Jimmy Carter was one of our worst presidents ever — and now he is trying very hard to be our very worst ex-president.
I think he will succeed. His latest book,”Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid” bodes well to help. I’m surprised (or not) that the Emory U Prof Kenneth Stein’s ending his relationship with the Carter Center (he helped set it up) over the book hasn’t received more attention.
Powerline had Stein’s letter (and some excellent commentary). The whole letter is well worth reading, but here is a tidbit:
“President Carter’s book on the Middle East, a title too inflammatory to even print, is not based on unvarnished analyses; it is replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments. Aside from the one-sided nature of the book, meant to provoke, there are recollections cited from meetings where I was the third person in the room, and my notes of those meetings show little similarity to points claimed in the book. Being a former President does not give one a unique privilege to invent information or to unpack it with cuts, deftly slanted to provide a particular outlook.”
Michael Kinsley gives a number of reasons why the word apartheid is simply the wrong word, including this one:
“And the most tragic difference: Apartheid ended peacefully. This is largely thanks to Nelson Mandela, who turned out to be miraculously forgiving. If Israel is white South Africa and the Palestinians are supposed to be the blacks, where is their Mandela?”
(I love Kinsley’s description as the Middle East as the region that has given rise to three great religions “so far.”)
Carter has also evoked bleak wit from National Review’s Rich Lowry:
“Jimmy Carter brings a Christian perspective to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Unfortunately, it is the same Christian perspective as a drunken Mel Gibson, obsessed with heaping blame on the Jews.
“Yes, there are two sides to every dispute, and heaven knows the Palestinian people have suffered throughout the past six decades, but Carter apes the Palestinian position and calls it evenhandedness. He is such a rabid partisan that his next logical step after the publication of his rant of a new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, can only be to follow the example of the late Israel-hater Edward Said and be photographed throwing rocks at Israeli security forces.”