Back on the Blog
Z in the R is B on the B. Let's talk about Jimmy Carter. The former President is getting skewered in the press for his new book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, comparing Israel's treatment of the Palestinians with South Africa' apartheid era government. Carter has been slammed as a bigot and worse.
Carter's wise enough to have expected a shitstorm. Taking a position that no U.S. President could take while in office, Carter is challenging journalists and the pro-Israel lobby to take him on. Carter's ready for them. One of the most controversial statements Carter makes is that the media and powerful lobby do not offer a diversity of opinion on Israel's actions.
As a Jew, I once took for granted that Israel can do no wrong. In the late 1990's I made my only trip to Israel, which sparked my interest on the conflict with the Palestinians. I no longer take Israel's bona fides for granted. And I cannot accept that Fatah and Hamas are the incarnation of evil, as I was taught to believe. Carter, to his credit, says that we need to examine the case with a fresh view on the merits. The attempt to silence a critic is proof of the fact that the subject is censored.
Carter put his enormous good will and reputation in play to spur a new view of the Middle East crisis. He thinks he's earned the benefit of the doubt through his own peace-making, humanitarian works. He deserves fair consideration, and we should join him by making our own evaluations, rather than dismissing him out of hand. The peace process will not suffer from a candid appraisal of both sides.