Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Belated Comments Jimmy Carter's Book

It seems to me that Carter's book was 2006's version of the debate around Spielberg's Munich in 2005--a hot topic that every member of the Jewish community felt strong enough about to form some opinion.

So naturally I have an opinion. But it holds little weight because I haven't read the book.

In any case, this is what I think: from reading about those former members of Carter's inner circle, it would seem that Carter has either lost his mind or spontaneously decided to place himself on the Palestinians' side. Because of Carter's commitment to peace around the globe, and the importance of his reputation as a non-governmental
negotiator, however, it doesn't make sense that he would take such a stand.

The thing is, it would be foolish to base an opinion solely around these dissenters, who are Jewish and Zionist. They provide just as half-hearted an objectivity as Carter's book did through all its

The only logical conclusion I can draw, then, is that Carter consciously chose to write an inflammatory book in hope that he could slap Israel and the Jewish diaspora in the face, waking them up and jump-starting the peace process.

Obviously, he and/or his PR team underestimated the Jews' would-be reaction to such a call out. Personally, I find using the word Apartheid as inappropriate, offensive, and historically manipulative as when throwing around Hitler's name and Holocaust buzzwords just for their power. Unfortunately, because the media has grouped Israel's occupation of the territories with the Iraq War, it has suddenly become perfectly popular to compare Israel to so many horrible historical or current examples, even though every situation is unique and carries with it years of complex sequences that should eliminate any quick judgments.

In so far as Carter's goal was presumably a shot at peace (albeit a sort of shot in the dark), it should be admired. But on the other hand, such an approach seems immature to me and completely unfitting for a supposedly neutral--and important--world figure.