Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Stifling dissent in Atlanta: the Carter book

The writer, a journalist, editorializes that we should listen to 14 people who resigned from the board of the Carter Center and adopt their perspective and his, namely not a "word" of criticism of Israel. Doesn't that make Israel a rather unique human institution? What other political entity can you name that is beyond reproach and that should be supported reflexively? This is the rhetorical tactic now being adopted by people like Mr. Wooten who suggest that when it comes to Israel here should be no public debate or dissent. Mr. Wooten and the 7% of the board that resigned from the board of the Carter Center presume that the issues are black and white, but that is little more than self-satisfying boilerplate.

OUR OPINION: Carter aside, Israel deserves total support "For my part, there can be no 'balance' in U.S. policy in the region. Retreating from Gaza in the summer of 2005, Israel did something this country would never have done, sending 25,000 soldiers to haul 8,500 of its citizens from their abodes, sacrificing their homes and land to the prospect of peace. What did they get in return? A rain of missiles.

With that example, with Hezbollah and Hamas, and a frighteningly dangerous leader in Iran who is no more than five years away from nuclear weaponry —- sworn enemies all —- you'll not find a word here that undermines support in this country for Israel. That was surely not Carter's intentions, but I fear it will be a consequence.

We have one permanent friend in the region and that is Israel.

When longtime Carter supporters speak out, as Stein and Konner and board members who resigned last week did, the rest of us should listen."

After you read the cited editorial, take a look at Carter's OPED in the WaPo, and draw your own conclusions.


willtotruth said...

Quite disgusting to read of all these attacks on a man genuinely interested in Israel's having peace and security within its own borders. I've read the book. I discern a man whose essential focus is that of Israel and of Israel's interests. So he tells the world what is in Israel's interest and what we find in response (among some) is diatribes and blindness. Once again, the so-called friends of Israel are no friends at all.

I just wanted to make that brief comment and to note that I appreciate your news choices and check out your site often even if I have not commented.

Thank you.

arn said...

Thanks to WilltoTruth. If you have read the book, please add your perspective, whatever it may be (so long as it is expressed in polite language).

willtotruth said...

Well then arn, I will but in a bit of time. I actually want to discuss the book and I plan on writing a post on it myself. I've read it once and now, need to return to it. I think my language will be polite but I guess that depends on the reader because my views are very critical of Israel. So soon, I will return with what I hope is a considered take on what Carter offers the reader to think about.

My one-liner perspective is simply that Carter has offered a very basic and reasonable assessment of how and why Israel has and is failing to make peace (and he by no means ignores Israel's concerns or the problems that Palestinian violence contribute to the problem). Apartheid does not seem an inappropriate word if one has some rudimentary knowledge about the settlements, their history and their continuance.

In some sense Carter's book states the obvious and the perversity is how people are reacting in criticism of this obvious.