Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why Jews Should Not Forgive Jimmy Carter

Lo and behold, former President Jimmy Carter has had an epiphany and has sought forgiveness from Jews for his public positions on the State of Israel. Carter writes:

We must recognize Israel’s achievements under difficult circumstances, even as we strive in a positive way to help Israel continue to improve its relations with its Arab populations, but we must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel. As I would have noted at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but which is appropriate at any time of the year, I offer an Al Het for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so.

Yet it just so happens that his grandson is seeking elected office in Georgia. Jason Carter recently announced that he would seek a seat in the Georgia State Senate. The district in which he is running has a large Jewish population. Of course, Carter says the whole thing is just a coincidence. Yeah surre.

Carter writes, "I never intended or wanted to stigmatize the nation of Israel." An example of this was the title of his 2006 book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. Yet when Carter visited Brandeis University in January 2007 he sang a very different tune. "I can see it would precipitate some harsh feelings," said the 39th President, "I chose that title knowing that it would be provocative."

The term apartheid it is associated with the old racist regime in South Africa. The world rightly ostracized and stigmatized South Africa for its behavior. Why then use the term "apartheid" unless it one intends to galvanize world opinion into ostracizing and stigmatizing Israel in a similar manner?

The book would be followed by a film Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains directed by Academy Award winning director Jonathan Demme. It documented his U.S. book tour promoting Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. The film arrived in theaters a year after the release of the book.

At one point during the film he is being interviewed on The Tavis Smiley Show. While Smiley generally praises Carter and the book he does take him to task for the use of the word apartheid. Carter responded by claiming Palestinians are treated worse by Israel than blacks were in apartheid era South Africa.

He would go further than that. During an appearance on MSNBC's Hardball on November 28, 2006, Carter said:

What is being done to the Palestinians now is horrendous in their own territory by occupying powers which is Israel. They've taken away all of the basic human rights of the Palestinians as was done in South Africa against the blacks.

Carter knew exactly what he was doing when gave the book that title and the furor that would follow. He did everything in his power to fan the flames of anti-Israel sentiment. If Carter wasn't trying to stigmatize the State of Israel then it's impossible to fathom what the hell he was doing.

For Carter's plea for forgiveness to ring true then he must come out and say that he willfully and wantonly lied about the State of Israel. Until then Jews should view his plea as nothing more than crass political opportunism and dismiss it out of hand. Jimmy Carter has not shown himself to be worthy of forgiveness.

No comments: