I am nauseous and sick. I feel a kind of a revulsion that I have not had in years. The kind of sick feeling that I had when I was in the Cathedral in Sandomierz. Upon the wall hung a portrait from hundreds of years ago showing Jews piercing a Christian child for blood to make matzoth. I asked the priest, “ Why do you keep this portrait up? Everyone knows that this is a lie.” He answered in a cool, steely and almost mocking tone, “well, you know it might not be what you Jews do today, but it used to happen.”

Why am I feeling so ill, because I had the unfortunate luck to read some passages from Jimmy Peanut’s revolting, anti-Jewish, racist polemical work.

As Jefferey Goldberg points out so cogently in the Washington Post, the book’s goal is to loosen evangelical support for Israel.

Because a specific agenda appears to be at work here. 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. And then there are the accusations, unsupported by actual evidence, that Israel persecutes its Christian citizens.

Luckily for Israel, and the Jews, Carter is not high on the list of those loved by the evangelical movement.

Carter is not unlike the racist priest I met in Sandomierz. Carter’s book is replete with age-old canards in not-so-subtle language of Jewish control of the media and government. His passages connecting Israelis to the Jews of Jesus’s time are just a cover for saying that Jews are the devil incarnate for having rejected Christ, that we will forever suffer because of our sin of rejecting him, and that we are cold blooded killers out for innocent victims’ blood.

Jimmy Carter, you have shamed your country, your family, and your Center. Everything that you touch and talk about will be forever stained by the stink of your anti-Jewish racism.

About the author

Rabbi Yonah

29 Comments

  • Rabbi – please read my comment in TM’s Jewlicious post:

    https://jewlicious.com/?p=2960

    I quoted the same Goldberg excerpt and added my own context. I fully expect to be skewered, burned in effigy (i’m hoping a flattering effigy), demonized and tarred and feathered for my comments. Which I’m willing to accept as long as my comments are read in their entirety and are responded to with as much thought as I put into writing them. Just as I’m curious to see how Carter responds to what is justifiable criticism, I’m curious to see how Jewlicious posters and commenters respond to my take on the whole thing. I know it won’t be easy and may I say Ephraim showed remarkable restraint in making it a personal thing.

    Trust me, if you want to feel sick, be someone who has met, worked with and admired Carter and wants to continue to do so.

  • Gosh Ephraim, my grammar is failing me. I meant to say you showed a lot of restraint in avoiding making it a personal thing. In any case, I meant it as a compliment. Darn my gramma…

  • All well & good Rabbi Yonah, but what’s sorely needed are specifics here. The exact nature of the arguments used, his examples, and the language. That’s how you debunk an argument successfully. Not all the ranting and raving that it’s unfair, shameful or anti-Semitic. I’ve read several editorials against the book, and yet for some reason (perhaps due to limits on length), very few of the specific objections come to the fore.

    Carter meant to be provocative. He’s got nothing left to lose or prove, and that’s what makes his words all the more annoying. He may be the last angry (white) man in the country feeling the loss of the PA as a functioning government or effective political apparatus & movement, but he does know how to sell books. Still most of his public reception has been polite but notably cool. He got very few applauses when he was on Leno’s ‘Tonight show’ when describing his ideas from the book. It’s like people are more quizzical about the ideas presented, but most are fairly uninformed, but remain strongly pro-Israel & anti-Arab. That situation has not changed, and is highly unlikely to change for evangelicals either,of which Carter is of course one. So then as now Carter is a bit out of step with his times, and that suits him fine. I think he probably makes some foolish arguments in his book, but this is nothing new. The trick is in debunking these specifics. You can’t beat something with nothing, and someone needs to get on the stick and produce a position paper that can challenge some of his more fanciful assertions directly. Cheers, ‘VJ’

  • Ah, why was the priest ‘racist’? Ignorant, insensitive – most certainly, an anti-Semite – perhaps.

    But racist? How so?

  • I am curious about the term racist as well, and why was your reaction so measured? You should have torn the picture down or made a much larger fuss. This kind of meekness in the face of rabid hatred – of any kind – is part of the problem. Stand up for yourself!

  • Here’s a question…

    For as much as the left (and rightfully so) criticizes right wing evangelicals, how come they aren’t equal afraid of Carter’s irrational, evangelical X-tianity?

  • szwed, Nathan: anti-Semitism can be called “racism”, as “race” is sometimes used as a synonym for “ethnicity”.

  • I also happen to think racism is incorrect in this instance. Bigotry would say the same without emphasizing race, since as we know, we’re a well-blended people…

  • He wanted to “Make Peace In The Middle East” to redeem his hostage-taking debacle.

    He is simply personally annoyed at the lost chance to look good. It’s just cheaper to blame the Israelis.

  • I have nothing against you personally, Ramon. I hate Carter’s guts, though.

    I can understand why you want to separate Carter the anti-Semite from Carter the humanitarian. I just think you’re wasting your time and you should give up on it as a bad job.

    The only thing that separates Carter from David Duke is the fact that he used to be President and that his speech is more measured. But he is still just as delusional: only a crazy person can be on TV from coast to coast for days on end and still complain that he is the victim of a Jewish conspiracy to silence him.

    Regarding the term “racism” as it applies to Jews:

    It’s convenient shorthand. The Jews may not be a “race” as the term is normally understood, but everyone understands that the Jews see themselves, and are seen by others, as an “Am”, a people that is separate from other nations even as we live among them. Our refusal to assimilate is viewed by the goyim as a kind of racism: since they view the world and nations in racial terms, they assume that our desire to maintain our peoplehood must be motivated by racism, as is theirs. This is especiually true of racists like david Duke: since they would not dream of “sullying” their “race” with the blood of “inferior” races, they assume we must be motivated by the same desires. That is, they project their racism onto us.

    This is because they look only at the gashmius and ignore the ruchnius. Our desire to not assimilate is not racial, it is spiritual. Since they are not tuned in to the ruchnius they can’t see it.

  • If Carter is a shameful anti semite and born again christian evangalists are Israels staunchest supporters, I think Israel is in trouble.

  • The analysis of US Christian politics is unsophisticated. Carter obviously is a man of the left, religiously and politically– he’s long since run afoul of the conservative mainstream Baptist organizations. So the notion that he can woo conservative evangelicals is quite fanciful. They’re quite aware of his agenda, and view him, if anything, less favorably than Clinton.

    It’s also true that not every Baptist is a Republican. There are pleny of good Democratic, African-American Baptists, for example.

    What Carter really exemplifies is the liberal Christian identification with the Palestinians that one sees, typically, among liberal mainstream Protestants– e.g. the folks who want to divest from Israel or take to the streets to protest Israeli military action. Here in Boston, the Episcopalians lead the way in this regard.

    I’m no Carter fan by any means, but I don’t think he’s a racist. Just a misguided, sanctimonious man who draws an analogy between Jesus and his followers, and the Palestinians, and who views Israel as successor to the Jewish religious establishment much-criticized by Jesus in the Gospels.

    Hey, he just needs a pope to set him straight, that’s all.

  • Racism its about hatred against another people for something that they cannot alter, i.e. their ethnicity, their skin color, etc. In our case its being Jewish.

    I didnt tear down the painting because I was basically on my own and had no backup plan.

    Carter’s details? I will ealve that up to the experts. It was enough of reading what Prof. Stein from Emory wrote and said in his interviews, and Mitch Bard’s article on the subject.

    And Tom, yes there are gray areas of racism… Carter though seems hoplessly in love with those who hate us.

  • Calm down, there are always ignorant people. Getting hate in your own heart is the problem.

    Now, what happens in a bris, what if it is done to a child at ten, a previously christian child,

    blood being sucked from an intimate area? Imagine whispers of this in a time of gossip.

    Now, imagine not having the support network of Judaism, of being a poor white, with no aspirations or understandings of success?

    What is this idea that Hebrew-Europeans were saints? Yes, yes, anti-semitism, but come on!

    Did you know that in medieaval England the Jews had the status of barons? At a time when an invading race had put the whole nation into slavery, and it was funded by Jewish people..

    Just like the invasion of Ireland in the thirteenth century…

    Come on! It’s a responsibility of a long history, the good and the bad, the advantage is that it is known.

    And it is no good talking to Poles about the holocaust, over 10million people died in the Ukrainian Terror Famines before and after WWII…whole bloodlines of people were wiped out, Catholic, Romany, Jewish, Orthodox…

    just grow up, appreciate what you have, don’t spend your life spitting teeth at imaginary foes.

  • Chas, I haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.

    History of Jews in Medieval England.

    Do you mean that Jews lent money to treasuries? Did they have a choice? How absurd that you word it as if Jews were the driving force. I guess one day Jews will be blamed for a Christian President, a Christian VP, a Christian Defense Secretary, a Christian Pentagon leadership and Christian security services’ leadership taking us to war in Iraq because there are some Jews in policy-making roles. Oh wait…

    Do us a favor and imagine shoving our imaginary foes up your imaginary ass. Virtually all of my family on one side was murdered as part of a systematic extermination because of some people’s vivid imaginations.

  • The Jews were responsible for the Brits’ conquest of Ireland??? Does this mean I gotta be anti-semitic?

  • Long, long ago. In the same place, was a continent of many minorities and much brutality. In this crazy, crazy world, Jews were priviledged way above your average peasant. More than that, they helped other Jews to success.

    Jewish people funded the Normans and their conquests and at many times, held over a quarter of the nations wealth…

    The occassionaly, the evil kings would take everything back with the assistance of the Jews competitors.

    Resentment? Sure.

    The thing is, anti-semitism then is not the same as in the holocaust. It’s just not. It’s not even special. It’s low down on the list of resentments and grievances.

    With a long history comes a responsibility for good and ill. Deal with it. Jews aren’t saints. You’re not the only ones with souls. That’s the thing.

    History is nice. It’s like – what Afro-Americans don’t have and feel so bad about…but it is also a chain of responsibility, a burden…you can’t just take the good.

    But, often, the history is taken out of context, as if all Europeans are shylock-haters. When in reality. They’re just haters. (no. um.) But, this is not an advantage. To get angry about these things is to destroy your own soul.

    Very negative.

    So, Any complaint of Israel is just met with shouts of anti-semitism and blind hate, it is the notion that Saintly Jimmy Carter wants to destroy Israel. It’s ridiculous.

    This notion is in itself racist, it is the condemnation and belittlement of all that is alien. It’s wrong.

    Y’know. There is a science of Politics. ‘Apartheid’ is a loaded word, but colonial studies do point to the almost certain desruction of Israel.

    Settlements ARE colonial. It is the same pattern as Southern colonisation – the two town model (one on the hill, the other below), asymetrical rights breeding resentment. Outcome: devaluation of human life, mass breeding. It happened throughout Africa, nearly all the white populations were annihilated (brutally)…the others still in decline.

    If Israel wants to exist, in a place surrounded by a hundred million Arabs, it needs to come to terms with them, it needs to make friends, keep other enemies, think strategically…not racially…to coexist with, not subjugate…

    Just saying that Jimmy Carter is evil will not help, it would be better to just listen, to think strategically…because, that hatred is the destruction of Israel.

    Happy Chanukah

  • Chas, I’ve never heard anyone contradict themselves so much in one comment. In the same breath you say don’t hate and anti-semitism is not a big deal. Listen to yourself man. Maybe read what you write out load before posting.

    Of course Jews aren’t the only ones with souls. But we’re the ones who created klezmer music.

  • I would say you could tear down the “racist” picture of the Jews with the Christian baby as long as we can burn all the Talmuds on the face of the planet. Deal?

  • it’s just like Star Wars man, come on, common sense. Hate leads to war to darkside to evil crap, thingy. It’s not positive. People are people.

    Jimmy Carter is a saint. Or a prophet. I’m open on that.

  • don’t put hate on the blessed Jimmy Carter.

    He got One Love for mankind, dude.

    Deal with it. Sometimes, someone has to show us our faults.

    Group hug.

  • Carter has become a propaganda ideologue and reference for the global jihad against the Jews. Now, purportedly “mainstream” pundits in the media can mask their hatred of Jews and Israel by using the prominence of a former U.S. president to associate Israel with “apartheid.”

  • Rabbi Yonah wrote:

    “ramon, who says we created Klezmer?”

    Well, neither you nor I created Klezmer. But I played a mean clarinet in my day. 🙂

    In seriousness, you are correct sir. Klezmer is an amalgamation. Although some of our religion did write the most popular Christmas music.

    There’s a few posts going on here regarding Carter and his little book and I hope some are reading all the posts ’cause I’d like to mention that Fritz Mondale – who, without sarcasm is a wonderful man and has always been a true friend of Jews and Israel – has released his personal papers (as intelligent politicians do when they’re reaching that age). It’s been noted that some of his writings involve Carter, Sadat, Begin and Camp David, and by initial accounts show Carter did have a bias for Sadat, which irked Begin and which prompted Carter to send Mondale to mollify Begin. I expect inneresting comments to follow.

  • well. your expectations are in vain, for my comments will be the other thing, tedious.

    Israel stole the Sinai. That happened. It was a wanton war of aggression to aid the imperial powers.

    It payed the price for friendship.

    And, I just don’t like this whole, oh, you criticise Israeli government actions and you’re an anti-semite. It’s not true.

    What do you object to the word apartheid? The West Bank is apartheid, two seperate systems, the word means ‘seperateness’

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