Skip to comments.What's the Matter With Jimmy?
Posted on 12/07/2006 10:25:52 AM PST by Sabramerican
What's the Matter With Jimmy? Coming to grips with the 39th president's malevolent obsession with Israel
Only a few weeks ago, American Jews proved once again that they are, next to African-Americans, the most loyal constituency that the Democratic party can claim.
As the last few elections have illustrated, despite the efforts of Republicans to highlight their support of Israel, as well as their foes' shortcomings, the huge majorities Jews give the Democrats are only marginally effected by such advocacy.
But the GOP never gives up, in part because they know that within their living memory, there was one national election in which such appeals actually did succeed.
The year was 1980, and in that pivotal contest Ronald Reagan achieved nearly 40 percent of the Jewish vote. Like a sacred home-run record, the number teases the Republicans engendering hopes that are dashed every time they try to equal it.
But after all this time, during which the predicted swing to the Republicans never happened, maybe we have been posing the wrong question about Reagan's record. Instead of asking what prevents a repeat of 1980 for the Republicans, we should instead be pondering what extraordinary catastrophe afflicted Democrats in that one year?
Magic Formula The answer can be summed up in just two words: Jimmy Carter.
Despite presiding over a ceremony celebrating Israel's first peace treaty with a neighboring Arab country, it was antipathy to the sage of Plains, Ga., more than any passing affection for Reagan that determined the Jewish vote in 1980. And there is little doubt that the widespread perception of his hostility toward Israel was decisive in creating a Jewish swing vote that has never been replicated in a national election. The Democrats' magic formula for success since then is simple: Keep Carter off the ballot!
Rejected in his bid for re-election, Carter has been forced to settle for the unofficial title of the most self-righteous man in America. Through good deeds, such as his championing of causes like Habitat for Humanity, and his relentless and often shameless pursuit of publicity on human rights and democracy controversies around the globe, Carter won a Nobel Peace Prize. This gives him a permanent platform from which to pontificate on any and all subjects in his typically sanctimonious manner.
Yet though his interests may span the globe, there is one to which he has returned over and over again: the Middle East and Israel's conflict with the Arabs. And what he has been increasingly preaching lately is a scathing indictment of Israel as an oppressive "apartheid" state.
The latest reminder of this pre-eminent theme of Carter's post-presidential career is a new book titled Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, in which he sets forth his thesis of Israeli perfidy.
While the titles of some books are misleading, Carter's is not. He actually attempts to make a case that a democratic Israel, whose Jewish majority has never been given a moment's peace from the day of its birth 58 years ago, is analogous to the oppressive white minority that ruled South Africa.
It is a charge so preposterous, and so lacking in reason or sense, that were this the work of any ordinary American it would not likely be given a hearing outside of the fever swamps of the far right or left, where anti-Zionist minorities dwell.
Instead, the book is being promoted on a national tour during which the ex-president has been interviewed on virtually every major national news program, and given a treatment that can only be described as presidential. Indeed, on NBC's "Meet the Press" where the normally fair-minded Tim Russert usually manages to put the leaders of both parties on the defensive, Carter's slander of Jewish and non-Jewish Americans who love Israel as an all-powerful "lobby" determined to squelch all dissent went unchallenged.
As for the content of the book, it's part memoir and part half-baked history. As many reviewers have already noted (most notably, Alan Dershowitz in the Forward), it is a compendium of distortions, errata and falsehoods that would fill a small volume itself.
They add up to an account that disregards Jewish rights to the land, dismisses consistent Jewish acceptance of compromises, ignores a century of Palestinian terrorism and mischaracterizes the persistent Arab rejection of Jewish statehood. The conflict for him is one long account of Israeli violence and Palestinian suffering. For him, the Jews can do virtually no right and the Palestinians no wrong. Since Arab terror doesn't register in Carter's brain, Israeli self-defense can be put down as "oppression."
This Orwellian compendium of slander aimed at Israel is punctuated by accounts of Carter's own involvement in diplomacy and visits to the area.
Loving Assad/Hating Begin The book is revealing in one respect. For all of his supposed love for humanity, it appears the Israelis are the one exception to his famous religious goodwill. Though Carter praises the murderous Syrian dictator Hafez Assad and Palestinian archterrorist (and fellow Nobel winner) Yasser Arafat, he simply loathes almost every Israeli he meets. And he isn't shy about noting instances in which they have committed the gravest of sins: ignoring his advice.
For instance, he describes in detail a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin after Carter had left office. Forced by protocol to receive the ex-president, Carter admits that he then subjected the Israeli (whom he obviously despised) to a lecture about his shortcomings. Carter expected Begin, who had been the victim of previous such lectures during the Georgian's presidency, to debate him as he had in the past. Instead, the wily Israeli simply listened politely, and then made it clear that the meeting was over. Decades later, Begin's courteous dismissal of Carter's ill-informed tirade apparently still stings.
A perplexed Dershowitz wonders what would lead "a decent man" to write such a manifestly false book? While I'm not as convinced of Carter's decency as Dershowitz, it's a good question that deserves more scrutiny than the book itself.
I don't know the complete answer, but it is clear from his book that the former president bitterly resents the Israelis lack of acceptance of his ideas. Their stubborn refusal to sell their own survival short has bred in him an anger that seems to grow with every passing year.
And perhaps he also harbors a grudge against American friends of Israel whose votes helped sink his presidency. Indeed, Republicans still use Carter as a symbol of Democratic perfidy, even though most mainstream Democrats have disavowed his crusade against Israel. He remains a symbol of what may happen should their party ever truly betray its Jewish supporters.
But what Israel's friends in both parties cannot afford to do is to give him a pass for this latest outrage. No past good deeds or the intrinsic respect we all hold anyone who has served as president should prevent us from labeling him as the liar and hater that he has become.
The 30-year old question. ....and one that's best answered with yet another question: What isn't wrong with Dhimmi Jimmy?
Every time he opens his mouth, Jimmy Carter proves he just wasn't up to the job of President.
The old anti-semitic bastard will be pushing up daisies soon. He was America's WORST PRESIDENT EVER!
I think they don't give up out of principle: that a nation of six million has a right to defend itself in its historic homeland, and a right to expect its neighbors to recognize its right to exist.
A sanctimonius p***k.
Back in the 70's it was common knowledge that the power behind the throne was always carter's witchy wife. Could be that she has something to do with it - or it could be that carter is just an ahole. Or a combo of both.
Simple and obvious:
Jimmy is old and senile.
Just today I was thinking about the overwhelming support of American Jewish voters for the Democrats and wondering about the reason. I came to the same conclusion you did. I'd be curious to hear from anyone with a different opinion.
in 1985, Daniel Pipes reviewed Carter's book Blood of Abraham. Pipes points out Jimmah's "mistakes", most of which are classic Anti-Jew (ancient conflicts over land,human rights for palis, rights that arabs enjoy no where else consequently, equating barbarian with Jew). I will have to take Pipes's word on this since it has been years since I actually read this book.
Carter only reflects the openness available to attacking Israel and consequently Jewish lives because today, it is cheap to do so. When the winds permit, the anti Jew crawls out of his miserable shell and rears his ugly head. The times permit Jimmah to say what he says and the refusal to deal with direct threats to Israel's existence such as coming from Teheran are assisting him.
The anti Jew is strengthened by the climate of appeasement of the arabians and persians and in their own warped minds (J. Baker included)see Israel as the cause and the most to blame for arabian aggression and the infiltration of Europe.
Exactly right. And this is the real tragedy here.
And it is official. Some elite in the media has described Carter as certfiably the most left-wing ex-president in history (which gives Team Clinton a break, as they have only completed half their planned ascendancy to power).
"May all his teeth fall out, except for one so he should have a terrible toothache!"
You are right. One would think if this story's premise were true (Reagan won because American Jews sensed Carter's antipathy to their cause)then they might have "sense" that the "destroy Israel" terrorist's endorsement of the dims was not in the best interest of Jews. Yet, they voted over 80 percent dim.
Leftists like Carter and most Jews are leftist absolutists first, and religion is waaaayyy down their list of priorities.
Since Leftism requires the destruction of Western Civilization as a prerequisite of their program, any font of Western Civilization (Israel, the Catholic Church, private property, equality before the law) must be also
Well,...I can't think of everything, can I??
Carter is just a bitter, self-righteous, hypocritical anti-Semite (among many other similarly wonderful character traits). The fact that he's come out of the closet about it so much in the last few years may be a symptom of the times we're in, or of his travel down the road toward complete senility (or both). I used to think that he was just a good-willed imbecile, but over the last few years I have come to realize that he is a truly malevolent being, a black-hearted hater of the worst sort.
I always despised the simpleton - geez, the moron cannot even correctly say the word "nuclear." How did Rickover ever let a guy who said "nukear" get through the sub program? He never had a clue about the Soviet threat, and his failure to act against the Ayatollas in Iran during the hostage crisis was the cream on the cake. The only good thing that he did was to not touch the gun issue, but I think that he was probably too busy screwing up the country with other things to even bother.
If he was on fire I wouldn't pi$$ on him to put out the flames.
I have a different opinion. I've known quite a few liberal Jews, most all of them support Israel, often with donations. They also vote Democrat. I think the Jewish tradtion of cherishing leftism causes them to simply overlook leftist antisemitism.
"Peanut Boy" got it handed to him on C-Span!
You're right. If Israel is the issue, I just can't understand why Jews would vote for the party of such anti Israel folks as Pelosi/Hoyer/Schumer/Emanuel and against such Israeli supporters as Bush/Rice/Baker.
I'm certain if Pelosi has a press conference like Bush had today, it also would repeatetly praise terrorist Abbas, insist that more needs to be done to arm and support him, and take pride in being the first to call for a "Palestinian" State.
That's right, I got Bar Mitzvah lessons and indoctrination in Mao's teachings all at the same time. I remember those days fondly because at the end of the lessons, we always got milk and Gentile blood cookies. Also a tradition.
"I would guess that most American Jews are secular Jews and don't give a damn what happens to Israel."
Having just argued with my kinsman regarding whether Exodus was a "fairy tale generated by escaped Jews living in caves near Egypt" I tend to agree with you.
From the Opinion Journal:
A longtime aide to Jimmy Carter has resigned from the Carter Center think tank, calling the former president's new book on Israel and the Arabs one-sided and filled with errors," the Associated Press reports. "Kenneth Stein, the Carter Center's first executive director and founder of its Middle East program, sent a letter that bluntly criticized the book to Carter and others."
Power Line has the text:
President Carter's book on the Middle East, a title too inflammatory to even print, is not based on unvarnished analyses; it is replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments. Aside from the one-sided nature of the book, meant to provoke, there are recollections cited from meetings where I was the third person in the room, and my notes of those meetings show little similarity to points claimed in the book. Being a former President does not give one a unique privilege to invent information or to unpack it with cuts, deftly slanted to provide a particular outlook.
Stein says he'll elaborate on these points "in due course." The Jewish Virtual Library has some quotes from Carter's presidency that show he has changed his tune on the Mideast.
This is from a Feb. 25, 1980, speech to United Jewish Appeal National Young Leadership Conference:
I am opposed to an independent Palestinian state, because in my own judgment and in the judgment of many leaders in the Middle East, including Arab leaders, this would be a destabilizing factor in the Middle East and would certainly not serve the United States' interests.
And this is from a "White House joint conference" the following month, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt:
We oppose the creation of an independent Palestinian state. The United States, as all of you know, has a warm and unique relationship of friendship with Israel that is morally right. It is compatible with our deepest religious convictions, and it is right in terms of America's own strategic interests. . . .
We are committed to Israel's right to live in peace with all its neighbors, within secure and recognized borders, free from terrorism. We are committed to a Jerusalem that will forever remain undivided with free
How much of the Jewish vote in 1980 went to John Anderson? As a liberal Republican, he was well placed to get votes from people fed up with Carter who couldn't bear to think of voting for the offical nominee of the Republican Party.
Not all Jews have been leftists, and not all are today, but it is not deniable that leftism has been very strong among European and American Jews for the last 100 years and more. I do view it as a tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation in a very large segment of Jewish society. Perhaps since during the last 30 years or so, Jews have been allowed more access to American society, many will abandon their left wing tradition, and move to a more traditionally "liberal" one. OTOH, other Americans seem to be giving up the old "liberal" tradtions with which the country was started.
I use the word cherish, and find it appropriate, because my view is that Jews hold to leftism in the belief that it will benefit humanity. Tikkun Olam, repair the world, as my rabbi used to say. FWIW, the top guy at the Hebrew School where my kids went was pretty much of a socialist, though I don't think they spoke of gentile blood or anything. The rabbi was an avowed leftist, but a good man who meant well in spite of that.
It just occurred to me a possible reason why the Jewish Community has never been persuaded to vote for republicans since Reagan (and 40% ain't really all that anyway.) The candidates they've had have been named Bush, for one thing, but what I'm getting at is they've been southernors, especially Bush 43. Carter may have colored many northeastern jewish people's views of the whole south, not just the rats.
Not in 1977.
He was the worst president in my lifetime and THAT is saying a lot.
It's all about the candidates. Republicans have never put up candidates that appeal to Jews.
If Reagan's VP had been Jack Kemp, for one example, he would have gotten a huge percentage of Jewish votes in 1988. And probably reelected in 1992. May have changed the entire Jewish voting pattern. And no Clinton. Maybe reagan's biggest mistake.
Those Jews that voted for Bush I, as a residue from Reagan, were very disappointed. Dole, laughable? Bush II may sour Jews on Republicans even further.
Jimmy is a lamebrained bigot who holds grudges. A hugh embarrassment to the US.
You would have to define Leftist.
Conservatives and Republicans until recent decades were not Jewish friendly.
Jews, like most, have a tendency to gravitate to where they feel comfortable. And for a long time that was the Democrat party.
NY, the most Jewish of States, had long term Republican Senators and Governors, because those individuals earned the trust of the Jewish community.
That Tikkun Olam crap is a very recent explanation. Jews moved Left because that is where they found emancipation from ingrained anti Semitism.
Jewish tradition- as can be seen by those who keep Jewish tradition, the Orthodox- is very Conservative.
Yes, but how do you really feel about Jimma?
I define leftism as socialist, or those philosophies derived from or based on it.
I certainly agree that Jews moved left as a reaction to antisemitism. I think this happened in Europe, well before the great immigration here of c. 100 years ago. I also think that "conservative" antisemitism has been responsible for keeping American Jews on the left up through WWII. Perhaps the current persistent leftist antisemitism and leftist anti Israel attitude will change this. Not so much the Orthodox Jews, I think.
As far as I know, not being much of a scholar, or very religious, you are right that traditional Jewish teaching, in the sense to which you have referred, has nothing to do with leftism, as it far predates it. I hadn't meant to say that leftism was part of Judaism, merely that European and American (and probably European?) Jews of the last 120 or so years have more often than not adopted leftist political beliefs.
When one becomes a part of the Radical Left, having genocidal fantasies about the extermination of Israel simply goes with the territory. Jimuh is quite predictable in this regard.
Meaning that they have not been so leftist.
You define Leftist as Socialism, others define it an being pro choice or having a sympathy for certain gun laws or other issues.
If Left is labor unions and such, it's true, and was from necessity, not any sort of Jewish tradition. It is how Jews raised themselves into the mainstream. The environs of the Right were closed to Jews.
But Jews, the People who invented the concept of Freedom escaping from bondage in Egypt, may be the least intrinsically economic socialists and greatest entrepreneurs.