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Kenneth Stein: My Problem with Jimmy Carter’s Book January 26, 2007

Posted by nukemhill in Judaism/Israel.
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In an article on The Middle East Forum, Ken Stein, former Middle East fellow at the Carter Center, puts together a more formal, and quite devastating, critique of Carter’s book, Palestine:  Peace not Apartheid.  It’s pretty comprehensive.  He basically accuses Carter of either intentionally misquoting key figures in the ongoing Middle East conflict(s), or outright misrepresenting what they are saying.  Stein extensively footnotes the article (50 notes for what amounts to a 5-7 page treatise), in a strong effort to back up his own interpretations with facts.

One piece, in particular, strikes me.  Here’s a quote:

But Carter is often wrong. Throughout Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, he allows his premises to supplant the facts. His book contains no footnotes, citations, or sources. It contains an appendix and a series of maps, some of which he seems to have mislabeled and taken from Clinton-era negotiator Dennis Ross’ The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace.[22] The maps are reconfigured to support Carter’s statement that Israel’s best offer in the final months of Clinton’s presidency was to divide the West Bank into three non-contiguous areas, thus reinforcing Carter’s claim of apartheid.[23] Carter dismissed the allegation that he appropriated the maps, saying that he had never seen Ross’s book.[24] If true, Carter ignored the most important and detailed memoir yet published on 1990s-era Arab-Israeli negotiations.

I think this is one of the most damning statements in Stein’s article.  The simple fact that Carter claims he did not read Ross’ book speaks volumes about the integrity of his work.  How could he possibly write a book about the failed negotiations between Israel and the PLO, and not go to one of the primary sources?!  This is absolutely mind boggling to me and, frankly, raises doubts about the statement itself.  Carter had to have at least looked at Ross’ book.  There’s no way he couldn’t have.  Which brings us back to the plagarism charge raised a few weeks ago.  Did Carter lift the maps from Ross’ book, and intentionally distort them?  I’m inclined to think he did, and is now trying to cover his tracks.

Carter continues to dig himself deeper and deeper into an incredible hole.  Why anyone of any integrity would listen to and believe anything he has to say, is beyond me.

Update: Here’s a post by Cathy Young on Carter’s appearance at Brandeis. Seemed to be a pretty rigged appearance. The questions were pre-selected, and no follow-ups were allowed. And Alan Dershowitz was not allowed to appear on stage at the same time. Nice setup, if you can get it. Carter’s been completely unwilling to debate anyone on his book, which shows, at the very least, moral cowardice on his part. Yet he accuses Jewish universities of ‘blacklisting’ him. Putz.

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