Latest update: April 9th, 2013
The MEQ article came out within a year after Stein resigned his position over what he described as the “inaccuracies” in Carter’s 2007 book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”
This is how Stein described that book.
But Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, Carter’s twenty-first book and his second to focus on the Arab-Israeli conflict, is deficient. He does what no non-fiction author should ever do: He allows ideology or opinion to get in the way of facts. While Carter says that he wrote the book to educate and provoke debate, the narrative aims its attack toward Israel, Israeli politicians, and Israel’s supporters. It contains egregious errors of both commission and omission. To suit his desired ends, he manipulates information, redefines facts, and exaggerates conclusions. Falsehoods, when repeated and backed by the prestige of Carter’s credentials, can comprise an erroneous baseline for shaping and reinforcing attitudes and policymaking. Rather than bring peace, they can further fuel hostilities, encourage retrenchment, and hamper peacemaking.
Reading Stein’s opus it becomes clear why so many believe Jimmy Carter was not, and is not, an honest broker when it comes to dealing with the Jewish State.
In the book, Carter does not mention the counterproductive judgments made by Palestinian leaders or their embrace of terrorism over the last many years. While nineteenth- and twentieth-century European, Ottoman, Arab, and Zionist leaders all sought at various times to stifle Palestinian self-determination, the claim that the establishment of a Palestinian state rests only in the hands of Jerusalem and Washington is rubbish. By adopting so completely the Palestinian historical narrative, Carter may hamper diplomatic efforts enshrined in the “Road Map” and elsewhere that attempt to compel the Palestinian leadership to accept accountability for its actions.
Finally, and frighteningly, Stein addresses the unspoken question. Maybe Carter didn’t care for Israel, but surely that doesn’t mean he is an anti-Semite. In his seminal on-the-record statement about his former boss, Stein had this to say: “Carter’s distrust of the U.S. Jewish community and other supporters of Israel runs deep.”
Anti-Semitic or not, Richard Allen of the seemingly ubiquitous JCC Watch, and someone who has been actively working to spread the news about the YU law school’s award to Carter, was voluble on the topic.
“This is a perfect example of Jewish donations going to efforts that work to delegitimize Israel,” Richard Allen told The Jewish Press. “Why would anyone contribute money to a law school that honors an enemy of the Jewish people?”
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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