Former President Jimmy Carter issued a letter to American Jews on Friday, explaining the use of the term "apartheid" in his new book and sympathizing with Israelis who fear terrorism.
Carter wrote that the letter's purpose was to reiterate that his use of "apartheid" did not apply to circumstances within Israel, that Israelis are deeply concerned about terrorism from "some Palestinians," and that a majority of Israelis want peace with their neighbors.
Carter wrote that he understands Israelis' fear of terrorism, and "reiterated my strong condemnation of any such acts of terrorism."
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"Even though he doesn't mean it in a racial term, to use that term can be nothing less than overly provocative," Rabbi Andrew Straus said.
The reference to apartheid, the word for South Africa's former system of state-sanctioned racial segregation, has angered some rabbis because it appears to equate that system with the treatment of Palestinians.
Carter wrote that "apartheid in Palestine is not based on racism but the desire of a minority of Israelis for Palestinian land and the resulting suppression of protests that involve violence." He called it "contrary to the tenets of the Jewish faith and the basic principles of the nation of Israel."
Carter had planned to go Brandeis University to discuss the book but decided against it after the university requested that he debate Alan Dershowitz about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Carter said the outspoken Harvard law professor "knows nothing about the situation."
Dershowitz knows nothing?
I can't wait for Alan's retort.
Here's his first salvo from December 2:-
Sometimes, you really can tell a book by its cover. Jimmy Carter's decision to title his new anti-Israel screed Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (Simon & Schuster, 288 pages) tells it all. The former U.S. president's use of the loaded word "apartheid," suggesting an analogy to the hated policies of South Africa, is especially outrageous, considering his acknowledgment buried near the end of his shallow and superficial book that what is going on in Israel today "is unlike that in South Africa -- not racism, but the acquisition of land." Nor does he explain that Israel's motivation for holding on to land it captured in a defensive war is the prevention of terrorism. Israel has tried, on several occasions, to exchange land for peace, and what it got instead was terrorism, rockets and kidnappings launched from the returned land.
In fact, Palestinian-Arab terrorism is virtually missing from Mr. Carter's entire historical account, which blames nearly everything on Israel. Incredibly, he asserts that the initial violence in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict occurred when "Jewish militants" attacked Arabs in 1939.
And there's more there.