Jimmy Carter and Apartheid

Joseph Lelyveld in the New York Review of Books:

Screenhunter_10_mar_09_2012 …Carter is considerably more than half-right in arguing—and, yes, even crying from the rooftops—that the status quo is unsustainable and not amenable to a unilateral settlement imposed by Israel; right too when he argues that our discussion of issues centering on a “peace process” that is all process and no peace has become conspicuously one-sided. Carter blames “a submissive White House and US Congress during recent years” and “powerful political, economic, and religious forces in the United States.” He doesn’t resort to the term “Jewish lobby” and has recently made it clear —not in his book but in a “Letter to Jewish Citizens of America” that he wrote in December in response to the furor—that he intended to include conservative Christians in his chiding. In his own words:

The overwhelming bias for Israel comes from among Christians like me who have been taught to honor and protect God’s chosen people from among whom came our own savior, Jesus Christ.

Whatever the cause of the one-sidedness he deplores, it’s necessary only to recall the resolutions both houses of Congress rushed to pass last summer in support of Israel’s retaliatory offensive against Hezbollah in order to gauge whether he’s making a reasonable point. The offensive—which devastated Lebanon, killed hundreds of civilians, and ultimately did more to undermine the new government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert than it did to weaken Hezbollah—won the backing of the House of Representatives by a vote of 410–8. When Carter’s book was about to appear, Representative Nancy Pelosi, soon to become speaker, was quick to say he didn’t speak for Democrats on these matters; obviously, she was right.

More here.