The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned former President Jimmy Carters latest book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, as inaccurate, shallow and vicious. The book is but the latest in decades of attacks upon Israel by the former President.
Examples of Carters distortions, inaccuracies and hostility in this book include:
Carter: The overriding problem is that for more than a quarter of a century, the actions of some Israeli leaders have been in direct conflict the official positions of the United States, the international community, and their own negotiated agreements. … Israels continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land.
Fact: Judea and Samaria are historically, legally and religiously Jewish land and form part of territory originally earmarked for a Jewish state by the League of Nations. There has never been a Palestinian Arab state in these areas, despite offers to establish one in 1937, 1948 and 2000 and Israel won Judea and Samaria in the 1967 war of self-defense. This land was no-ones sovereign territory and had been illegally occupied and annexed by Jordan in 1948. When under Arab control, no Palestinian state was set up there. Jews have more right to live in Judea and Samaria than any other people.
Carter: Palestinian Arabs have long supported a two-state solution and the Israelis have always opposed it.
Fact: The 1937 Peel Commission partition plan, the 1947 UN partition plan and the 2000 peace plan all proposed a Palestinian state alongside a Jewish state. Palestinians rejected all three.
Carter: In 1967 Israel launched a preemptive attack against Jordan.
Fact: Jordan commenced hostilities against Israel by shelling Jerusalem and opening fire on Israeli lines, despite Israeli calls for Jordan not to intervene in the Israeli-Egyptian fighting. Israel then counter-attacked and captured east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
Carter: UN Security Council Resolution (UNSC) 242 calls for Israel to withdraw from all the territories conquered by Israel in the 1967 war.
Fact: UNSC 242 does not call for immediate, total and unconditional withdrawal by Israel. Rather, it calls for Israel to withdraw from territories occupied (not the territories) to secure and recognized boundaries produced by negotiation with the Arab belligerents of that war.
Carter: Arab-Jewish violence began when Jewish militants attacked Arabs in 1939.
Fact: Arabs launched attacks upon unarmed Jews in 1920, 1921, 1929 and 1936-39, murdering hundreds of Jewish civilians long before Jewish armed units were formed to defend themselves.
Carter: Blames Israel while exonerating Arafat, for the Palestinian refusal to accept a Palestinian state as provided for in the 2000 Barak-Clinton peace proposals.
Fact: Arafat rejected these proposals and made no counter-offer according to Clinton and chief U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross. Instead, Arafat launched a terror war against Israel that still endures. Clinton said in his memoirs that Arafats rejection made his Middle East policy a big failure. These proposals, contrary to what Arafat said and Carter chooses to believe, would have resulted in a fully contiguous Palestinian state on more than 95% of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Carter: Confessions extracted through torture are admissible in Israeli courts.
Fact: The Israel Supreme Court has explicitly outlawed the use of torture to even extract information of impending terror attacks, let alone confessions.
Carter: Israel is to blame for the exodus of Christians from the Holy Land.
Fact: The Christian population of Jerusalem and other cities controlled by Jordan dropped steeply under Jordanian rule (1948-67) and is doing so again under Arafats PA (1994 onwards), but did not under Israel rule. 70% of east Jerusalems Christians left during Jordanian rule and since Arafats PA took over Bethlehem in 1994, most of its Christians have left as well.
Some important facts omitted from Carters book:
- The long history of Palestinian and Arab-state sponsored terrorism against Israel before 1967.
- Arafats efforts to import offensive weaponry and bomb making materials from Iran via the Karine-A ship in 2002, about which Arafat lied to the U.S. government, saying he had nothing to do with it
- The persecution, expulsion and expropriation of the property of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab countries since 1948.
- The desecration and destruction of Jewish synagogues, graveyards and homes in east Jerusalem and prevention of Jewish worship at Jewish sacred sites after Jordan captured that part of the city in 1948.
- The 1972 Munich massacre of Israeli athletes in an operation funded by current Palestinian authority president and co-founder with Yasser Arafat of the Fatah terror group, Mahmoud Abbas.
Critical commentary of the Carter book:
- Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law Professor: Whatever Mr. Carters motives may be, his authorship of this, a historical, one-sided, and simplistic brief against Israel forever disqualifies him from playing any positive role in fairly resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians ( New York Sun, November 22).
- Martin Peretz, Editor-in-Chief of The New Republic: a tendentious, dishonest and stupid book (New Republic, November 11).
- Rich Richman, Editor, Jewish Current Issues: The anti-Israel bias is so clear, the credulous description of Arab positions so cringe-producing, the key facts on which Carter relies so easily refuted by public documents, that the book is an embarrassment to Carter, the Democrats, the presidency and Americans ( American Thinker, November 14).
- Michael Jacobs, Managing Editor, Atlanta Jewish Times: A poorly written, poorly argued, nonsensical little book ( Altanta Journal Constitution, November 20).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, Jimmy Carters inaccurate, shallow and vicious book is unfortunately what we have come to expect from this most mediocre of modern presidents. The book is not only riddled with factual errors and distortions fully in keeping with Carters long-standing bias against Israel and preference for neighboring Arab dictatorships, but even manages to malign Israel in its title, as Israel is a democracy that extends full civil rights to its non-Jewish citizens, not a minority, racist regime that like apartheid South Africa. The title seems to have been maliciously chosen to harm Israels reputation in the minds of anyone who merely sees the books cover, because even Carter admits in the book that the situation in Israel is unlike that in South Africa.
Carters animus against Israel has been confirmed from many reliable quarters. His Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, once revealed that if Carter had won a second term, he intended to sell Israel down the river. In The Unfinished Presidency, Douglas Brinkley writes, There was no world leader Jimmy Carter was more eager to know than Yasir Arafat, whom he befriended already in 1990, three years before Arafat supposedly accepted Israels right to exist and signed the Oslo Accords. But what would you expect from someone who won a prize from Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates whose Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up has promoted Holocaust denial?
The ZOA, however, agrees with Jimmy Carter on one matter. On a recent visit to Israel, he said, I condemn very deeply any teaching of Palestinian children or college students that they should despise Israel, not recognize the legitimacy of Israels existence, [and] not work with Israel side-by-side in peace. Its a pity that Carter fails in his book to enlarge on this and related issues of incitement to hatred and murder and failure to arrest and jail terrorists in the PA which stems from Palestinian Arab non-acceptance of Israels right to exist as a Jewish state. This was and remains the actual reason for the Arab war on Israel, not Israels self-defensive measures, none of which would be necessary if Arabs truly accepted Israels existence.