Friday, February 23, 2007

Some Final [I hope] thoughts on Jimmy Carter

This should be it. I have helped Jimmy Carter sell enough of his slim, mistake laden book. I want to move on to other things.

Since, however, I wrote so much before he appeared here at Emory, some thoughts after.

I shall ignore pointing how much he obfuscated and did not answer questions. How much he disembled and rewrote history. I am tired of parsing his words.

Ultimately, the irony is that he and I do not disagree on the bottom line. We both favor and believe in the necessity of a two-state solution. That is the only promise there is for some kind of peace to come to this region.

Neither side will have all of what they want but that is what is necessary.

However, in Carter's view all that it takes for this to come about is for Israel to make concessions, Israel to accept, Israel to withdraw etc. etc. There was no compelling urgency in his voice for the Palestinians and their Arab and Muslim neighbors to stop terror attacks against Israel.

In fact, he brushed off Israeli losses by noting that whenever 1 Israeli is killed 750 [he used that number twice] Palestinians are killed.

There was no sense that the Palestinians have, to quote Abba Eban, missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

He accepts all their protestations about peace and acceptance of Israel at face value. He sets the bar very low for them. It reminds of a phrase George W. Bush used in reference to his education bill, No Child Left Behind. [A bad bill that puts all its trust in testing... but that's not for this blog.]

He spoke about the "bigotry of low expectations." That's what you have here. Don't expect much from the Palestinians but expect lots from the Israelis. Truth be told, I expect more from the Israelis but when it comes to concessions and negotiations both sides have to give.

Jimmy Carter does not believe that.

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