Friday, December 08, 2006

Carter on Palestine

Former US President Jimmy Carter is attracting criticism for his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. Carter wrote an op-ed piece in the LA Times in response to some of the criticism.

I haven't read the book, but I have watched some interviews with Carter, so my comments will be more of a general nature.

  1. Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in part for his work in the Middle East, and his list of credentials on the subject is greater than most. As such, I value Carter's perspective, and presume no ill will on his part.
  2. It is possible to disagree with the policies and actions of the state of Israel without being anti-semitic. If I disagree with Israel's actions, it isn't because they are Jewish; it's because I disagree with their actions.
  3. It is possible to support the Jewish cause and to remember the Holocaust without automatically supporting the policies and actions of the state of Israel.
  4. Some people who oppose Israel are cowed into silence because of the large Jewish lobby in the United States.
  5. Some people who oppose Israel are cowed into silence because of woolly religious reasoning that goes something like this:
    • The Jews are God's chosen people.
    • If I support Israel, then God will like me.
    • Biblical prophecy says something about doing something in Israel before Jesus can return, so I'll support that, then shove them out of the way when the Messiah comes (back).
  6. Violence sucks.

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