Thursday, March 09, 2006

# Posted 8:34 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

DID JIMMY CARTER REALLY SAY THAT? I think TomPaine.com is a reputable web site. After all, it's on both the TAPPED and Instapundit blogrolls. So I guess if TomPaine's editor says that Jimmy Carter really wrote this op-ed for them, then it's real. Unfortunately, that means a fisking is in order.

Now, in general, I prefer not to focus on the dumbest arguments made by those with whom I disagree. But when you're talking about a US president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, some discipline is in order.

Anyhow, at this critical moment in the Middle East, when a terrorist organization has just taken power in the Palestinian territories, what does Jimmy Carter decide is the greatest threat to peace? Israel, of course. In his opening paragraph, Carter writes that:
Israel’s occupation of Palestine has obstructed a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land, regardless of whether Palestinians had no formalized government, one headed by Yasir Arafat or Mahmoud Abbas, or with Abbas as president and Hamas controlling the parliament and cabinet.
Has anything else helped to obstruct the comprehensive peace agreement Carter favors? Suicide bombings, perhaps? Anti-Semitic hate speech in countless schools and mosques? Hamas and Fatah political campaigns that glorified "martyrs"?

I wouldn't know, since Carter doesn't mention any of those things in his little essay (except for his exceptionally bold condemnation of suicide bombing in its penultimate sentence). Anyhow, Carter goes on to say that:
Hamas will control the cabinet and prime minister’s office, but Mahmoud Abbas retains all authority and power exercised by Yasir Arafat.
Is he kidding? Arafat ruled like a dictator, crushing all other centers of power, such as the cabinet and parliament now controlled by Hamas.
Hamas wishes now to consolidate its political gains, maintain domestic order and stability and refrain from any contacts with Israel. It will be a tragedy—especially for the Palestinians—if they promote or condone terrorism.
If they promote or condone terrorism? If? Did Carter miss the entire campaign season during which Hamas proudly advertised the heroic deeds of its "martys"?

Anyhow, in the very next sentence, Carter writes that:
The preeminent obstacle to peace is Israel’s colonization of Palestine.
Down with the Zionist imperialist state! Sharon was just kidding when he pulled out of Gaza! He only ordered the Israeli army to remove all those settlers by accident!
Recently, Israeli leaders have decided on unilateral actions without involving either the United States or the Palestinians, with withdrawal from Gaza as the first step.
Whereas the terrorist attacks of Hamas, Al Aqsa and Islamic Jihad reflect the decisions of a multilateral consenus.
The [Israeli] wall is designed to surround a truncated Palestine completely, and a network of exclusive highways will cut across what is left of Palestine to connect Israel with the Jordan River Valley.
The wall has absolutely nothing to do with defense against terrorist attacks! The only reason that there have been fewer attacks since the wall went up is because Hamas and Fatah want peace!
There is little doubt that accommodation with Palestinians can bring full Arab recognition of Israel and its right to live in peace. Any rejectionist policies of Hamas or any terrorist group will be overcome by an overall Arab commitment to restrain further violence and to promote the well-being of the Palestinian people.
(4) opinions -- Add your opinion

While Carter went too far in places, I wonder if you are willing to admit that Isreali is at least partly culpable for the ongoing violence in the region. Yes Hamas and other groups are evil and are responsible for a great deal of the violence. No, I'm not suggesting moral equivelancy. I'm saying Isreal ads fuel to the fire and makes it worse when they choose their responses and from a pragmatic perspective, they are acting against their true interest of peace.

Yes Sharon moved recently in the right direction, but there are still dozens of untenable settlements, some illegal even under Isreali law, in the West Bank that Isreal could close down to reduce tensions. Most importantly, Isreal, like the US and other countries, continues to make the mistake of thinking that its a smart decision to shoot a rocket and kill by-standers as long as they can take out a terrorist leader. That is one step forward, two steps back.

Yes, Isreal needs to stay strong and insist that terrorists be arrested, or killed, if Palastinians don't act.

But Isreal is at a point where a majority of palastians, including the middle class are supporting the terrorists. The Isreal strategy is not working. Isrealis and Americans need to keep pushing Isreal to change its policies if we want the dynamic to change.
Good morning, Anon 11:33. If you go through our archives, you can find the posts where I and others comment on Israeli actions detrimental to the peace process.

I differ with you, however, on the issue of whether Israeli strategy is working. Terrorist attacks are down sharply. The withdrawal from Gaza gave Israel the diplomatic high ground.

And what about Hamas' victory at the polls? Now here we might have a discussion...
Unfortunately, that means a fisking [of Jimmy Carter's op-ed]is in order.

"Hi, David, it's so good to see you again! We have a lovely barrel of fish for you today. Your shotgun is on the table, not loaded of course. You will find the ammo next to your safety goggles and ear pieces on the stand beside the door. Happy hunting!"
Jimmy Carter is a gift to feckless liberal illogic that keeps on giving. I couldn't make him up if I worked in Hollywood. In fact, how did Kushner and Speilberg miss this opportunity? WHO
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