What would Jimmy do?

Todd Winer alerts us to a terrific review by Jeffrey Goldberg of Jimmy Carter’s unterrific new book in today’s Washington Post Book World: “What would Jimmy do?” Goldberg writes:

Carter, not unlike God, has long been disproportionately interested in the sins of the Chosen People. He is famously a partisan of the Palestinians, and in recent months he has offered a notably benign view of Hamas, the Islamist terrorist organization that took power in the Palestinian territories after winning a January round of parliamentary elections.
There are differences, however, between Carter’s understanding of Jewish sin and God’s. God, according to the Jewish Bible, tends to forgive the Jews their sins. And God, unlike Carter, does not manufacture sins to hang around the necks of Jews when no sins have actually been committed.
This is a cynical book…

Goldberg deduces the aim of Carter’s book:

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.

From an attentive reading of the text Goldberg seems plausibly to have discovered the special purpose that the book serves in what otherwise appears simply to be a reiteration of Carter’s animus against Israel and the Jews. Thus the importance of Goldberg’s review.
JOHN adds: If that’s the case, Carter greatly overestimates his own influence among evangelicals, which at present, I would say, is close to zero.


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