Phillip Klein’s report on Jimmy Carter’s appearance at George Washington University (which I discussed here) refers to Carter’s complaint that the mainstream media has assigned his controversial book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid to be reviewed mostly by members of Jewish organizations. He made this claim to the Los Angeles Times, stating:
Book reviews in the mainstream media have been written mostly by representatives of Jewish organizations who would be unlikely to visit the occupied territories, and their primary criticism is that the book is anti-Israel.
Carter did not state which “representatives of Jewish organizations” reviewed his book for MSM outlets, and his charge appears to be false. Carter’s book was reviewed for the Washington Post by Jeffrey Goldberg of the New Yorker. Goldberg is not representative of any “Jewish organization,” though I understand that he once served in the Israeli Defense Force. Michael Kinsley, who wrote an essay about the book for the Post, also does not represent any Jewish group. The New York Review of Books carried a review by Joseph Lelyveld, a former New York Timesman and not a representative of any Jewish organization. Ethan Bronner, deputy foreign editor of The New York Times, reviewed Carter’s book for the International Herald Tribune. Bronner doesn’t represent any Jewish organization.
Carter may have had in mind a critical op-ed by David Harris, chairman of the American Jewish Committee, that appeared in the Jerusalem Post. But the Jerusalem Post is not part of the MSM, at least not in this country. Thus, if Carter had Harris in mind, he was deliberately trying to mislead.
It’s possible that somewhere in the American MSM there exists a review of Carter’s book by a member of a Jewish organization. However, I couldn’t find one, and Wikipedia’s extensive discussion of reviews and reactions to Carter’s book discloses no examples. Thus, it appear that Carter was not being honest when he whined about who was reviewing his book.
UPDATE: Note also, in the quotation above, how Carter claims that his critics are unlikely to have visited the occupied territories. As I recall, he also used this sort of claim as his excuse not to debate Alan Dershowtiz, arguing that Dershowitz lacked standing to debate him because Dershowitz lacked knowledge of conditions there. But what about the members of the Carter Center at Emory University who resigned in protest over what Kenneth Stein called the “egregious errors and polemical conclusions” in Carter’s book? Does Carter contend that they too lack sufficient expertise to evaluate his book?
Unable to make such a claim, Carter instead explains their reaction against the book by arguing that, as “Jewish Americans” they were under “tremendous pressure.” He thus slanders former members of his Center, claiming in effect that they have been unwilling or unable to speak honestly about the book. Moreover, Carter’s claim is absurd. What leverage would “Jewish Americans” have with which to induce Kenneth Stein, a tenured Emory professor, to speak falsely about Carter’s book and to resign from the Center?
Carter appears to view Jews as members of a powerful secret society whose loyalty to one another trumps their loyalty to the truth. That’s the view of an anti-Semite.
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