The three most basic premises are quite clear:
1. Israel's right to exist within recognized borders-and to live in peace-must be accepted by Palestinians and all other neighbors;
2. The killing of noncombatants in Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon by bombs, missile attacks, assassinations, or other acts of violence cannot be condoned; and
3. Palestinians must live in peace and dignity in their own land as specified by international law unless modified by good-faith negotiations with Israel.....The Arabs must recognize the reality that is Israel, just as the Israelis must accept a Palestinian state in the small remaining portion of territorial homeland allotted to the Palestinians by the United Nations and previous peace agreements.
Oops - the territory allotted to the Palestinians by the United Nations was outlined in UN Security Council Resolution 181. It is 45% of the land area West of the Jordan. No peace agreements allotted any territory to the Palestinians, nor did the Palestinians agree to a peace treaty with Israel.
January 08, 2007 11:51 AM EST (Updated: January 09, 2007 10:22 AM EST) http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474976879837
Listen carefully to what Carter says about the media: the plight of the Palestinians is "not something that has been acknowledged or even discussed in this country... You never hear anything about what is happening to the Palestinians by the Israelis." He claims to have personally "witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts." He implies that the Jews impose these "severe restraints." He then goes on to say that the only reason his book--which has been universally savaged by reviewers--is receiving such negative reviews is because they are all being written by "representatives of Jewish organizations" (demonstrably false!). So much for the media.
Now here is what he says about politicians:
"It would be almost politically suicidal for members of Congress to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine, to suggest that Israel comply with international law or to speak in defense of justice or human rights for Palestinians. Very few would ever deign to visit the Palestinian cities of Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Gaza City or even Bethlehem and talk to the beleaguered residents."
Each of these claims is demonstrably false, as I have shown in detail elsewhere. The plight of the Palestinians has been covered more extensively, per capita, than the plight of any other group in the world, certainly more than the Tibetans and the victims of genocides in Darfur and Rwanda. Moreover, Carter totally ignores the impact of Arab oil money and the influence of the Saudi lobby. In numerous instances where the Arab lobbies have been pitted against the Israeli lobby, the former has prevailed.
Even beyond these nasty canards, the big story that the media and political figures in America have missed is how grievously they, themselves have been insulted and disrespected by our self-righteous former president. Carter is lecturing The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, and the major networks about how they are incapable of reporting the news objectively because they are beholden to some Jewish cabal. He is telling Pulitzer Prize winning writers such as Tom Friedman and Samatha Power that they did not deserve their prizes. He is telling George Will that his reporting is controlled by his Jewish bosses (sound a little bit like Judith Regan?). And he is denying that Anderson Cooper is capable of filing an honest report from the West Bank.
As far as our legislators are concerned, he is accusing Barack Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Patrick Leahy of being bought and paid for by the Israeli lobby. On Planet Carter, even congressmen with no Jewish constituents would be committing political suicide by taking a balanced position on the Middle East. What an outrageous insult to some of the best journalists and most independent political figures in the world.
At the bottom, Carter is saying that no objective journalist or politician could actually believe that America's support for Israel is based on moral and strategic considerations and not on their own financial self-interest. Such a charge is so insulting to every honest legislator and journalist in this country that I am amazed that Carter has been let off the hook so easily. Only the self-righteous Jimmy Carter is capable of telling the truth, because only he is free of financial pressures that might influence his positions.
It now turns out that the shoe is precisely on the other foot. Recent disclosures prove that it is Carter who has been bought and paid for by anti-Israel Arab and Islamic money.
Journalist Jacob Laksin has documented the tens of millions of dollars that the Carter Center has accepted from Saudi Arabian royalty and assorted other Middle Eastern sultans, who, in return, Carter dutifully praised as peaceful and tolerant (no matter how despotic the regime). And these are only the confirmed, public donations.
Carter has also accepted half a million dollars and an award from Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, saying in 2001: "This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan." This is the same Zayed, the long-time ruler of the United Arab Emirates, whose $2.5 million gift to the Harvard Divinity School was returned in 2004 due to Zayed's rampant Jew-hatred. Zayed's personal foundation, the Zayed Center, claims that it was Zionists, rather than Nazis, who "were the people who killed the Jews in Europe" during the Holocaust. It has held lectures on the blood libel and conspiracy theories about Jews and America perpetrating Sept. 11.
Another journalist, Rachel Ehrenfeld, in a thorough and devastating article on "Carter's Arab Financiers," meticulously catalogues Carter's ties to Arab moneymen, from a Saudi bailout of his peanut farm in 1976, to funding for Carter's presidential library, to continued support for all manner of Carter's post-presidential activities. For instance, it was the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), founded in Pakistan and fronted by a Saudi billionaire, Gaith Pharaon, that helped Carter start up his beloved Carter Center. According to Ehrenfeld:
"BCCI's origins were primarily ideological. [Agha Hasan] Abedi wanted the bank to reflect the supra-national Muslim credo and 'the best bridge to help the world of Islam, and the best way to fight the evil influence of the Zionists.'
As Ehrenfeld concluded:
"[I]t seems that AIPAC's real fault was its failure to outdo the Saudi's purchases of the former president's loyalty. There has not been any nation in the world that has been more cooperative than Saudi Arabia," The New York Times quoted Mr. Carter June 1977, thus making the Saudis a major factor in U. S. foreign policy.
"Evidently, the millions in Arab petrodollars feeding Mr. Carter's global endeavors, often in conflict with U.S. government policies, also ensure his loyalty."
It is particularly disturbing that a former president who has accepted dirty blood-money from dictators, anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, and supporters of terrorism should try to deflect attention from his own conflicts of interest by raising the oldest canard in the sordid history of anti-Semitism: namely, that Jews have dual loyalty and use their money improperly to influence the country they live in, in favor of the country to which they owe their real allegiance. Abraham Foxman responded to Carter's canard as follows:
As disturbing as Carter's simplistic approach is, however, even more disturbing is his picking up on the Mearsheimer -Walt theme of Jewish control of American policy, though in much more abbreviated form and not being the focus of his work. Referring to U.S. policy and the "condoning" of Israel's actions, Carter says: "There are constant and vehement political and media debates in Israel concerning its policies in the West Bank but because of powerful political, economic, and religious forces in the U.S., Israeli government decisions are rarely questioned or condemned, voices from Jerusalem dominate our media, and most American citizens are unaware of circumstances in the occupied territories." In other words, the old canard and conspiracy theory of Jewish control of the media, Congress, and the U.S. government is rearing its ugly head in the person of a former President.
As noted above, the most perverse aspect of Carter's foray into bigotry is that as he pours this old wine into new bottles he is himself awash in Arab money. When a politician levels these kinds of cynical accusations against others, it would seem incumbent on him to show that his own hands are clean and his own pockets empty.
Accordingly I now call upon Carter to make full public disclosure of all of his and the Carter Center's ties to Arab money. If he fails to do so, I challenge the media to probe deeply into his, his family's, and his Center's Arab ties so that the public can see precisely the sources and amounts of money he has received and judge whether it has corrupted the process of objective reportage and politics by Carter and others who have received such funds. Finally, I ask the appropriate government agencies to conduct an investigation into whether Carter should be required to register as a lobbyist for foreign interests.
Let's stop invoking discredited ethnic stereotypes, look at the hard facts, and actually see who's being bought and sold.
January 15, 2007 10:51 PM EST (Updated: January 15, 2007 11:08 PM EST)
I have known Jimmy Carter for more than thirty years. I first met him in the spring of 1976 when, as a relatively unknown candidate for president, he sent me a handwritten letter asking for my help in his campaign on issues of crime and justice. I had just published an article in The New York Times Magazine on sentencing reform, and he expressed interest in my ideas and asked me to come up with additional ones for his campaign. Shortly thereafter, my former student Stuart Eisenstadt, brought Carter to Harvard to meet with some faculty members, me among them. I immediately liked Jimmy Carter and saw him as a man of integrity and principle. I signed on to his campaign and worked very hard for his election. When Newsweek magazine asked his campaign for the names of people on whom Carter relied for advice, my name was among those given out. I continued to work for Carter over the years, most recently I met him in Jerusalem a year ago, and we briefly discussed the Mid-East. Though I disagreed with some of his points, I continued to believe that he was making them out of a deep commitment to principle and to human rights.
Recent disclosures of Carter's extensive financial connections to Arab oil money, particularly from Saudi Arabia, had deeply shaken my belief in his integrity. When I was first told that he received a monetary reward in the name of Shiekh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, and kept the money, even after Harvard returned money from the same source because of its anti-Semitic history, I simply did not believe it. How could a man of such apparent integrity enrich himself with dirty money from so dirty a source? And let there be no mistake about how dirty the Zayed Foundation is. I know because I was involved, in a small way, in helping to persuade Harvard University to return more than $2 million that the financially strapped Divinity School received from this source. Initially I was reluctant to put pressure on Harvard to turn back money for the Divinity School, but then a student at the Divinity SchoolRachael Lea Fishshowed me the facts. They were staggering. I was amazed that in the twenty-first century there were still foundations that espoused these views. The Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-upa think-tank funded by the Shiekh and run by his sonhosted speakers who called Jews "the enemies of all nations," attributed the assassination of John Kennedy to Israel and the Mossad and the 9/11 attacks to the United States' own military, and stated that the Holocaust was a "fable." (They also hosted a speech by Jimmy Carter.) To its credit, Harvard turned the money back. To his discredit, Carter did not.
Jimmy Carter was, of course, aware of Harvard's decision, since it was highly publicized. Yet he kept the money. Indeed, this is what he said in accepting the funds: "This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan." Carter's personal friend, it turns out, was an unredeemable anti-Semite and all-around bigot.
In reading Carter's statements, I was reminded of the bad old Harvard of the nineteen thirties, which continued to honor Nazi academics after the anti-Semitic policies of Hitler's government became clear. Harvard of the nineteen thirties was complicit in evil. I sadly concluded that Jimmy Carter of the twenty-first century has become complicit in evil.
The extent of Carter's financial support from, and even dependence on, dirty money is still not fully known. What we do know is deeply troubling. Carter and his Center have accepted millions of dollars from suspect sources, beginning with the bail-out of the Carter family peanut business in the late 1970s by BCCI, a now-defunct and virulently anti-Israeli bank indirectly controlled by the Saudi Royal family, and among whose principal investors is Carter's friend, Sheikh Zayed. Agha Hasan Abedi, the founder of the bank, gave Carter "$500,000 to help the former president establish his center [and] more than $10 million to Mr. Carter's different projects." Carter gladly accepted the money, though Abedi had called his bankostensibly the source of his funding"the best way to fight the evil influence of the Zionists." BCCI isn't the only source: Saudi King Fahd contributed millions to the Carter Center"in 1993 alone $7.6 million"as have other members of the Saudi Royal Family. Carter also received a million dollar pledge from the Saudi-based bin Laden family, as well as a personal $500,000 environmental award named for Sheikh Zayed, and paid for by the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.
It's worth noting that, despite the influx of Saudi money funding the Carter Center, and despite the Saudi Arabian government's myriad human rights abuses, the Carter Center's Human Rights program has no activity whatever in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have apparently bought his silence for a steep price. The bought quality of the Center's activities becomes even more clear, however, when reviewing the Center's human rights activities in other countries: essentially no human rights activities in China or in North Korea, or in Iran, Iraq, the Sudan, or Syria, but activity regarding Israel and its alleged abuses, according to the Center's website. The Carter Center's mission statement claims that "The Center is nonpartisan and acts as a neutral party in dispute resolution activities." How can that be, given that its coffers are full of Arab money, and that its focus is away from significant Arab abuses and on Israel's far less serious ones?
No reasonable person can dispute therefore that Jimmy Carter has been and remains dependent on Arab oil money, particularly from Saudi Arabia. Does this mean that Carter has necessarily been influenced in his thinking about the Middle East by receipt of such enormous amounts of money? Ask Carter. The entire premise of his criticism of Jewish influence on American foreign policy is that money talks. It is Carternot mewho has made the point that if politicians receive money from Jewish sources, then they are not free to decide issues regarding the Middle East for themselves. It is Carter, not me, who has argued that distinguished reporters cannot honestly report on the Middle East because they are being paid by Jewish money. So, by Carter's own standards, it would be almost economically "suicidal" for Carter "to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine."
By Carter's own standards, therefore, his views on the Middle East must be discounted. It is certainly possible that he now believes them. Money, particularly large amounts of money, has a way of persuading people to a particular position. It would not surprise me if Carter, having received so much Arab money, is now honestly committed to their cause. But his failure to disclose the extent of his financial dependence on Arab money, and the absence of any self reflection on whether the receipt of this money has unduly influenced his views, is a form of deception bordering on corruption.
I have met cigarette lobbyists, who are supported by the cigarette industry, and who have come to believe honestly that cigarettes are merely a safe form of adult recreation, that cigarettes are not addicting and that the cigarette industry is really trying to persuade children not to smoke. These people are fooling themselves (or fooling us into believing that they are fooling themselves) just as Jimmy Carter is fooling himself (or persuading us to believe that he is fooling himself).
If money determines political and public viewsas Carter insists "Jewish money" doesthen Carter's views on the Middle East must be deemed to have been influenced by the vast sums of Arab money he has received. If he who pays the piper calls the tune, then Carter's off-key tunes have been called by his Saudi Arabian paymasters. It pains me to say this, but I now believe that there is no person in American public life today who has a lower ratio of real to apparent integrity than Jimmy Carter. The public perception of his integrity is extraordinarily high. His real integrity, it now turns out, is extraordinarily low. He is no better than so many former American politicians who, after leaving public life, sell themselves to the highest bidder and become lobbyists for despicable causes. That is now Jimmy Carter's sad legacy.
Ex-President for Sale Part 3
January 22, 2007 10:49 PM EST (Updated: January 22, 2007 10:53 PM EST) Carter and Terrorism
Jimmy Carter, who claims he wrote his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, to improve the prospects for peace in the Middle East, has become a barrier to peace himself.
Recently, he urged the Palestinian leadership to reject an offer by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and a similar plan last week by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, to establish a Palestinian state with provisional borders to be finally negotiated in the near future.
Instead of encouraging the Palestinians to seize on these proposals as a starting point, leading to a solution whose basic elements are common cause among moderates on both sides, Carter has chosen to echo the rhetoric of the rejectionists:
"It is inconceivable that any Palestinian, Arab leader, or any objective member of the international community could accept this illegal action as a permanent solution to the continuing altercation in the Middle East," he wrote of Olmert's plan last year in USA Today. (1)
Carter has, in effect, told Palestinian radicals to continue to do what they are doing: mainly to terrorize Jewish civilians and then whine to the world about Israeli responses to terrorism.
In his book, Carter even justifies continuing Palestinian terrorism until "the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel."(2)
Putting aside the fact that Israel has long accepted the goals of the Roadmap, Carter's statement is being widely understood by advocates of Palestinian terrorism as a justification for its continuation.
That is why Carter's wordsin his book and in subsequent interviewsare being featured on radical Islamic and neo-Nazi hate sites around the world, (3) and being praised by hard left supporters of terrorism like Alexander Cockburn and Norman Finkelstein.
Cockburn crowed: "Carter's book soars higher and higher on the best-seller lists, reaching No. 4 at one point on Amazon itself." (4)
Yet it was Cockburn himself who described Carter as "a white male American with the blood of thousands on his hands" when the former President won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.(5)
Even Finkelstein has been forced to admit that "the historical chapters of Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid are rather thin, filled with errors small and large, as well as tendentious and untenable interpretations." (6)
Yet for these professional Israel-haters, Carter's apparent endorsement of Palestinian terror absolves him of all other sins.
In a recent interview on Al-Jazeera about his book, Carter specifically refused to include rocket attacks that target Israeli children, women and other civilians as "terrorism": "I don't really consider... I wasn't equating the Palestinian missiles with terrorism." (7)
Moreover, he refused even to condemn on moral grounds suicide bombings on public buses packed with women and children, limiting himself to criticizing these on tactical and public relations grounds.
He also suggested a moral equivalence between the deliberate targeting of Israeli children by terrorists and the accidental killing of children (some of whom are 17-year-old terrorists) by the Israeli Defense Force in their legitimate efforts to stop terrorism. (8)
What kind of message does this send? It sends a pernicious message of approval to Palestinian terrorists to persist, in the expectation that they will continue to receive the support of people like Carter and those who cite him with approval.
Rarely has a Nobel Peace Prize winner done so much to discourage peace and compromise and to encourage continuing terrorism and violence.
His decision to use the word "apartheid" is proof in itself that he wants to demonize Israel and to give comfort to the radicals who prefer isolation to negotiation.
Nowhere in Carter's book is there any consideration of what the word "apartheid" actually means. And never does Carter criticize the "apartheid" policies of Arab states like Lebanon, where Palestinians are denied many basic rightsto say nothing of his patron Saudi Arabia, where women and non-Muslims are the targets of severe discrimination.
Carter also forgets his own hesitation on apartheid in South Africa. Though he did more than any of his predecessors to stand up to South Africa's white minority government, the Carter administration protected South Africa at the United Nations by vetoing three UN Security Council resolutions condemning the apartheid regime and calling for broad economic sanctions. (9)
Inevitably, a leader who makes unfounded accusations invites close scrutiny of his own human rights record. And as President, Carter often failed to live up to the human rights standards by which he purports to judge Israel (and only Israel) today.
For example, President Carter recognized the Khmer Rouge as the legitimate government of Cambodia after it had been deposed in 1979 and after Pol Pot had killed millions of his own countrymen. (10)
In 1977, President Carter authorized a massive increase in military aid to Indonesia, including aircraft, barely two years after Indonesia invaded East Timor. (11) Amnesty International reports that "200,000 people, one third of the population, were killed or died of starvation or disease" in East Timor in the years after the invasion. (12)
In 1979, reversing its previous policy, the Carter administration began expanding military aid and allowing greater arms sales to Morocco, allowing Morocco to tighten its hold on Western Sahara, which it had annexed in 1975 and which it still occupies to this day. (13)
And it was President Carter who used Saudi Arabia to help arm the mujahideen in Afghanistan, many of whom later formed the core of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda: "We channeled assistance for those freedom fighters through Saudi Arabia, through Egypt and other places," he recently admitted. (14)
Carter's decision to condone Palestinian terror shines a harsh light on his own human rights failures.
I was hoping to question Carter about his position today (Tues., Jan. 23) when he speaks at Brandeis University. I was going to ask him whether it is true that in addition to discouraging the Palestinian leadership from accepting Olmert's proposals, he also discouraged the late Yasser Arafat from accepting the Clinton-Barak offer of statehood in 2000-2001.
"There was no possibility that any Palestinian leader could accept such terms and survive," he claims in his book. (15) The world should know whether Carter actually gave Arafat that advice.
After all, he has justified Arafat's actions at Camp David and Tabawalking away without making a counter-offerand has chosen to believe Arafat's mendacious account over the truthful and documented accounts of President Clinton, Dennis Ross and Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabiaall of whom place the blame on Arafat.
The irony, of course, is that if Arafat had accepted the Clinton-Barak offer, or come back with a counter-offer, there would have been no intifada and no "apartheid"; better yet, there would have been peace and a Palestinian state. What was Carter's position at that time? Is it different from the one he has taken now?
I won't get to ask him those or any other question because Carter, who claims he wrote his book to stimulate a "debate," refuses to debate! But I have been invited by a student group to offer a rebuttal to Carter's Brandeis speech, and I will do so. I invite Carter to stay and listen to my rebuttal and to respond to it. I will have a chair on the stage for him.
Carter's book, and his subsequent statements, raise many questions. I hope he will have the decency to answer them, rather than evading them, as he has done up until now.
1 Carter, Jimmy. "Israel's New Plan: A Land Grab." USA Today (May 15 2006) [Online article]. URL: http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2006-05-15-carter-israel-edit_x.htm
2 Carter, Jimmy. Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006. 213.
3 Anti-Defamation League. "Anti-Semites, White Supremacists Exploit Jimmy Carter's Book for Propaganda Value." Press release (Jan. 4 2007) [Online document]. URL: http://www.adl.org/PresRele/ASInt_13/4955_13.htm
4 Cockburn, Alexander. "Get Carter; Iran, Too." Creators.com (20 Jan. 2007) [Online article]. URL: http://www.creators.com/opinion/alexander-cockburn.html
5 Cockburn, Alexander. "Vindication Through Violence: Jimmy Carter and the DC Sniper." Counterpunch (Oct. 12 2002) [Online article]. URL: http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn1012.html
6 Finkelstein, Norman. "Jimmy Carter's Roadmap." Counterpunch (Nov. 13 2006) [Online article]. URL: http://www.counterpunch.org/finkelstein11132006.html
7 Carter, Jimmy. Interview on Al-Jazeera (Jan. 14 2007). Trans. MEMRI TV [Online transcript]. URL: http://www.memritv.org. Note that the MEMRI translation omits the word "really," which can be dimly heard beneath the Arabic voice-over.
9 Patil, Anjali V. The UN Veto in World Affairs 1946-1990: A Complete Record and Case Histories of the Security Council's Veto. Sarasota: UNIFO, 1992. 148-52
10 PBS. "Chronicle of Survival." [Online article]. URL: http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/cambodia/tl04.html
11 East Timor Action Network. "Timorese Protest at July 4 Part at U.S. Mission." Press release (Jul. 4 2000) [Online article]. URL: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0007/S00012.htm
12 Amnesty International. "Power and Impunity": Human rights under the new order. Extract. Amnesty International (Sep. 1994). [Online article]. URL: http://www.amnesty.org/ailib/intcam/indopub/indoint.htm
13 Wenger, Martha. "Reagan Stakes Morocco in Sahara Struggle." MERIP Reports No. 105 (May 1982). 24
14 Carter, James. "The United States and China: A President's Perspective." Inaugural Oksenberg Lecture, Stanford University (May 6 2002). [Online text]. URL: www.cartercenter.org/documents/1041.doc
15 Carter 2006, 152
Alan Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard. His most recent book is Preemption: A Knife that Cuts Both Ways (Norton, 2006)
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