The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned former President
Jimmy Carter’s 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 Carter’s distortions, inaccuracies and hostility in this book
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. . Israel’s 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-one’s 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
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
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
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 Arafat’s 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
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
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 Arafat’s PA (1994 onwards), but did not under Israel rule. 70% of east
Jerusalem’s Christians left during Jordanian rule and since Arafat’s PA took
over Bethlehem in 1994, most of its Christians have left as well.
Some important facts omitted from Carter’s book:
-The long history of Palestinian and Arab-state sponsored terrorism against
Israel before 1967.
-Arafat’s 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. Carter’s 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,
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Jimmy Carter’s 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 Carter’s 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 Israel’s reputation in the minds of anyone who
merely sees the book’s cover, because even Carter admits in the book that
the situation in Israel ‘is unlike that in South Africa.’
“Carter’s 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 Israel’s
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
“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 Israel’s existence, [and] not work with Israel
side-by-side in peace.’ It’s 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 Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. This was and
remains the actual reason for the Arab war on Israel, not Israel’s
self-defensive measures, none of which would be necessary if Arabs truly
accepted Israel’s existence.”