Nov 14, 2006

Jimmy Carter's latest book--more of the same

Every utterance by an Arab leader is taken as gospel, while Israeli leaders earn his contempt.
This is not a serious book. It is poorly written, thoroughly unbalanced, factually erroneous on fundamental points—the product of someone who went to Israel in 1973 and didn’t like it then, lectured and insulted its leaders, and who obviously doesn’t like it now.

Those interested in why Camp David failed should consult Dennis Ross’ book; those interested in why Taba failed should consult Makovsky’s article and Shlomo Ben-Ami’s book; those interested in why the Road Map failed should consult Natan Sharansky and Ron Dermer’s book The Case for Democracy.

As for this book, it will be of no use to those interested in a responsible discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But it may be useful to historians pondering the perspective of a U.S. president who presided over the 1979 fall of a strategic ally in Iran and his replacement by a theocracy now pursuing nuclear weapons. At the time, Carter may have been impressed by the new leaders’ deep religious convictions.

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