Phillip Klein of the American Spectator reports on Jimmy Carter’s appearance at George Washington University yesterday. In his speech, Carter took pains to show that he is not anti-Jewish, noting for example his efforts as president to help Soviet Jewish dissidents and to set up a commission to create a Holocaust museum. Despite the fact that his book refers to Israeli policy towards Palestinians as “apartheid,” Carter explained that he doesn’t think Israeli policy is race-based. He thinks it’s based on greed. I’m glad he cleared that up.
Carter also denied believing that Jews control the media in this country. It’s just that the media contrived to farm out reviews of his book to representatives of Jewish organizations. I’m glad he cleared that up.
In the question and answer session, it apparently became even more difficult for Carter to sustain his “good will” towards Jews. Asked how he felt about the 14 members of the Carter Center advisory board who resigned in protest over his book, Carter noted, “they all happen to be Jewish Americans, I understand the tremendous pressures on them.” In other words, when scholars like Kenneth Stein criticized Carter’s book for “egregious errors and polemical conclusions,” they weren’t offering their good faith assessment, they were succumbing to pressure from their tribesmen. I’m glad he cleared that up.
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