}

Carter’s Book Brings the Bile out of the Woodwork

As everybody and his brother knows by now, former President Jimmy Carter has written a new book called Palestine: Peace not Apartheid. He is currently on a promotional tour and is, of course, receiving a great deal of press. Some people are noting that there are errors of fact in the book while others are noting that he has been an opponent of Israel and Israeli policies for many years. Carter counters that the facts are correct because his fact-checker says so and that he is a great friend to Israel not only because he helped broker the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, but also because by making Israel realize its current mistakes, he is saving the Jewish state from itself.

I am not as interested in whether he’s right or wrong. He’s wrong about many things including his interpretation of UNSCR 242, his dismissal of the relevance of Israel’s security needs in the face of Palestinian violence against Israel’s civilians, and the intransingence of the Arab and Palestinian worlds with respect to Israel. He is right about the suffering of the Palestinians and that some of the steps Israel has taken in the name of security and settlement policy that have harmed Palestinians.

He is entirely wrong about the premise that Israel practices apartheid, however, and that is the great shame of his book. It seems as if he put the word on the cover in order to…sell more books. He seeks the attention, the notoriety and to have his ideas heard, so why not throw a bomb into the coffee shop and see what happens?

This is what happens.

The Lede is where the NY Times website explores some of its news stories from different perspectives. It is also a section of their online site open to comments. So far, over 600 comments have been made in this discussion and if you can stomach it and spare a little time, I suggest you read a whole bunch. What will you see? You will learn that we Jews control the press, control the government, control the world, manipulate the US, turn a blind eye to the suffering of Palestinians, treat Palestinians unfairly, support apartheid and racism, and so on and so forth. The number of voices speaking against this tide is relatively small.

While this isn’t meaningful in itself, the fact that hundreds of people who read the NY Times are writing these comments is instructive in figuring out that there is a simmering tension underlying our society right now. The anger and frustration at the war with Iraq seems to have brought out a deep-rooted anger with the Jewish people of the United States, not to mention Israelis. We have seen it on places like Daily Kos, certain pockets of the Democratic Party, in the rantings of people like Juan Cole and the ill-considered paper (soon to be the next Protocols of the Elders of Zion in book form) by Walt & Mearsheimer.

These aren’t conspiracy theory nuts, so one can only conclude that the conspiracy theories are hitting the mainstream. We see it in biased reporting in many news outlets and we see it across numerous campuses across North America. Take a look at the comments in the NY Times, and then watch this interview of a hostile David Duke by Wolf Blitzer on CNN. Do you see a significant difference?

Then watch this.

Watch the second half in particular. You’ll note that he keeps saying, “I don’t think anyone can disagree with that…” as if what he writes and says cannot be challenged. You’ll also note his cagey answer with regard to Jewish influence and intimidation. In other interviews, he’s been a little less circumspect but this was a day when he was “on.”

While it’s clear that there is a vast gulf between Carter and Duke, it seems that many people out there don’t view it as such a significant gulf. Does Mr. Carter recognize that in making his case, he is taking an active role in promoting some of the hatred that is clearly on simmer here?

69 Comments

  1. Nathan

    12/14/2006 at 11:16 am

    I wish I had an idea on how to fix this.

    Americans will blame anyone for the mess we make well before looking inward. We (Americans, not we Jews) get everything coming to us.

    The Lede comments are bad, it shows a real lack of understanding as to what Israel has done for America and the West.

    Bad Jews for standing up for yourselves.

    It can really make you feel demoralized.

  2. Alan

    12/14/2006 at 3:21 pm

    Jeff Goldberg of the Washington Post reviews Jimmy Carter’s book and rips him a new one here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/07/AR2006120701835_pf.html

  3. themiddle

    12/14/2006 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks Alan, that was interesting.

  4. ramon marcos

    12/14/2006 at 6:30 pm

    This is painful for a number of reasons, but mostly because that is a man I have always respected and admired. I’ve met him, hung sheetrock with him, have a photo of the two of us proudly displayed on the mantle. As much as I don’t agree with him on this issue and feel that he’s shown an unfortunate bias towards the Palestinians and against Israel, completely ignored facts, truths and continues to do so with comments like “… ‘the Roadmap for Peace’ which has been accepted by the PLO and largely rejected by Israel…”, I will not consider him to be anti-semitic or an enemy of Israel. He’s no David Duke no NKer, Women in Black or the like.

    It just makes me sad and all I want to do is hug him and sit him down after a hard day’s work pounding nails (which he continues to do constantly at his age) and make him do what he’s calling on others to do:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-carter8dec08,0,7999232.story?coll=la-home-commentary

    So let’s put aside the mainstream reviews for a second and let him defend himself, or big a deeper hole, with his own words. He wants debate, let’s debate. But I won’t villify him.

    Years ago I was lying in bed with my wonderful, extremely intelligent and well educated Jewish then-girlfriend who I admired greatly. We decided to take a brief rest and began discussing politics when she shockingly proclaimed a bias towards the Palestinian position and some sympathy for the PLO.

    This argument lasted the length of our relationship. But as stubborn as we both were I didn’t think once about putting my pants back on for good (until, for other reasons, we broke up). And in spite of J.C.’s screwed-up take on the Israel-Palestinian conflict I’m not taking our foto off the mantle either.

  5. Ephraim

    12/14/2006 at 7:53 pm

    Another something for us to disagree on, I guess. The man is the worst kind of anti-Semite there is: self-righteous as only a “humble” Xian can be; sanctimonious in the extreme; and an out-and-out liar. I’d much rather deal with a self-proclaimed bigot like David Duke. At least he’s honest about the fact that he hates us. Carter just dissembles about it.And he’s a shameless publicity whore to boot.

    He wants to build his compassion for the palestinians on the backs of the Jews, all the while pleading that he has our best interests at heart. I don’t need no fucking Xian bleeding heart to tell me how to be a Jew. That’s the real problem with Xian-inspired anti-Semitism like Carter’s: if we don’t fit into his idea of what the Jews should be, he has to show his Xian “love” and remonstrate with us to show us the error of our ways. He makes me want to vomit.

    But anyway, it’s pretty simple: anyone who can accuse the Israelis of being apartheid-mongers without taking any account of Arab terrorism does not deserve to be listened to.

    He’s an evil, evil man, precisely because he’s so oily and unctuous about his supposed “compassion”. So people want to believe him. But he says the exact same things Duke does.

    I’m sure he has done a lot of good things. They don’t cancel out the fact that he’s an anti-Semite.

    If he were a Roman, his name would have been Mendacius Sanctimonious.

  6. ramon marcos

    12/14/2006 at 9:43 pm

    I’m sure we can find something to agree on Ephraim. Natalie Portman maybe?

    Right now I don’t blame you for feeling the way you do. Before I start pulling out the anti-semite card want to see how Carter responds to the criticism. He’s come dangerously close to Cole Mearsheimer crap. Don’t think I didn’t cringe when he claimed to be blocked from speaking at some universities with high Jewish enrollment.

    But, as TM put it, does he realize what he’s doing? Has he gotten too old and feebleminded to put aside his one-sided view on human rights to accurately portray the situation? Or as you suggest, do his misguided notions come out of a deep-rooted anti-semitism? Is he biased against Israeli policies, or when he looks at one of us does he see horns on our heads? Is he paranoid about AIPAC or, rather, about a vast Jewish conspiracy? Is he confused and misguided or is he the reincarnation of Henry Ford?

    No, he’s got some convincing to do or the foto comes off the mantle. He has to take the well-deserved heat. If he stands up like a man, admits the book’s a mistake, admits it’s innacuracies and bias can be incendiary, or if maybe he enters into a real and intellectual debate with, say Abe Foxman, instead of whining like Mearsheimer, maybe he stays. Is he listening? Maybe, as he’s already onto the fence-mending part:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/13/AR2006121300822.html

    Like these Rabbis I’m in wait-and-see mode. He’s limited his criticism of AIPAC to the Evangelical Christian element. Is it, as Goldberg wrote, out of a need to turn the Evangelicals against Israel?

    “Carter seems to mean for this book to convince American evangelicals to reconsider their support for Israel. Evangelical Christians have become bedrock supporters of Israel lately, and Carter marshals many arguments, most of them specious, to scare them out of their position. Hence the Golda Meir story, seemingly meant to show that Israel is not the God-fearing nation that religious Christians believe it to be. ”

    Or is it because he thinks the Evangelical influence on Israeli politics is disingenuous?

    “Some Christians who I know very well, very devout people, believe a certain interpretation of Revelations, that in my opinion are quite weird, in that in the coming of Christ that the holy land has to be occupied by the Jews and not by anyone else and then in the end that all Jews will have to be killed or either converted to Christianity. This is a very seriously distorted interpretation of the Scriptures that I am very familiar with.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2006/11/30/jimmy-carter-on-evangelic_n_35266.html

    Or is he, as Ephraim would say, talking out of both sides of his mouth? Maybe, but does that make him an anti-semite? His distrust of Evangelicals goes way back. In any case he’s going to have to realize having Rabbi Benglesdorf… I mean Michael Lerner on your side isn’t going to make things right.

    Many Jews and Israel supporters, want to like the guy and aren’t that quick to scream “anti-semite”. But don’t think we won’t. And none of us wants anyone, including me, you and Jimmy Carter, to tell us how to be a Jew.

  7. themiddle

    12/15/2006 at 1:59 am

    I don’t know whether he’s an anti-semite or not. I didn’t label him as such in the post because I haven’t a clue. If he is, then he covers it up well.

    What he has been saying in this book tour, as the clips above show, is antisemitic. He plays the game well (which is why, Ramon, senility and old age are not going to wash as excuses), by being sure to couch his words carefully, but one cannot escape the fact that he’s essentially speaking about a powerful, cynical Jewish cabal that places Israel’s interests above America’s and that somehow shuts down discussion of “the truth” in unmentionable ways. He also seeks to delegitimize Israel’s right to support of “good” and “moral” people. After all, if Israel acts inhumanely, then it is deserving of criticism, not of diplomatic and economic support. This is not close to Walt & Mearsheimer territory, it is exactly the same territory.

    It’s up there in both clips where in a sophisticated and careful manner, he tells us some negative generalizations about Jewish power and influence.

    How have we come to a point that brings us back to Henry Ford days, where public or prominent figures feel comfortable speaking out in the public sphere about these canards against the Jews? Why are publishers supporting them? Why do you have such a high ratio of agreeing comments in an article in the NY Times?

    The ultimate result of this will be even further disengagement of American Jews from Israel, but also from self-identification as Jews. This will true in particular of young Jews. After all, it’s so much easier to blend in than have people point at and brand you.

  8. ramon marcos

    12/15/2006 at 2:41 am

    TM –

    “It is not close to Walt & Mearsheimer territory, it is exactly the same territory.”

    Yeah, this is what’s really bothering me. More than anything he says about his view of Israel/Palestininan relations.

    “The ultimate result of this will be even further disengagement of American Jews from Israel, but also from self-identification as Jews. This will true in particular of young Jews. After all, it’s so much easier to blend in than have people point at and brand you.”

    I think that’s an overstatement and worst-case scenario. Especially at a time when the Dems. so need to reintegrate young liberal Jews into their coalition. A good many of us are still left-leaning and the new Dem Congress’ reaction to the book confirms this (see Pelosi’s reaction). I live in a state which, by demographics, shouldn’t be represented by so many Jews in Congress. Yet for several terms we’ve had two Jewish senators serving at the same time. They may not be or have been the most religious Jews (well, one was) and they ran the gamut from liberal to conservative but none were self-hating Jews and would never have supported Carter’s views. Not even the late lamented most liberal of them all. If you’re worried about Carter pushing more liberal American Jews away from Israel (if that what not what you’re implying, my apologies) don’t. He’s only marginalizing himself, or worse joining the margin. That also makes me sad.

    “How have we come to a point that brings us back to Henry Ford days, where public or prominent figures feel comfortable speaking out in the public sphere about these canards against the Jews? Why are publishers supporting them? Why do you have such a high ratio of agreeing comments in an article in the NY Times?”

    The million dollar question. And one that needs the most investigation. Has Israel become so enamored by Bush’s we can’t do no wrong and if you’re not for us you’re against us politics that any self-criticism is labeled anti-semitic? I don’t know, just a thought.

    But to go back on point – for the most part, you and he are exposing my worst fears. Maybe I’m just hoping he doesn’t realize what he’s doing is anti-semitic and someone (like maybe friggin’ Lerner?) will point this out to him. Because I really don’t care about Mel Gibson. The only good thing he’s done for humanity is the second “Mad Max” movie. But Carter has done great things and we want him to see the light. Don’t we?

  9. themiddle

    12/15/2006 at 4:13 am

    Ramon, don’t confuse the fact that Jews are successful in American today with the idea that many won’t give up their identity as Jews under this type of pressure. Most people don’t know enough about the situation in the Mid-East and Israel to be able to counter even a semi-sophisticated attack…and most don’t care enough to try. It’s much easier to say that the Palestinians are victims and show sympathy for the underdog than the powerful Israel with the long list of complaints against it. Look around at college campuses today and you’ll see what I’m talking about clearly.

  10. ramon marcos

    12/15/2006 at 1:49 pm

    TM, we agree the book can be incendiary. Some of us agree he needs a some lessons in sensitivity. And some of us will argue he’s simply shown his true colors.

    But I think you’re underestimating the intelligence of American Jews and Jewish students. Since the 70s young progressive Jews have joined int anti-Israel rhetoric, mainly out of campus peer pressure. I know some for whom it was just a phase, once they got out of the university social structure and the ranting party ended their views moderated. I just don’t think young Jews are going to start calling for the dissolution of Israel because an ex-president that some of us supported and who, in general, has been great humanitarian is now missing the boat.

    It’s because we are caught between the rock of the right and the hard place of the left that we work harder to learn and know the facts. IMHO this book isn’t going to be the cause of Jews giving up their identity and/or start villifying Israel. A Jew who would do that would already be a self-hater in the strictest sense. (I’m assuming we agree Jews of Rabbi Lerner’s position are not self-haters.) For that person the book is redundant. For the confused progressive college student who has a crush on some cute ISM chick, he’s either going to go there or not, book or not. Jews change their names either because they’re either actors/musicians or they really just don’t want to be identified as Jewish (except Lenny Kravitz is both and he didn’t change his name). Still your concern is valid and all the more reason to force Carter to engage in thoughtful and reasonable debate rather than immediately slinging hate at him and branding him as a racist. I may be wrong…

  11. Ephraim

    12/15/2006 at 2:36 pm

    You don’t have to be a Nazi to be an anti-Semite, just as you don’t have to be a member of the Klan to hate blacks.

    I don’t think Carter wants to put Jews in concentration camps and then gas them after perfroming medical experiments on them and then extract their gold teeeth and use the remains for fertilizer and soap. But I do believe that he hates Jews, and I believe that it is because of his particular sanctimonious and self-serving version of Xianity. I mean, it just oozes out of him.

    All of this crap about a “Jewish conspiracy” is just shorthand for “we dislike the fact that the Jews don’t agree with us and are not afraid to say it”. His ideas won’t stand up to any kind of scrutiny, and so he complains that he is being “silenced” when all anyone is doing is simply taking issue with what he says. The only possible reason anyone could say something like this is if they are stsarting from the proposition that the Jews, somehow, do not have the same right that other people have to voice their opinions.

    That is anti-Semitism. The problem is that Hitler gave anti-Semisism a bad name, and, at the same time, gave garden-variety anti-Semites like Carter cover by raising the bar so high that you can’t call anyybody and anti-Semite nowadays without people thinking you’re comparing him to Adolf Hitler.

    So: Nazi, no; anti-Semite, most definitely.

  12. Ephraim

    12/15/2006 at 2:48 pm

    Oh, yeah, Ramon:

    We can agree on Natalie Portman if you believe that she is a pretty young woman who could be smokin’ hot if he put on a few pounds, but is otherwise fairly unremarkable.

    Nice skin, though.

  13. Tom Morrissey

    12/16/2006 at 12:45 pm

    When Jews get upset about Jimmy Carter (a man against whom I voted twice)– a man elected to the White House with overwhelming Jewish support– I can only it’s the chickens coming home to roost.

  14. Tom Morrissey

    12/16/2006 at 12:47 pm

    …. Oops,’conclude’. Missing verb.

    Man. You guys are surprised he’s sanctimonious? It took you until 2006 to figure this out?… That crashing sound is the scales falling from your eyes.

  15. michael

    12/16/2006 at 1:26 pm

    Grandpa Morrissey! I don’t think anybody who writes for Jewlicious voted for Jimmy Carter in either ’76 or ’80. ck and Muffti are Canadian and were too young at the time anyway, the Middle I think was shy of voting age, Harry and Esther were kids, and Phoebe, Laya and I had not yet had the privilege of being born. Thems ain’t our chickens.

  16. Tom Morrissey

    12/16/2006 at 1:36 pm

    Michael, Michael! I refer, of course, to the straw votes in preschool and 3rd grade….

  17. Tom Morrissey

    12/16/2006 at 1:37 pm

    Middle, in contrast, was stuffing mailboxes with those icky-green Carter-Mondale flyers.

  18. ramon marcos

    12/16/2006 at 1:58 pm

    Michael, I was typing exactly that when your comment popped up. Tom – hah! You make me feel so young. I only got to vote against him once. We can discuss this more but I need to get my hearing aid battery replaced. 🙂

    Like I said, I didn’t vote for him either. Like many young Jews (now old Jews) we found a better friend in Anderson. And sanctimonius is not always a bad thing. It’s not like you can’t find it in a lot of Jewlicious commenting. We’re all a little self-righteous, aren’t we?

  19. Tom Morrissey

    12/16/2006 at 2:15 pm

    Hey, thanks ramon (I think). Interesting to read that you worked with post-president Jimmy. What’s frustrating about him, for me, is that he really is a good Christian in many respects– HforH, much of the Carter Ctr.’s work, etc. But humility is a Christian virtue, and it’s one he lacks. Entirely.

    I really don’t get the lefty, or even the conservative, obsession with Israel, in this sense: why are Palestianian Christians in any greater need of support than, say, Christians in China and Zimbabwe? The obsession with the Holy Land can be very unhealthy for Christians, seems to me.

  20. themiddle

    12/16/2006 at 2:33 pm

    First, when Carter was Prez, I would have been too young to vote and would have much preferred a paper route to stuffing mailboxes with political flyers.

    Second, given the choice between post Nixon Repubs or Carter, Carter gets the vote. Given the choice between Carter and cowboy Reagan with trickle down economics and star wars, I’d also take Carter.

    Third, I never viewed him as a racist or bigot in the past and am loathe to do so now. Ultimately, this little song and dance he’s doing on the talk shows where he doesn’t directly come out and say “Jewish cabal” but insinuates it, is actually very sophisticated and clearly pre-planned. In doing so, he may or may not be expressing his genuine beliefs but what he is expressing cannot be described as anything but antisemitism.

    Fourth, the disgusting and off-putting part of this sanctimonious, under-handed but sophisticated Walt & Mearsheimerish form of antisemitism is that it comes from prominent figures who cannot be dismissed as quacks or fools. They can go on the talk show circuit and come off as men of and with authority when they speak. By doing so, they give a patina of acceptability to their vileness.

    Fifth, if I were this powerful, this country would look different and its foreign policy would be different – but not with respect to Israel, rather with respect to our energy policy.

    Sixth, the answer to your second paragraph in #19, Tom, is not just related to the idea of the Holy Land, but is also related to people’s perception and “interest” in the Jewish people.

  21. Tom Morrissey

    12/16/2006 at 2:42 pm

    Canada, eh? A likely story! Well, hats off, Middle, for owning up to preferring Jimmy over Nixon (sure) and Reagan (you’re kidding, right?).

    Yeah, it’s “interest” in the Jews, but it’s also valorizing the P’s as oppressed, latter-day Samaritans and lepers, in need of Christian solicitude. If it were just about Jews, don’t think it would be such a big deal. But there’s a broader narrative at work.

  22. Tom Morrissey

    12/16/2006 at 2:56 pm

    Your suggestion that Carter helps to mainstream Lobbyphobia is well-taken. Though it’s been just a matter of time. What started on the European left was bound to cross the Atlantic eventually.

    Now, watch anti-Israeli isolationism fully emerge in Democratic Pary discourse. That, too, is just a matter of time.

  23. Jon C.

    12/16/2006 at 3:12 pm

    TM, Walt & Mearsheimerish and anti-semitism?

    please explain as i am too young and naive to understand. thanks…..

  24. ramon marcos

    12/16/2006 at 3:31 pm

    Tom, I wouldn’t say “worked with” in the personal sense. Just a couple days hanging sheetrock, part of a huge NYC event recognizing Carter and Habitat. I was one of many dust-covered civilians (non-trained craftspeople) who got a handshake and a foto. I will say the man weilds a hammer as well as any carpenter.

    As far as humility, you may be right, but with the exception of HFH. He doesn’t like the spotlight or the fundraising. The event I was on, he sat on a makeshift platform in his toolbelt waiting impatiently for Guiliani and Kemp and other suits to finish their speeches so he could get to work. (A note: I’m sure most people know but some don’t that it’s not Carter’s organization, he neither founded nor runs it.)

    But Tom, I agree he’s a different person with HFH than when he gets on his political soapbox. You don’t think I don’t want to go “shut up and tape that sheetrock?”

    I don’t agree, however, that anti-Israel isolationism is going to fully emerge in the Democratic party. I really think it would’ve happened by now. It’s just not in the Dems best interests and Jewish Dems still have good representation in Congress.

    TM – you make good points. Now let’s keep making sure the Dems don’t stray too far on Israel. Because the alternative is too much to bear. Maybe it’s time for a little Schumer – Carter chitchat?

  25. Tom Morrissey

    12/16/2006 at 3:36 pm

    I don’t think anti-Israel sentiment would prevail in the party, but if it ever emerges in the mainstream, it’ll happen among Democrats and not Republicans.

  26. themiddle

    12/16/2006 at 6:00 pm

    Jon, this post will explain my views and contains links to my other Walt & Mearsheimer posts. Essentially, the premise is that a person or persons with authority go out into the public domain and while being careful with their words and denying that they are indeed doing it, attribute to Jews vast powers, dominant media and political influence, the blame for a bunch of national, social, political, economic, etc. failures (in this case to America), immoral intentions, and support for their own that is greater than their loyalty to the country they’re supposedly manipulating in support of their own (in this case, support for Israel over America). Because they are respected, they receive a public hearing that is respectful.

    I don’t know whether Carter or Mearsheimer are antisemites, but what they are saying clearly is antisemitic. Play the David Duke clip above and then the two Carter clips. He doesn’t sound rabid and hateful like Duke, rather much more controlled and sophisticated, but is there a substantial difference between suggesting to a reporter that hidden, pro-Israel forces control the media or that AIPAC controls Washington and Duke saying the Zionists control the media and American policy?

  27. themiddle

    12/16/2006 at 6:09 pm

    Tom, with hindsight it’s easy to say that you would have voted one way instead of another. In 1980, however, it seemed to me that some of Reagan’s views contradicted some of mine and Carter had helped to bring peace between Israel and Egypt.

    As for the Dems turning against Israel, one can see a significant movement in that direction when you look at the Left-most segments of the party. Certainly, Daily Kos opens one’s eyes to some of the negative rhetoric coming out of there. However, 87% of Jews voted Democratic this past election, although many believe Bush is a friend to Israel. For that reason, I don’t think the Republicans will remain a safe haven for support of Israel in the long run. There are too many James Bakers and pat Buchananas out there.

  28. Jon C.

    12/16/2006 at 8:23 pm

    TM thanks, i remember that post now. i am just finishing reading a book of his about American Primacy for an International Studies class i am finishing up with. Part of it he writes about the negative influence the Jewish/Israeli lobby has on American Foreign Policy. i am trying to find facts to collaborate the sense of an anti-Israeli biased among faculty where i am attending school. Another class i am taking was on the Israel-Palestinian issue where we read a revisionist book by llan Pappe describing the “history of Israel.” along with many other books which bashed Israel mostly written by Palestinians, but also some from Israel.. This professor then had the nerve to describe how his lectures and our readings were equal because there were both Israeli and Palestinian writers. He didn’t mention how none of the Palestinian writers were biased against themselves and how basically all of the Israeli writers were against Israel. Good too know the professors i have had so far are 2 for 2 when it comes to an anti-Israeli biased.

  29. Ephraim

    12/16/2006 at 9:36 pm

    Why all this solicitude for Carter? If what he’s saying is saying is antisemitic, doesn’t that make him an antisemite?

    I think Tom’s right about the Democratic party. If that debate ever comes out in the open, it is the Democrats who will be the anti-Israel party. The Jerusalem Post ran an article that high-ranking Democrats met with Hamas and a Hamas spokesman confirmed it. I haven’t seen any report of this in the US press.

    I ahve sent a letter to Pelosi, but I have received no reply.

    Have you heard that carter refused to debate Dershowitz at brandeis? Chickenshit through and through.

    Tom’s right about Jews and the Democratic party as well. The divorce is going to be super ugly. That is, if the Jews have the stones to face up to reality.

  30. david smith

    12/17/2006 at 1:31 am

    An interesting discussion, but as is often the case on Jewlicious, some of the most entertaining comments are the profoundly delusional:

    I have sent a letter to Pelosi, but I have received no reply. No! get the fuck outta here. I can’t believe she didn’t get on the horn immediately. Maybe you could just throw in a call to Queen Elizabeth and see if she could tell Nancy to answer that letter, chop-chop!

    Have you heard that Carter refused to debate Dershowitz at brandeis? Chickenshit through and through. Yea, what a pussy. And so damn shocking to boot Cause, after all, most former Presidents of the United States get on the first available flight when a law professor challenges them to debate. Maybe Dershowitz’s pitch would have been more successful had Carter been pimping himself out for $5 million a pop, which was the amount Reagan extracted from the Japanese immediately after the Medusa he was married to retracted her claws from the residence of the White House.

    Tom’s right about Jews and the Democratic party as well. The divorce is going to be super ugly. Oh yes, no doubt. And if you keep humping that story really, really hard every day for the next ten years or so, and if everything falls into place just-so, maybe the Republicans can drive Jewish support for the Democratic Party all the way down to 80%. Keep the dream alive, Baby!

  31. ramon marcos

    12/17/2006 at 9:47 pm

    Jon C., just curious – you going to the big school or one of our well-respected boutique colleges? I can imagine these days being a Jew studying international relations would be quite a challenge, and maybe more interesting than, say, ten or twenty years ago. It seems that professors and curriculums try much less these days to hide their biases. But they do try harder at the big school.

    Just as Carter is trying much less these days to show his biases.

    Tom, I wasn’t a Reaganite but Neil Young was. Which is cool but most of us disaffected Jewish Dems who wanted a pro-Israel moderate but were against Reagan’s conservatism went for Anderson.

    http://www.4president.org/brochures/andersonlucey1980brochure.htm

    Scroll down to his position on the Middle East. Needles to say we were bamboozeld. Look at his position now.

    http://www.dwfed.org/pp_anderson_plan.html

    I just think when these guys get old they lose their senses.

  32. Tom Morrissey

    12/18/2006 at 10:13 am

    Ephraim, I guess David’s put us in our place…

    I was thrilled to read an interview with former president Carter in Middle’s favorite rag, Tikkun. He admits that his use of the word ‘apartheid’ is inaccurate, since racism isn’t at work in Israeli policy; he candidly says he used it to attract attention. Thanks for clearing that up, Jimmy.

    Carter also takes US Jews to task for, in his view, reflexively supporting right-wing Israeli pols who (as we know) keep peace from breaking out.

    The Tikkun crowd will eat the book up, right?

  33. Shy Guy

    12/18/2006 at 11:06 am

    Tom Morrissey said:

    The Tikkun crowd will eat the book up, right?

    Yes – without a bracha.

  34. themiddle

    12/18/2006 at 12:59 pm

    Tikkun?! Man, if there is anything I dislike more than wacky Rightists, it’s wacky Leftists. That patina of self-righteous, pseudo-pacifist goodness blended with universalist approach to spirituality and all stirred up with staunch Lefty values makes me feel sea-sick.

    We should be sending Lerner to as many ANSWER gatherings as possible.

  35. themiddle

    12/18/2006 at 1:03 pm

    Hey Tom, check this out. I read about it in the NY Times.

  36. Joeschmo

    12/18/2006 at 1:54 pm

    Jews can be such fools.

    Since when was Carter any sort of “friend” to Jews or Israel. The fact is that the Democrats in general have been terrible to Israel and Jewish interests.

    Carter pressured us to give away Jewish Land when he was president and now he uses the phrase “on palestinian territory”.
    Wrong it is Jewish territory.

    Clinton also pressured us to give away Jewish land and he almost succeeeded.

    Also notice that the Jesse Jackson’s of the world are not spit out from the democratic party but are there and able to run. The fact is that the republicans have supported Israel from Nixon to reagan to Bush.

    Notice that the anti-semitic right-wingers like duke are persons-non-grata by the republicans but by democrats you will see the left-wing anti-semites within the party.

    Guess who refused to bomb the tracks to Aushwitz when it was only a few miles from American bases in Europe in teh 1940s — thats right ‘Democrat Roosevelt.’
    Roosevelt was also the ‘darling of the Jews’ but when we were being killed he had other things to do and in fact told that to the Jewish delegation that came to him.

    Its time to stop this Jewish Knee-jerk reaction of siding with those who have consistantly been against Jewish interests.

    Its trully unreal to see the Jewish apologists for anti-semitism just because the source of it is a democratic liberal.

  37. Tom Morrissey

    12/18/2006 at 2:32 pm

    Cool link, Middle! Saatchi likes ’em young, doesn’t he? He’s probably collecting grade- schooler watercolors right now….

    I’m shocked and disappointed you’re against the Politics of Meaning. What–you’re
    anti-Meaning?…. Excellent piece in the current issue on the joys of polyamory. It reports that monogamy is a Christian concept, and that Judaism permits a wide variety of domestic/affectional arrangements. (Why did we have to ruin everything? Damn.)

  38. Jon C.

    12/18/2006 at 2:34 pm

    Ramon,

    the big school. The two professors I was referring to hide their biased in lectures but the material that they have us read, in my opinion, does the talking for them. I believe my professors are more moderate than the texts they have us read, but for students unfamiliar with the situation this is all they know and what they will refer to when considering a stance on israel in the future.

  39. themiddle

    12/18/2006 at 3:12 pm

    Tom, we’ve discussed this notion of multi-female-partner relationships previously on Jewlicious, though I can’t recall where. I’m no expert, but while historically, Jews have stuck to monogamouns marriages (and yes, it’s probably the Xtians’ fault), I don’t believe we’ve ever officially (halachically, that is) terminated the idea that one could have more than one partner. Maybe one of our Orthodox readers can elucidate further. In any case, I can assure you that if I would bring this issue up with my wife, she’d just laugh and laugh. And laugh.

    Joe Schmo, Carter helped Israel sign a peace agreement with Egypt that has given Israel 30 years of respite from that border. I won’t say it’s been ideal, because it hasn’t and they still represent a threat, but those 30 years have been invaluable to Israel.

  40. Tom Morrissey

    12/18/2006 at 3:16 pm

    My Beantown pad borders on a sizeable chassidic community, and I’ve always figured that the sizeable number of kids in evidence had to do with polyamory. There seemed no other explanation.

  41. themiddle

    12/18/2006 at 3:44 pm

    Actually, I don’t think so. Families in some of these communities can have 11, 12, 14 kids. Once those kids turn 18, 19, they marry and start having babies, thus you might have 39 year old parents with a newborn, a two year old and a three year old in tow, along with their pregnant twenty year old daughter who is pushing a newborn around. The following year her 18 year old brother will have his firstborn and so on. It does wonders for Jewish demographics.

  42. Joeschmo

    12/18/2006 at 5:52 pm

    TM,
    Wrong the only reason Egypt has not attacked Israel is out of fear not peace.

    I like how you write:
    “I won’t say it’s been ideal, because it hasn’t and they still represent a threat”
    and go no further.

    Why hasn’t it been ideal TM? Id like to hear your analysis of why they still represent a threat – aren’t we at ‘peace’ – Really why hasn’t it been ideal?

  43. ramon marcos

    12/18/2006 at 9:12 pm

    Jon C., please tell me neither of them are Martin Sampson.

    Joeschmo, the only reason Egypt hasn’t attacked Israel is out of fear not peace? Really? Egypt and Jordan are the two Arab countries Israel had been in a state of war with and have signed formal peace treaties with (do the UAE have a formal treaty with Israel?). They also, outside of Israel, draw the most tourism to the Middle East from Europe and the U.S.. (Which makes the Lebanon situation all the more tragic.)

    Egypt and Jordan also happen to be the two Arab countries most at risk from Muslim Brotherhood/Al Qaeda. Egypt has more to fear within it’s borders than out. I’m sure Joeschmo knows the economic importance of the Sinai to Egypt. Egypt hasn’t attacked Israel because it’s in it’s best interest to not attack Israel. Fear of Israel has nothing to do with it.

  44. Jon C.

    12/18/2006 at 9:32 pm

    Ramon,

    ahhhh he is teaching the israeli palestinian class, does his reputation proceed him? if you don’t wanna get into it over blog email me @ yoni.ra@gmail.com

  45. ramon marcos

    12/18/2006 at 10:22 pm

    Jon C. – he was my favorite prof in the department. Sharp, great lecturer to take notes from, never showed bias and never fell into fell into that trap during class disussion/arguments, no matter how much he was goaded. I don’t want to hear he’s changed even if it’s true.

    I’ll shoot you my email so you can keep me posted…

  46. Joeschmo

    12/18/2006 at 10:49 pm

    Ramon,
    I don’t follow your train of thought.

    “Egypt has more to fear within it’s borders than out.”
    -therefore?

    “Egypt hasn’t attacked Israel because it’s in it’s best interest to not attack Israel. Fear of Israel has nothing to do with it.”
    -How does a countries fear and its best interest contradict each other?

    “Egypt and Jordan are the two Arab countries Israel had been in a state of war with and have signed formal peace treaties”
    -signed peace teaties AND in a state of war? I don’t follow.

    You say that the United Arab Emirates draws tourists form the USA and Europe.
    -So whats your point?

  47. ramon marcos

    12/19/2006 at 12:32 am

    Joeschmo, you’re not the only one who has a hard time following my train of thought. But in this case I think it’s the case of you either not making the effort or simply that you manipulating my words to embrace your fantasy of Egyptian emasculation. I’ll give you credit and say you are a word twister and a half, man.

    You want to call Egypt a sissy, that’s cool with me. But the fact is the real threat to Egypt’s economy and regime is the Muslim Brotherhood. Do you think Egypt conducts it’s foreign policy and policy with Israel like it’s a pissing match? If fear of Israel is the one constraint on Egypt’s breaking the treaty, prove it to me. If you can’t find facts, use whatever theories you can make up.

    You know what I meant when I said Egypt and Jordan are the two Arab countries that had been in a state of war with Israel and signed peace treaties. That’s just embarrassing that you can’t follow. Try reading just a little harder. Oh, and a hint: You make peace with your enemies.

    You also know I did not mention the UAE in the context of tourism. So why try and claim I did? My comments are just above yours for everyone to see. I brought up Lebanon in the context of tourism. I brought up the UAE as a question to other commenters here who might know if there’s a peace treaty between the UAE and Israel.

    Let me ask you straight off. Do you contend that the reason Egypt doesn’t break the Camp David accords is out of fear of Israel? Please explain in real-world terms why that is.

  48. Joeschmo

    12/19/2006 at 8:34 am

    I still don’t really follow nevertheless I will try to answer.

    Egypt hates Israel and would like Israel to cease – proof? They engaged in numerous wars that they began…logic dictates that they will only make peace if its forced on them.

    Proof that the peace is due to fear? Israel’s beat Egypt and surrounded the Egyptian army after being attacked in 73. In 73 they wouuld have wiped Egypt’s army out if not for US pressure.

    Under pressure Egypt makes ‘peace’ to get Sinai and Israel to not wipe their army out.

    So you see Ramon, they only made peace so as not to be killed.

    Egypt now is Arab and mainly Muslim. Their goals have not changed they only do not feel in a good position to win. It is similar to the US and Russia during the cold war. There were no nuclear attacks because each was afraid.

    History is my proof.

  49. Shy Guy

    12/19/2006 at 9:19 am

    Yep, Joe. Elementary reading: Hugh Fitzgerald: Egypt, Gaza and Israel.

  50. Joeschmo

    12/19/2006 at 10:07 am

    Shy thanks for the post. If only people could think straight and look with open eyes and see what the enemy says – without projecting what they ‘want’ the enemy to say.

    When the enemy says ‘we want to kill you’ believe them!

    “The wise man, his eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness.” [Ecclesiastes Chapter 2]
    http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt3102.htm

  51. Tom Morrissey

    12/19/2006 at 10:34 am

    Joe, if Egypt remains at peace with Israel out of fear– so what? What difference does it make?

    You need ’em to give you a big wet tongue-swilling kiss?

    Beneath that macho veneer of yours is a softie who just wants… …. to be loved!! (I know, is that asking too much?)

  52. Shy Guy

    12/19/2006 at 10:58 am

    Tom, Israel has looked like the biggest sissy these past 20 years – afraid of its own shadow.

    Besides, Egypt is very happy to let the Pals do the dirty work for them, while Egypt continues to proclaim their moderacy, peace loving government and whatever else is needed to retain the image that they deserve to manufacture their own Abrams main battle tanks and get 2 billion dollars annually of US military aid.

    “Who is Wise? He who discerns what is about to come to pass.”
    – Tamid 32A

  53. ramon marcos

    12/19/2006 at 1:38 pm

    Joeschmo – I just didn’t look at it that way. Thanks for opening my eyes. Why do I continue to think the Middle East is so complex when it’s really just as simple as you see it?

    Ok, let me get this straight so I don’t have to bother you again. Egypt hates Israel and wants it to cease. But it fears Israel so it refrains from doing the job itself. Sadat was one big pussy and Mubarak’s hiding behind America. Ok, cool.

    Except I don’t follow your analogy to the Cold War and the theory of Mutual Assured Destruction. Are you saying Israel refrains from retaking the Sinai out of fear of Egypt? Or is it fear of something else, like American pressure?

    Tom – “You need ‘em to give you a big wet tongue-swilling kiss?” I’m getting this horrible image in my head. 🙂

  54. Tom Morrissey

    12/19/2006 at 1:47 pm

    My apologies, ramon. I may need professional help.

  55. themiddle

    12/19/2006 at 2:33 pm

    Every country operates out of a sense of self-interest. Israel does and so does Egypt. Period. I don’t understand what those of you on the Right want. War? You want another border where the IDF is arrayed against war for decades?

    I don’t believe anybody has any illusions about Egypt and the possibility that they could turn hostile again. If that comes to pass, then the peace treaty will have been a historic mistake of massive proportions because of the assistance they’ve received in funding and equipment from the US. There’s no question that they are now a stronger military than the Syrians who’ve been left out in the cold all of these years. However, in the near future and certainly for the past 30 years, Israel has and has had a calm front on the West and Southwest.

    To be honest, any peace treaty with any of Israel’s neighbors, possibly even Jordan, will always resemble this type of cold peace where big carrots help the peace partner keep their part of the bargain. It’s better than a vacuum, it’s better than not having any peace, it’s better than not having any incentives for these countries or groups to keep the the status quo instead of attacking and it allows Israel to grow and become more rooted economically, demographically and diplomatically.

  56. Joeschmo

    12/19/2006 at 3:32 pm

    TM at least you have a clearer picture than Ramon.

    Yes of course self-interest and Israel only did the sinai because of american pressure and money.

    Unforunately though, there never will a peace with Israel’s surrounding countries and the less they get the better.

    Currently America is learning that with Iraq. All the money poured into it will be for nothing because in essence they are uninterested in democracy.

    yes Ramon it is quite simple and exactly the way you summed it up.

    Its exactly like the cold war.

    For that reason R’ Meir Kahane was 100% correct. The only thing to be done is to remove the hostile Arabs from Israel. At least when they are oin Egypt, Jordan or Syria they will have to travel in order to attack us. In addition not to give even 1 inch to the enemy for that only strengthens them.

  57. ramon marcos

    12/19/2006 at 8:21 pm

    Joeschmo – why didn’t you bring up Kahane in the first place? You know I can’t argue with with Kahane?

    TM wrote “…and it allows Israel to grow and become more rooted economically, demographically and diplomatically.”

    And the same goes for Egypt and Jordan. They’ve decided to take paths based on the idea that peace brings economic growth, economic growth brings stability, and stability gives the ruling powers security and international cache. But maybe Mubarak will get tired of Joeschmo calling him a pussy and give it all up to show everyone how much stronger Egypt is than Israel.

    But we all do agree that yes, Israel’s the bigger badass in the region.

    I think we all agree with this comment: “Currently America is learning that with Iraq. All the money poured into it will be for nothing because in essence they are uninterested in democracy.”

    Obvious but not very analogous.

    TM, under what conditions do you think Egypt would turn hostile? I can think of a few but they seem unlikely in the near future. What would compel Mubarak to risk everything? I hope you’re not thinking full-scale regional conflict ’cause I don’t want to think about that.

  58. themiddle

    12/19/2006 at 9:36 pm

    🙄

  59. ramon marcos

    12/19/2006 at 11:01 pm

    TM – that’s the eyeroller, right? How do I get me one of those? No, better I don’t have it.

    You mentioned the possibility of Egypt breaking the treaty. Under what conditions would you think Egypt would want to do that? I can think of a few but they’d be pretty extreme. Like a region-wide war? Or Mubarak being forced to capitulate to islamofacists? Or maybe the Sadat/Mubarak regime being overthrown. Otherwise it just seems to self-destructive. Anyways, the issue really isn’t whether or not Egypt is hostile towards Israel – it’s why they’re not going to do anything about it now. Like you said, you make peace with your enemies but that doesn’t mean they become your friends.

    Joeschmo – we so do agree on Iraq. An obvious but not so analogous point.

  60. themiddle

    12/20/2006 at 1:46 am

    Ramon,

    : roll : but lose the spaces.

    Egypt today doesn’t have good reason to become overtly hostile. However, they have built a serious army with US equipment and training. Their military, in conjunction with attacks on other fronts could present a serious challenge to Israel. While today Mubarak is comfortable, he is an old man and will die or relinquish power within the next few years. His son is being groomed to take over, but nothing is assured and his son is certain to come under the same pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood as his father. If the Muslim Brotherhood manages to overthrow him, they will become no different than Iran except with Sunni leadership. Israel is virtually assured of becoming an enemy again. This could happen peacefully, by the way, if the US pushes for true democratic elections. Even if the Brotherhood doesn’t come to power, exerting sufficient pressure on the heir to the leadership – in contrast with his father who got there without being somebody’s favored son – could put him on the defensive to the point where he needs to re-establish his leadership credentials. The easiest course will be to attack Israel.

    In another scenario, the influence of the US wanes for some reason, and Egypt decides to align itself with another power such as China or Russia. This has happened before, even at times when the US was courting Egypt.

    Another reason could also be perceived weakness of Israel, or the perception that Iran is gaining a successful toehold around Israel and Egypt needs to counter it in some way.

    It’s difficult to predict the future, but there is no question that an element of doubt exists about the long-term commitment of Egypt to peace with Israel and nobody should feel otherwise. We can just hope that their reasons for avoiding war remain stronger than their reasons for going to war.

  61. ramon marcos

    12/20/2006 at 2:02 am

    Thank you. With all sincerity. I sent you guys an email explaining the disconnect and redundancy between comments #57 and #59. Weird computer stuff and ill-advised rewrites. Some Firefox/Safari issue. But in the confusion you took the effort to answer my questions w/fact. And your last line is a wish of us many of us. Pissing matches make bad foreign policy.

  62. Jon C.

    12/20/2006 at 2:27 am

    Ramon,

    sorry i dissed you favorite prof. i didn’t mind his lectures, he was very engaging. but i still felt a bias opinion in the material we were giving. it is a hard topic to teach and maybe i needed to read some of these books, but my opinion is already made up, my concern is for the ppl who took the class with little previous knowledge and now they will believe the history of the middle east taught by Ilan Pappe, Marwan Bhargouti and Rashid Khalidi

  63. Tom Morrissey

    12/20/2006 at 10:44 am

    Palmerston’s adage applies well to Egypt, Israel, and everyplace else– that a country doesn’t have eternal friends or eternal enemies, just eternal interests.

  64. ramon marcos

    12/20/2006 at 11:15 am

    Jon C. – please don’t apologize. You wrote “my concern is for the ppl who took the class with little previous knowledge and now they will believe the history of the middle east taught by Ilan Pappe, Marwan Bhargouti and Rashid Khalidi.”

    TM brought up something along those lines in regards to Carter’s book. Maybe, like Carter, our prof has changed over time, has stopped filtering his bias or has taken less of an effort to present both sides equally. Or maybe they’ve both garnered new biases. Presenting this material is one thing, presenting it without opening it up to criticism is another. I’m so tempted to audit his class.

  65. Jon C.

    12/21/2006 at 12:37 am

    Ramon,

    i think next he is teaching the United States position in the middle east or something along those lines.. if he uses the stephen walt book, then we know we have a problem 🙂

  66. ramon marcos

    12/21/2006 at 6:58 pm

    Jon C. – good to know he hasn’t taken to using the lecturn (and overhead projector) as a pulpit. If he’s still using the overhead.

    Joe wrote “yes Ramon it is quite simple and exactly the way you summed it up.”

    Read comment #60. You’ll see it’s not quite simple and will enjoy how succinctly TM summed it up.

    TM, all those scenarios are right on and illustrate my point that you make treaties with governments and not countries. And now with Russia trying to regain a foothold in the Mideast and the superpower status it lost after the breakup, we need a president who understands how to work the strategic triangle. Unfortunately Nixon’s dead. Or at least we can find a president who won’t attempt to blindly impose democracy on every country in the world even if it goes against everything that’s in our national interest.

  67. DK

    1/4/2008 at 12:54 am

    For anyone who’s still paying attention, Martin Sampson is using the Walt/Mearsheimer book in his class on the Middle East this spring.

  68. themiddle

    1/4/2008 at 1:32 am

    DK, the question is how he intends to use it.

  69. themiddle

    1/4/2008 at 1:57 am

    By the way, DK, you should know that we have a regular here who uses DK as his alias. It might get a little confusing. It would be great if you would add a letter, just so we can differentiate between the two of you.

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