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What's the Matter With Jimmy?
The Jewish Exponent ^ | December 07, 2006 | Jonathan S. Tobin

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.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Israel; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: carter; israel
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To: Sabramerican

Define "Jewish tradition"


Just kidding, I understand what you mean.

61 posted on 12/07/2006 3:02:26 PM PST by Sam Cree (don't mix alcopops and ufo's - absolute reality)
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To: Sabramerican
Another huge difference between Carter and Reagan:

When the latter succumbed to Alzheimer's his adoring wife kept him away from the public's gaze.

62 posted on 12/07/2006 5:50:21 PM PST by Mr. Buzzcut (metal god ... visit The Ponderosa .... ... DEATH BEFORE DHIMMITUDE)
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To: AlexW
I would guess that most American Jews are secular Jews and don't give a damn what happens to Israel.

I am not Jewish and therefore have no particular insight into what motivates the Jewish people but your statement resonates as true to me. Whatever the reason, it's obvious that the American Jews and Israeli Jews are two different breeds of cat. One group I deeply respect, the other I just keep wondering about; despite their obvious high levels of intelligence and education, they just don't seem to get it.

63 posted on 12/07/2006 5:54:04 PM PST by OldPossum
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To: Sabramerican

No great secret here, Mr. Carter is a raving anti-semite and always has been.

64 posted on 12/07/2006 5:55:49 PM PST by I_Like_Spam
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To: SJackson

What's the Matter With Jimmy?

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King Jr.

65 posted on 12/07/2006 9:58:48 PM PST by Valin (History takes time. It is not an instant thing.)
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To: Sabramerican

What's the matter with Jimmy? He's an ASH-HOLE. Ash is a good word, by the way ;-)

66 posted on 12/07/2006 11:51:11 PM PST by John Frum
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To: Sabramerican
Oiy Vey...everybody knows Carter's a neurotic,self loathing southern Baptist.
67 posted on 12/08/2006 4:38:02 AM PST by gitmogrunt (Conservative and Republican are not synonymous.)
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