Reform Rabbis Will Boycott Carter Center

You have to be asking yourself, what Carter was thinking when he wrote this book. And then you have to ask if editors and friends are so awed by former presidents that they cannot stand up to them and tell them when they are digging a deep hole for themselves?

Rabbis throw book at Jimmy: Clergy nix Carter center trip over Israel tome


Outraged by Jimmy Carter's controversial new book, the nation's largest organization of rabbis yesterday pulled out of a planned visit to the former President's human rights center in Atlanta.

The Central Conference of American Rabbis, representing nearly 2,000 Reform rabbis, said it was protesting Carter's latest book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which many say unfairly criticizes Israel.

The announcement came just hours after 14 members of an advisory board to the Carter Center also quit in protest over the book.

"You have clearly abandoned your historic role of broker in favor of becoming an advocate for one side," the resigning members wrote the 2002 Nobel peace laureate, who negotiated the 1978 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel.

The book, which follows the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, assigns blame to Israel, the Palestinians, the United States and others, but it is most critical of Israeli policy.

The Jewish clergy, who had planned to visit the Carter Center during their convention in Atlanta in March, cited their long friendship with the former President, which included participation in his Habitat for Humanity housing organization.

But all that changed with the publication of Carter's book and especially its title, they said.

"The book contains numerous distortions of history and interpretation and apparently, outright fabrications as well," the organization said.

"Its use of the term 'apartheid' to describe conditions in the West Bank serves only to demonize and de-legitimize Israel in the eyes of the world."

The rabbis went on to say that Carter's apparent praise of radical Arab leaders such as Palestinian Yasser Arafat and the late Syrian President Hafez Assad and "his attempted rehabilitation of such terrorist groups as Hezbollah and Hamas demonstrated either a clear anti-Israel bias, extreme naivete or both."

Angering both the clergy and the Carter Center's advisory board members were the former President's public statements that, they said, implied a "Jewish conspiracy" at work to discourage conversation about the Palestinians' plight.

Rabbi Harry Danziger, the conference president, said in a telephone interview that he was offended by passages he read in excerpts from the book. He said his organization's action was unrelated to the resignations by advisory board members of the Carter Center.


Anonymous said...

"You have to be asking yourself, what Carter was thinking when he wrote this book. "

Perhaps he was thinking, "Lets see how many liberal Jews I can have fawn over me, just because I'm a democrat."

Tzvee Zahavy said...

Well that didn't work out for him, did it?

Anonymous said...

At long last, it didn't. You're right.