10th December 2006

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Blog :: Carter Not Helping

Well, general political commentary is not really my thing. I have followed with interest, however, the response to Jimmy Carter's most recent book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. As I have grown to expect from Carter, the book is dramatically more sympathetic to the Palestinean point of view. Very early on, such staunch conservatives as Alan Dershowitz appropriately took Carter to task for the many errors of ommission and commission in his book.

It is easy, apparently, to write off life long Democrats and Liberals such as Dershowitz as apologists for the international Zionist conspiracy (just read the comments on his HuffPo post for many examples!). More interesting then, has been the recent news that the former Executive Director of the Carter Center in Atlanta and Middle East Studies Carter Center Fellow, Kenneth Stein, has resigned from his position as Middle East Fellow with the Center.

According to his resignation letter Dr. Stein is uncomfortable with the polemic and one-sided nature of the book as well as concerned that the accounts of negotiations to which he was directly privy do not match his notes or recollections. Additional coverage (nicely balancing each other) can be seen at the NY Times and the NY Post.

I have always been impressed by Carter's work with Habitat for Humanity and only regret that he hasn't stuck to the hammer and nails. Currently in my estimation Clinton has been a better "ex-President" than Carter has been! It is worth noting that Carter's perspective on the 2000 Camp David talks (essentially: Israel offered nothing) conflicts sharply with the perspectives of President Clinton, Dennis Ross (the chief negotiator) and even others like Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar Ibn Sultan (who presumably is no great friend to Israel).

Posted on December 10th 2006, 10:36 PM