rest of the speech is Clinton's attempt to make the case Palestinians actually are interested in peace. In other words, he's trying to mitigate the horrendous damage he's done over the past six years with the bullshit fable he's created, while simultaneously bemoaning the fable's effects and telling it all over again.

BONUS CLINTON SCUMMINESS: From The Truth About Camp David by Clayton Swisher:

Saeb Erekat told me what Clinton had told him when the former president was visiting the region in the spring of 2001 and had dinner with Erekat, who asked Clinton why he falsely told the world that Arafat had rejected his parameters. "I was with [Arafat] when he told you 'I accept your parameters with the following reservations and qualifications'!" Erekat exclaimed to Clinton, who sheepishly replied, "I was told if I didn't say this there would not be a peace camp in Israel—that Barak would be over."

Clinton then added, still sheepishly, "I hope you don't mind if I keep on saying this. I just don't think my lies have killed enough people yet."

Posted at December 11, 2006 06:48 AM | TrackBack

Is it my imagination, or is Bill's nose getting longer?

Posted by: cavjam at December 11, 2006 07:38 AM

And there's no one more responsible for spreading these lies than Clinton.

Why, I think Dennis Ross gave him a good run for the money.

Posted by: abb1 at December 11, 2006 08:14 AM

Clinton is lying.
Ross is lying.
Carter is lying.
Lying for Israel, lying for the Palestinians.
Ah, Veritas, we hardly knew ya.

Posted by: donescobar at December 11, 2006 08:28 AM

How many dead will be enough for this amoral, self-fixated ass to cop to the simple fact that he lied. "I was told"?

I still remember that famous execution he didn't have the balls to stop. I think I now know why he didn't inhale. He probably thought that under the influence he would really state why he dodged the draft.

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at December 11, 2006 09:36 AM


Why, I think Dennis Ross gave him a good run for the money.

Well, Ross would get an honorable mention trophy, but I don't think anyone can touch Clinton for the enthusiasm and impact of his lies.


Carter is lying.


Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at December 11, 2006 10:07 AM

"What Would Jimmy Do?" Review of Carter's book in the WaPost "Book World," Dec.10,2006, p.3, by New Yorker staff writer Jeffrey Goldberg, author of "Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide," and not a "Zionist apologist for Israel."

Posted by: donescobar at December 11, 2006 10:38 AM


What do you have in mind, exactly? That Carter lied about the number of suicide bombings in March 1996?

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at December 11, 2006 10:52 AM

How about, from the review:
Carter's book "is being marketed as a work of history, but an honest book would, when assessing
the reasons why the conflict festers, blame not only the settlements but also take substantial note of the fact that the Arabs who surround Israel have launched numerous wars against it, all meant to snuff it out of existence."
Now you could hope to see a Palestinian state, Israeli withdrawal behind 1967 borders (at least almost completely) and still be honest about the history of this horrible conflict. Carter knows, but keeps his knowledge out of the book. That is dishonest.

Posted by: donescobar at December 11, 2006 11:57 AM

1. Re--"the war(s)"
- 1948
- 1967: Have you read the statement (many) by
Arab leaders in the weeks before the
war? All about how this is going to be
a war of extinction, total annihilation,
that the road to Tel-Aviv would be
"lined with Jewish skulls," etc etc (All can be found in Michael B. Oren, "Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East.")
- 1973 Another shot at wiping out

What were these wars? If the Arabs had won one of the three, how do you think they would have handled the Judenproblem?

Look, the Israelis have been doing some pretty nasty stuff indeed. The Auden line applies: "Those to whom evil has been done, ro evil to others in return."
But to deny, or omit, the evil attempted or penetrated on one side--what the hell is that?as shaped the psyche of the Israelis all these five decades?

What do you think h

Posted by: donescobar at December 11, 2006 01:20 PM

Typo: "do" evil...

It is almost impossible to say anything on this topic that is not fiercely and totally for "one side" or for the other. If I say I try tt understand how a Jewish survivor from Lithuania acted in Palestine, and why his behavior evolved as it did--AND--that I try to understand how the son of a Palestinian farmer, expelled in 1948--acted in Gaza and how his behavior evolved--
No, I haven't read Jimmy's book. I've read articles (op-ed pieces) by him and I've watched a few interviews. My impression: Israelis =evil, Palestinians and Arabs=victims.
As the Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock once observed--it's always easier to throw a half truth in an argument, like half a brick, you can throw it farther.
And create more "controversy," and book sales.
There's plenty of right and wrong here on both sides. But that's not Jimmy. I do agree with Goldberg, that this strikes me as a "cynical" book, from title to aw shucks poseur good ole boy Christianity Jimmy has been selling. Just little ole me, tryin' so hard, folks, to bring peace to the Middle East, but these bad, bad Jews keep messin up mah dream. Yeah, right.

Posted by: donescobar at December 11, 2006 02:04 PM

We're getting further and further afield from anything Carter wrote. But --

1967: not launched by Egypt (or Syria or Jordan)
1973: not "meant to snuff [Israel] out of existence."

Even if Goldberg's characterization of the history were accurate, it wouldn't be convincing because he doesn't give any specifics. What exactly is it that Carter said? What does he think Carter should have said? (Did Carter take note of the wars, but by his reckoning, not "substantial note"?) But it's certainly not persuasive to talk about "history" and being "honest" in a sentence that doesn't given an honest account of the history.

Again: if you want to read the book (or Carter's op-eds) and then make specific, accurate criticisms, I endorse that. I also endorse attempting to understand what the world looks like to people on all sides of the conflict.

But I reject claims made without evidence. I particularly reject evidence-free characterizations of anyone, but particularly someone with Carter's track record, as saying: "Just little ole me, tryin' so hard, folks, to bring peace to the Middle East, but these bad, bad Jews keep messin up mah dream." It's anti-rational and counterproductive in the extreme.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at December 11, 2006 02:20 PM

OK, no further but one example of Carterian dishonesty.
He wrote, in a Dec.8 op-ed piece in the LA Times:

"My most troubling experience has been the rejection of my offers to speak, for free, about the book on university campuses with high Jewish enrollments..."

What? Who? Where? Who turned down Jimmy's generous offer? What role in the rejection by those enrolled Jews?
Now, his Institute is on the campus of Emory University, which boasts (or bemoans) a 30% Jewish enrollment!!! No trouble from those condemnded to eternal damnation Jews?
When my son was there, Jimmy showed up to guest-lecture in a Poli Sci class, filled with those Joos. Very nice reception and applause.
The man has an obsession about Jews.
Some Jews have an obsession about Arabs.
Both are disgusting.
But it is better to see both for what they are.

Posted by: donescobar at December 11, 2006 02:45 PM

Jonathan - you're wrong here. The Palestinians most definitely DID reject the Camp David proposals. What's wrong is the idea that they did this inexplicably. The reason was quite simple, and they were up front about it. You can read the reasoning here:

Posted by: saurabh at December 11, 2006 03:17 PM

Also, I'm not sure I understand Clinton's logic:

Scenario A: Clinton says that both sides had reservations, but generally agreed to the proposals. Palestinians seem reasonable. Peace camp dissolves! Barak is assassinated.

Scenario B: Clinton says Palestinians are unreasonable rejectionists. Peace camp doggedly persists in supporting Barak in his negotiation efforts, even though the Palestinians clearly hate all Jews.

Someone care to explain this to me, in non-sarcastic terms?

Posted by: saurabh at December 11, 2006 03:32 PM


Again, I really have to reject this. You don't have any evidence that Carter was lying. If you truly think he was, then get somebody to ask him to provide specifics. That might be worthwhile. But to claim Carter is lying and particularly to say "the man has an obsession about Jews" on the basis of what you've presented is pretty gross. I think it's beneath you, honestly.


Yes, the Palestinians did reject the Camp David offer (to the degree there was any offer to reject). But Clinton is talking about something else: the parameters he introduced in December, 2000, which moved much closer to what the Palestinians could accept. They formed the basis for the talks at Taba.

Re Clinton/Barak, remember Clinton was just about to leave office, Barak was just about to face Sharon in an election, and the intifada was starting. One option was to tell the truth: it would probably be possible to make an agreement based on Clinton's parameters, but it would take a while because Barak had never made a reasonable offer to the Palestinians previously, preferring instead to spend his time in office dicking around with Syria and then the Camp David silliness. (Clinton was also to blame for this, for various complex reasons.)

The other option was to build up Barak (already under attack by Israel's frothing right-wing in the same terms they'd been using to describe Rabin before he was coincidentally shot) as not being a cowardly left-wing appeaser at all but actually strong! strong! strong! Striving for peace but not willing to sell out his people!

For the reasons you give, this was an idiotic strategy, even for Barak's short-term interests (as shown by the fact he was crushed in the election). And indeed, this was predicted by observers at the time. But I guess Barak, Clinton, etc. felt it was the best of their bad options. If you're interested in the details, I highly recommend The Truth About Camp David.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at December 11, 2006 03:53 PM

BUT, BUT, ---he was asked, right there on Book-TV on C-Span

"Can you give us an example..." (of rejections by universities)

"Well, I'm reluctant to give specific examples..."

Yeah, right again. Bullshit, thy name is Carter.

Insight into the whole history of Zionism, Palestine, Arab neighbors --good, and let the chips fall where honest research lets them fall.

Why does he single out universities with high Jewish enrollment? True of the Ivies, the top liberal arts colleges. Also high Asian-American enrollment there. So? What is the point of singling them out? To reach those Jewish students? Please. He's baiting, for his own pleasure and for the publicity value. Why else bring this up?

How about the remark attributed to him, that if he'd get reelected in 1989 he'd "(expletive deleted) the Jews?" It ain't on tape, but we've been eating up that kind of remark about Nixon, Clinton, Bush---Is Jimmy a saint only because blames Israel for everything?

Posted by: donescobar at December 11, 2006 05:26 PM

1980!!! Sorry.

Posted by: donescobar at December 11, 2006 05:28 PM


Sure - those pushing a pro-Palestinian line have never had any trouble speaking at American universities; and anyway, it definitely has nothing to do with pro-Zionist groups preventing them from speaking!

NB: I wrote "pro-Zionist" rather than "Jewish" - one should always make the distinction. On the other hand, one would expect universities with "high Jewish enrollments" to have a stronger Zionist support base; which is probably Carter's point.

Posted by: Andrew Montin at December 11, 2006 06:29 PM

But, Andrew, did those Jewish students at the rejectionist Universities even know Carter wanted to speak there? Were they consulted? Did they respond? We know nozzzink! Perhaps, because there is nothing.
In Sept. the former President of Iran (Khatami) spoke at Harvard. (Orange alert: high J enrollment). 800 heard his speech. 150, many Jews, protested outside. It was sooooo violent!
How violent: "Police arrested one person at the protest due to an outstanding warrant that was not in relation to the demonstration."
Jimmy and his publisher know what creates publicity--see the kind created by that AIPAC article, soon to be a book and (my sources tell me) a major motion picture.
Long time since the image of Jews was that of the skeleton in pin stripes or those Exodus heroes. Anti-Israel stuff sells now, and if a touch of Jew-supporters paranoia in America sauce has to top the main dish, serve it up.
You wanna buy it? OK by me.
All presidents have lied. JFK, LBJ, Tricky, RR, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II.
But Jimmy, no, not the good, god-fearing boy from Plains. Sure. He's never forgiven America for choosing that divorced Hollywood guy over such goodness. Too much goodness for some of us.

Posted by: donescobar at December 11, 2006 06:58 PM

Oh, and I should say -- I don't have direct experience with how things work in academia, but I do have some with Congress. And I was on a conference call with Congressional staffers planning hearings who decided not to invite someone because he'd written negative things about the Israeli government that the staffers themselves considered to be true. They just didn't want the hassle.

But if I were asked about this on national television, I wouldn't identify the staffers. I won't even do it here.

In other words, I don't find Carter's behavior somehow suspicious.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at December 11, 2006 07:46 PM

Very reasoned and civil response. Now, I wasn't trying to "convince" you Carter was lying. In this case, I don't have evidence that he was or wasn't. And I'm not that interested in comparing him to Clinton.
What I find. oh, disconcerting, is his raising the matter of universities with a high Jewish enrollment, and--indirectly-- "wink, wink, nod, nod, get it"--linking his unspecified rejections to speak at those institutions with their high hebrew enrollment.
That I find, well, smarmy and scummy. Lying? I don't know.
Well, onward, I hope, to higher ground. Or, to better evidence.

Posted by: donescobar at December 11, 2006 10:01 PM

Apparently he (Carter) wrote:

The book is devoted to circumstances and events in Palestine and not in Israel, where democracy prevails and citizens live together and are legally guaranteed equal status.

Well, this is certainly a lie, there is no equal status, legally there is no equal status - and I'm sure he knows it. That's a lie right here.

Posted by: abb1 at December 12, 2006 06:02 AM

I can understand Carter not wanting to give specific examples. And I can also believe that universities might put up roadblocks. I have some experience with how things work in academia. Let me mention one event that happened at a major state university in the middle of the country several years ago:

The history department opened a search for an endowed research position in Middle East history. The department's choice was an Arab American who had published some things critical of Israel. The university had expected the position to go to a pro-Israel academic and a campaign was spearheaded by a faculty member in the English department whose spouse was in the administration to stop the hire. This campaign organized the local Jewish community to oppose the hire as well --- the campaign was ugly and racist, typical slurs of antisemitism. The donors who had supported the endowed position came in on the anti side and put pressure on the university. The history department stood firm in their choice but the university in the end removed support for the position completely so that no-one was hired. The history department had folks with a variety of points of view on the ME, including some pro-Israel academics, but the department was unified in its support of its choice based on academic quality, the pressure was entirely from elsewhere in the university.

Posted by: pulaski at December 12, 2006 10:31 AM

Donescobar, if I have time I'll put together a few links about your beloved truth-teller Jeffrey Goldberg, who is indeed a Zionist propagandist who writes for the New Yorker. The two things are not mutually exclusive--in fact, one of the most loathsome anti-Palestinian things I've ever seen in the mainstream press appeared in the New Yorker, though not by Goldberg.

But, anyway, regarding Goldberg, he wrote one article in the New Yorker about Hezbollah a few years ago and mentioned the SLA/Israeli torture center at Khiam. Hezbollah had turned it into a kitschy museum about Israeli atrocities. What did our wonderful Mr. Goldberg have to say about that? He made fun of the kitsch and somehow neglected to act like a journalist and inform his readers about whether the allegations of Israeli torture were true. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say they were, but you wouldn't know that from reading Goldberg. I don't think I care much what Goldberg has to say about Carter's book.

Goldberg also wrote an article in the New Yorker which "linked" Saddam Hussein with an al Qaeda outfit in Kurdish territory.

Nice authority you've picked. I may or may not hunt down the New Yorker articles in question, but you could probably find them yourself.

Bonus disgusting New Yorker article--it wasn't Goldberg but I remember a New Yorker article comparing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to something similar in 19th Century American history. No, no, not the theft of Indian land and the atrocities committed by both sides. That would be accurate. No, the Israelis were the Yankees during Reconstruction and the Palestinians were the KKK fighting the occupation. That's the kind of bigoted crap Carter is complaining about.

As for the claim that Carter is an antisemite, yeah, right. The "evidence"? He claims that there are pro-Israeli groups at some universities that don't want him to speak. Horrors, who other than a Hitler-lover would even dream up a story like that. The fact is that there are two groups in the US with a higher-than-normal obsession with proving Israel is without sin. One group would be evangelical Christians--I'm a member of this group and sometime I might rant about the idiocies of evangelical Christianity on human rights issues. The other I won't mention except with winks and nods. And by the way, in neither case would I say that every member or even the majority of either group is irrational on this subject, but there's a vocal contingent in both groups who are.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at December 12, 2006 10:35 AM


I don't doubt your story for a second. Having been in academe for 17 years, I saw many similar, where pressures that should have been opposed, influenced decisions.
But Jymmy brought up something entirely different. He claims his offers to speak at universities with "high Jewish enrollment" were turned down, never telling us if that high enrollment had anything to do with the rejection.
If it did not, why bring it up at all? If it did, how?
It's the "wink, wink, nod, nod" practice of having the reader or listener make the connection.
Without any hint of evidence or support, without comparison to shools he did speak at, this seems to me to be a nasty "red herring," or really a "kosher herring." But it doesn't taste kosher.

Posted by: donescobar at December 12, 2006 10:49 AM

Donald Johnson

You're a rational fellow, so:

1. I'm not enamored of Goldberg. I saw his review in the WaPost, saw Jimmy's interviews, and even a Goldberg can make some valid points now and then.
2. I don't think Jimmy is an anti-Semite. He's got a book to sell. He and the publisher know that the book, title and all, would stir up the Israel-supporters in America, so the more we stir them up, the more controversy, the more books we sell. Hey, everbody does that, and that does not translate into anti-Semitism.
3. There are two things, however, that strike me from the Jew-filled universities" suppression" and op-ed piece "puzzlement" in the LA Times that come across, at least to me: first, Jimmy is a smarmy fellow; second, he's got some sort of thing up his ass about Israel and the Jews. Let me say that the second impression is just that--but when I watch and hear him talk about Israel or Jews, I get the same feeling I got in 1969 when a Senator from Alabama spoke about "Negroes" in that kindly, toothy grin kind of way: BULLSHIT.
At least on Counterpunch, say, you get honest rage at Israel. One can deal with that. Jimmy, it seems to me, is all phony pseudo-Christian mush.

Posted by: donescobar at December 12, 2006 11:12 AM

Too subjective, donescobar. You've admitted (by believing Pulaski) that what Carter said about the universities could be true. So we're left with your sense that he's a smarmy something or other with a thing about Jews, which sounds like you're talking about antisemitism to me.

I've got my own problems with Carter, those that any Chomsky-reader would have, and someday I'd like to know what he was thinking when he continued the Ford-Kissinger policy of supporting Indonesia's invasion of East Timor. But I think his position on Israel/Palestine is like that of any American of goodwill (and any ethnicity) when they try to make people realize how one-sided the coverage is in this country. There's so much pro-Israel BS in the mainstream American press that any attempt to present the other side is likely to come across as Israel-bashing. It's like a situation where most people had sympathized with the Palestinians and had never heard of suicide bombing or the Mufti's links with the Nazis or the anti-Jewish pogroms in the 20's in Palestine, etc... If most of Israel's crimes were known and most Arab crimes were unknown, a person who came along and pointed this out would probably be seen as an anti-Arab racist.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at December 12, 2006 02:46 PM

It was, as I said, an impression. Vibes, as we called them in the Sixties. But a touch more, too. I don't know what it is about Carter and Israel and the Jews. That's why I said "something." But since he raised the universities filled with Jews, I suspect he connects the two--how, I don't exactly know or understand. Surely he's not comparing Jewish undergrads with the AIPAC or Foxman type of "pressure." If he is, it's mostly crap.
I think both of us would like to see what Harvey Cox (Divinity Prof at Harvard) says in the Chronicle of Higher Ed:
"I look forward to the day when one can be supportive or critical of Israel --or Iran or Hamas -- without having one's intelligence or motives impugned."
Not yet, not yet. I don't think Jimmy's work helps to create such a climate.

Posted by: donescobar at December 12, 2006 03:14 PM

Quick add: I accept Pulaski's story, but if you read on, I think the Carter story is quite a different kind of matter. We have not one iota of evidence here about the "forces" that prevented his appearances on those campuses. Zilch. It's Carter raising his own bogeymen--as I hoped, for publicity and sales.

Posted by: donescobar at December 12, 2006 03:17 PM

And this has been anti-anti-semitism corner with donescobar. Next week, we break out Jimmy Carter's napkin he used under his coffee saucer, does that look like a swastika to you? Additional funding provided by Hillel, Campus Friends of Israel, Campus Watch figments of fevered, barely restrained, ready to break out, anti-semitic, hallucinations.

Posted by: Ed Marshall at December 12, 2006 08:36 PM


Additional funding provided by Hillel, Campus Friends of Israel, Campus Watch figments of fevered, barely restrained, ready to break out, anti-semitic, hallucinations.

Posted by: at December 12, 2006 08:37 PM

Strikeout tags don't work :|

Posted by: Ed Marshall at December 12, 2006 08:38 PM

"Having a bug up his ass" about Israel isn't antisemitism. It isn't even innapropriate for a man who won a nobel Peace prize based on his efforts in the region. Seriously, you people talk like Jimmy Carter isn't a Middle East Expert. He is, at least as much as Goldberg. donscobar is an fan of the Israeli's, clearly. When was the last time someone who cared about this issue because of 'justice' actually told the truth? No, instead we get lies about jews eating baby's blood and Arabs torturing jews for centuries. The truth is, these Populations got along fine until the creation of Israel and the events surrounding that creation. no centuries old blood fueds. No war since time begin. 60 years of hostility, that's it. those are just lies our fathers told us.

Israel is the biggest problem America has in attaining a more peaceful future. We provide the weapons that kill lots of Arabs. Shockingly, they don't like that (and spare your racist canards about how palestinians aren't arabs). That's why we don't just get to ignore the issue, or even concern ourselves with what is 'fair'. This is no longer an obsession by a few that can be tolerated by the many. It is having a severe effect on our ability to obtain the resources we need and created partnerships around the world. We can't even talk to european nations without having Israel brought up anymore. In a decade they won't even bother talking to us, not with their muslim populations.

Posted by: soullite at December 13, 2006 10:34 AM


Wanting Israel to exist (in a form to be decided among them and their neighbors) is NOT fandom.
You could have known that if you could read.

Posted by: donescobar at December 13, 2006 12:04 PM

Wanting Israel to exist (in a form to be decided among them and their neighbors) is NOT fandom.

If you are serious then you would be in the company of 99% of anti-zionists. Penning awful apologia for the Holy Herrenvolk State does seem like fandom and a rather noxious sort.

Posted by: Ed Marshall at December 13, 2006 07:35 PM

"Holy Herrenvolk."
You must mean the Saudi royal family, no?
It is possible, for some of us :1- to understand what was behind Zionism, its origins in Europe, the history of Jews in Europe; 2- to mourn what Zionism has turned into, in part through its own, in part through external contingencies; and 3- still not want the annihilation of Israel's people but instead a return to the kind of Zionism some of its socialist labor advocates practiced in the 1920s and 1930s.
Got it?

Posted by: donescobar at December 13, 2006 10:42 PM

That's fair, donescobar, but if you feel you're getting unfairly bashed here it's in part because you've basically accused Carter of antisemitism on very flimsy grounds.

There's an illustration of what Carter is complaining about in the American press in today's NYT. They've got an article in their Arts section (I'm looking at the paper copy, not online) about Carter and his Jewish critics. And those are the only voices. There aren't any people in the article who come to Carter's defense, not Arab-Americans, not Desmond Tutu (who knows something about apartheid and has made the same comparison with Israel) and not even anything from a Palestinian sympathizer from the Jewish community, someone like Michael Lerner, for instance.

It's almost as though the NYT is subtlely coming to Carter's defense by writing the story the way he might have predicted they would.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at December 14, 2006 07:56 AM

If you read my posts, I said that my sense he's "he's got something up his ass" about Israel and Jews does not translate to anti-Sem. (Pretty much those words.)
I think he's got a lot of resentment up his ass--about not being reelected, about all the talk of the failed presidency etc. He's created a persona of Jimmy the good 'ole boy Christian, and I think something is not quite right with all that. He loves everybody and just wants to do good. Now, anyone who strove and achieved the political power of the presidency as he did---
Carter and Israel/the Jews--nobody would really care had he not, with his publisher, picked that title and then hinted at those Jews in colleges keeping him spreading his message of peace. So much goodness thwarted. Sigh.

Posted by: donescobar at December 14, 2006 08:07 AM

Donald Johnson

Just read the article you mentioned. If I see one more letter in the NYT by Foxman, I'll throw up, kosher pickles and all.
Look, there is loads and loads of ant-Semitism out there, from the country-club (not in mine!) kind to the "to the gas ovens with them" variety. Read the most recent description of the Neo-Nazi-Muslim version in Berlin on the English site of DER SPIEGEL. But none of that helps all that much in getting the Palestinians and Israelis to figure out a way to carve up theat piece of land, or live together on it.
I haven't read Carter's book--only reviews and op-ed pieces about it. I've seen Jimmy on TV and read his LA Times piece.
Should there be discussion in the USA about this issue, discussion including all kinds of points of view. Sure. Problem is, there's no consensus on reading the history of both peoples, of that piece of land pre-1948 and post-1948, of the role of Arab nations, from which such discussion could move forward. All sides harp back to positions to which they cling, citing a selection of "facts" to support these positions. And there is plenty of "right" on both sides, and plenty of "wrong" too.
I don't have an original thought on this. Maybe the old: Israel goes back to 1967 borders (save a corridor of land to protect Tel Aviv if things go wrong and missiles fly), abandons the settlements, and the Palis have the land to build a state.
Jerusalem? After a few years of peace. The "right to return?" For that I have not even a suggestion. Unprecedented, isn't it? I don't know.
I doubt Israel will ever even approach this issue, except via compensation. But then, who has?
One thing I would like an explanation for: why such animus to the idea (and reality) of a Jewish state, and none toward Muslim states? The separation of religion and state should apply to all nation states and all religions, which is why I support the Separation of...groups in this country.
Lets put an atheist in the White House. Or, at least an agnostic. A "freethinker" would do.
(After W, any thinker is an improvement--maybe.)

Posted by: donescobar at December 14, 2006 10:10 AM

Donescobar, I know you said you're not accusing Carter of antisemitism, but saying he's got a bug up his rear about Jews isn't much different. And I think you've got a bug up your rear about the fact that he's a Christian. Lord knows evangelicals do a lot of stupid things (I could write a badly written book on the subject), but in Carter's case, the bad things he's done have been because he's part of the American political mainstream and was the sort of person that had the desire to be President and did what it took to succeed. Consequently he gets in office and does things like arm Indonesia as it commits genocide in East Timor. Typical American Presidential behavior.

The good things Carter has done (attempt to bring peace, stamp out Guinea worm) have been motivated by his Christianity. You might find that distasteful. If so, I find that sort of distaste distasteful. Christianity sometimes motivates people to do extremely bad things (Spanish Inquistion, voting for Bush, etc...), but when it motivates people to be compassionate, why bash it?
(And yeah, I'm Christian, but substitute some other religion or ideology and I'd probably say the same.)

Posted by: Donald Johnson at December 14, 2006 10:42 AM

As for the NYT article and Foxman, etc... I agree. There are plenty of real antisemites and for that matter, any real honest discussion of Israel's atrocities will probably bring them out in droves. So people whose job it is to monitor antisemitism shouldn't be confusing the issue by tarring Carter with that brush.

As for Jewish/Muslim states, most people in the West dislike Muslim states. The dislike is taken for granted. I assume most people hope that the Muslim world will gradually move in a secular direction. It's the criticism of an explicitly Jewish state that is limited (in the US) to mostly far left venues.

I'd favor a one-state solution for the I/P conflict in theory, but in practice suspect that would lead to the kind of conflict Lebanon had and Iraq is having. The majority of people in both communities might be rational, but you only need some fanatics on both sides to start a civil war. So something like the Geneva Accords would probably be the best achievable solution.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at December 14, 2006 10:49 AM

Oh, not anti-Christian. I don't like or trust Carter, not because he's Christian, but because I sense (not know) a powerful Un-Christian streak of unkindness and nastiness in him.
What it is is this: he strikes me as a mirror-image of Nixon, both deeply resentful of the Eastern establishment boys, the lanky, graceful types (Bush I, JFK) who had $$$, family, the confidence that you gain attending Harvard or Yale. Nixon's resentment was dark, dark, seething, spiteful. Carter has claoked it under a veneer of Christian goodness--or so I see it.
But you ought to know that as a refugee from the Nazi onslought my first ever experience of kindness and compassion came from a bunch of nuns-
so of course, faith can lead to extraordinary acts of goodness, (plenty of exanmples in history) or to the hateful kind of exclusion, condemnation, slaughter--all in the name of the true god or belief. (As many examples in history, too.)
I agree that Carter has done some good things. I still stick to my overall impression of him. On this particular issue, it might be best to hold off for me until I read his book in a bookstore.

Posted by: donescobar at December 14, 2006 11:11 AM

Check out today's Boston Globe on Carter's turning down invitation to debate the dread Dershowitz at Brandeis (red alert for % of Jews) University.
Jimmy cpoulda wiped the floor with the Dersh who, as Carter says, knows nothing about the ME.

Posted by: donescobar at December 15, 2006 05:23 PM