TNR: Carter’s Book Is "Tendentious, Dishonest, Stupid…….

I remember the US’s worst ex-president’s speech (Carter) at the Herzilya Center earlier this year, being full of platitudes for peace, but glaringly empty on the realistic “ways and means” to fully achieve such a peace. According to Rick Richman, at the Jewish Press, about Carter’s book:

But while it may be tendentious, dishonest, stupid, and filled with errors and untenable interpretations, it could still have an impact. Carter says he’s “going to promote [it] pretty widely,” so his tendentious and erroneous assertions may ripple into the public consciousness.

Blogger Toby, at the Northern Light Blogspot, mentioned recently about his conversation with Dr. Nabil Shaath, the Christian Palestinian special envoy for P.A. President, Mahmoud Abbas. Stating that :

He was very up-beat about the outcomes of the summit and had had a number of private meetings with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and clearly they had been constructive (although things look less good today), but his descriptions of life in Gaza, currently under Israeli blockade, were incredibly depressing. The economy has been destroyed and malnutrition is starting to be observed

While some of the claims Shaath makes might be true, like Carter’s, the statements lack a proper context to understand the situation in its entirety. That the UPI’s Mr.Archer states Gaza to be effectively “blockaded” (though he might be just repeating Shaath’s comments, but interestingly enough adds no disclaimer) is indeed unfortunate, because Gaza’s open border with Egypt renders that claim to be meaningless. More on that in the following.

Note: Gaza is at least 75% of the time effectively blockaded by Israel since the kidnapping of Cpl. Shalit. So Toby was technically correct in describing it as a blockade, but I’ll include the disclaimer that the Rafah border crossing has been opened, as well as other crossings into Israel on a case by case scenario. According to the Israeli MFA, Gaza border crossings are open on an average of twice a week. The latest crossing was for the sister of the deceased Hamas kingpin, Abdel Aziz Rantisi.
My point here is that people who should know better, (intentionally or not) help to obfuscate a very complex situation, and would be well advised to choose their words more carefully. Carter however, is a stark example of a failed statesman who “means well”, but doesn’t know his arse from a hole in a ground. KGS
Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz has more on Carter’s book here.

6 Responses

  1. What open border? The Rafah Crossing (the only crossing for Gazans to leave for the outside world) has been closed for at least 75% of the time since Cpl. Shalit was kidnapped in June. The exception times are predominantly for humanitarian reason. They reopened it last week shortly with the announcement of the ceasefire, but then it was closed again after a Hamas minister brought in millions in cash. There is arms smuggling almost certainly under the border, but that’s for bringing guns in, not tomatos and oranges out. As I understand it, very limited imports to the Gaza strip come via Israel, but the delays have made trying to do business uneconomic for business men – that was indeed one of Shaath’s points, many have just taken their money and left – leaving behind the increasingly fanatic and desperate (see your post below on violence against women). I don’t think anything is allowed to be exported from Gaza currently via Israel.

    From the most recent UN report I could find (early November):

    “Rafah crossing closed on 25th June for six weeks, opening for only two days in mid July. Since 10 August, Rafah has opened sporadically (16 out of 90 days).
    All the commercial crossing points closed on 28June although Karni crossing re-opened for 15 days in July for humanitarian imports only. Since the start of ‘Summer Rains’, Karni crossing has been open for only 29% of its scheduled operating hours
    Erez crossing, the only crossing point into Israel for workers and businessmen, has been closed since 12 March.” (https://www.reliefweb.int/library/documents/2006/ocha-opt-09nov.pdf)

    Various links that make reference to the closure or are about it:

    Plenty of coverage of the situation from the Israeli human rights NGOs like Physicians for Human Rights, B’Tselem, GISHA etc.

  2. Jimmy Carter’s bias against Israel is now an undisputed fact. Much has been written about it and much will continue to be written.

    There is a far more simple issue here besides Jimmy Carter’s anti-Israel bias: No Israeli leader will ever again be able to automatically trust American mediation efforts in the War Against Israel.

  3. A blockade with temporary breaches for humanitarian reasons is the best description I can offer.

    Hamas has been as extremist and as intimidating to others outside their community well before “crunch time”. I see no other way out of the mess than for the Hamas to give up its governmental role, or accept all three conditions as perscribed by the Road Map.

  4. I agree totally with your post, as well as your description of the conflict being a war against Israel. Very few recognize it as such, in spite of the weighty evidence that supports such language. KGS

  5. So Kenneth – who exactly is “obfuscating a very complex situation”? I don’t mean this as a childish “you were wrong – nah nah nah!” post, but you are saying others don’t understand the facts whilst getting things quite wrong yourself.

    One of Shaath’s examples was tomatos. I can’t remember exactly the figures but it was something along the line of 10kgs of tomatos in Gaza cost a dollar, whilst in the West Bank (the traditional market for fruit grown in the Gazan greenhouses) it’s now ten dollars for a kilo. Produces spoils waiting to get through the checkpoints out of the strip. Businesses are failing, businessmen are leaving, and the population left is just getting poorer, angrier and more hate-filled. Just on a purely practical level the policy is not helping Israel, regardless of whether one has moral qualms over it or not.

  6. Criticism is duly noted and an immediate update was printed forthwith, no claim of obfuscating can be fairly made. However, in comparison to Carter’s continuous outright falsifications and ommissions, I make out rather squikingly clean.

    At least even Shaath himself came clean of his original claim that 500+ Palestinians were massacred in Jenin. So once again, a blockade is in force, but with arranged periodic movement across the borders. Ás I recall, you just mentioned “blockade”, which conjurs up the one the US has placed on Cuba for the past 30 yrs.

    As for Gaza’s dire straights, electing the first openly terrorist government of the PA is proving to have been an unwise move. It is by BTW, something that can be easily overcome by renouncing political violence (terror), unequivocally recognize the Jewish state of Israel and abide by all existing signed agreements.

    Question is, just how much longer will the Palestinians not be held accountable for their collective actions? Israel pretty much knows just how much food and water and medicine is needed for the Gaza population, cases of malnutrition might be real, but it would be a moral and PR nightmare for Israel to allow such a scenario to happen.

    Besides, the Hamas and the other terrorist groups are finding ample surpluses of money (they are definately not being purchased by their “good looks”) to help fund their weapons purchaces that travel via the tunnels into Gaza.

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