Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Jimmy Carter - Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid

Say what you will about former president, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter - and I don't think too highly of him - at least he is not a liar, hypocrite, or schemer. His moral compass may be naive but he follows it and is willing to speak his truth to power.

His newest book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, will likely put him at odds with all the pillars of power in America - academia, media, government. In it, he comes down hard on Israel, and he uses the word "apartheid" to describe Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. Carter asserts that present Israeli policies constitute “a system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights.”

Naturally the liars, hypocrites, and schemers who do populate academia, media, government are running away from him - even his former allies. Top Democrat leaders are rushing to distance themselves from him. Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi issued statements critical of Carter and the book (despite the fact that the book has not yet been released), and saying that it does not represent their views on the Jewish state.

“It is wrong to suggest that the Jewish people would support a government in Israel or anywhere else that institutionalizes ethnically based oppression, and Democrats reject that allegation vigorously,” Pelosi wrote in a statement. “With all due respect to former President Carter, he does not speak for the Democratic Party on Israel.”

“While I have tremendous respect for former President Carter, I fundamentally disagree and do not support his analysis of Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Dean wrote in a statement. “On this issue President Carter speaks for himself, the opinions in his book are his own, they are not the views or position of the Democratic Party. I and other Democrats will continue to stand with Israel in its battle against terrorism and for a lasting peace with its neighbors.”

The fact is, Pelosi and Dean know very well their statements are false. But they also knows they have to make them. Politics is about power, not principle.


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