Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Angling for the “Zionist” Vote

I mentioned earlier this evening that former President Jimmy Carter has suddenly repented of his past antipathy towards Israel and apologized for it. Ever the cynic, I was certain there had to be more to the affair than an abrupt attack of conscience.

And so there was: it seems that Jason Carter, the former president’s grandson, is running for statewide office in Georgia. Heroyalwhyness, always alert to the latest political news, pointed out in the comments the following article from JTA:

Carter: Grandson’s race not reason enough to apologize

Jimmy Carter is asking the Jewish community for forgiveness — and insists it’s not simply because his grandson has decided to launch a political career with a run for the Georgia state Senate.

Jason Carter, 34, an Atlanta-area lawyer, is considering a run to fill a seat covering suburban DeKalb County should the incumbent, David Adelman, win confirmation as President Obama’s designated ambassador to Singapore.

The seat, which is university heavy — Emory, among others, is situated there — also has a substantial Jewish community.

Aha! So Jason has encountered a little family-related Jewish problem, and Jimmuh from the Ummah is lending him a helping hand. Now it makes sense.

Needless to say, Jimmuh poo-poos any connection between his new-found contrition and his grandson’s need for the “Zionist” vote:
- - - - - - - - -
But in an interview with JTA, Carter insisted that ethnic electoral considerations were not reason enough to reach out to the Jewish community, although he did not outright deny that it was a factor.

“Jason has a district, the number of Jewish voters in it is only 2 percent,” he said, chuckling.

Notice that although Grandpa disclaims any linkage between his behavior and Jason’s future political career, he just happens to know the exact percentage of Jewish voters that Carter the Younger will have to court.

And Jason is singing from the same hymnal as Paw-Paw:

In a statement issued through his campaign manager, the younger Carter said the statement was not connected to his campaign.

“While I was very happy to see my grandfather’s letter, it was completely unrelated to my campaign. The letter is a product of discussions with some of his friends in the Jewish community that have been going on for a long time. I, like many others, see this as a great step towards reconciliation,” Jason Carter said in the statement. “As for my campaign, I intend to reach out to all people in District 42 and work hard to earn their trust and their votes. Ultimately, this campaign will focus on the people of this district and the issues that a good advocate in the Georgia State Senate can affect, including fixing a broken transportation system, getting the economy moving again, and providing a first-class education to our kids.”

It’s nice to find out that the apple don’t fall far from the tree, even unto the third generation.


EscapeVelocity said...

Yes, because Jews are liberals, an unfeeling half arsed apology sould give many enough of a reason not to hold Jimmy's serious and long continuing attacks on Israel and Israeli Jews, against the young Carter.

Ron Russell said...

People will not forget Carter's hostility toward Israel and his grandson will take enough flack and a little could easyly cost him a close election. I've linked to you at TOTUS

heroyalwhyness said...

The JTA article states:
"The seat, which is university heavy — Emory, among others, is situated there — also has a substantial Jewish community."

The significance of mentioning Emory relates to:

". . . first and last word on Carter's book probably belongs to Professor Kenneth Stein of Emory University, who has terminated his relationship with the Carter Centre because of the "factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments." in Carter's book. Professor Stein conveyed his sentiments via the e-mail below. So far, Carter has simply shrugged off Stein's complaints, insisting that Stein is incorrect and Carter's publishers are trying to attribute this falling-out on Stein's ego.
. . .continued below

heroyalwhyness said...

" . . .This note is to inform you that yesterday, I sent letters to President Jimmy Carter, Emory University President Jim Wagner, and Dr. John Hardman, Executive Director of the Carter Center resigning my position, effectively immediately, as Middle East Fellow of the Carter Center of Emory University. This ends my 23 year association with an institution that in some small way I helped shape and develop. My joint academic position in Emory College in the History and Political Science Departments, and, as Director of the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel remains unchanged.

Many still believe that I have an active association with the Center and, act as an adviser to President Carter, neither is the case. President Carter has intermittently continued to come to the Arab-Israeli Conflict class I teach in Emory College. He gives undergraduate students a fine first hand recollection of the Begin-Sadat negotiations of the late 1970s. Since I left the Center physically thirteen years ago, the Middle East program of the Center has waned as has my status as a Carter Center Fellow. For the record, I had nothing to do with the research, preparation, writing, or review of President Carter's recent publication. Any material which he used from the book we did together in 1984, The Blood of Abraham, he used unilaterally.
continued . . .

heroyalwhyness said...

". . .President Carter's book on the Middle East, a title too inflammatory to even print, is not based on unvarnished analyses; it is replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments. Aside from the one-sided nature of the book, meant to provoke, there are recollections cited from meetings where I was the third person in the room, and my notes of those meetings show little similarity to points claimed in the book. Being a former President does not give one a unique privilege to invent information or to unpack it with cuts, deftly slanted to provide a particular outlook. Having little access to Arabic and Hebrew sources, I believe, clearly handicapped his understanding and analyses of how history has unfolded over the last decade. Falsehoods, if repeated often enough become meta-truths, and they then can become the erroneous baseline for shaping and reinforcing attitudes and for policy-making. The history and interpretation of the Arab-Israeli conflict is already drowning in half-truths, suppositions, and self-serving myths; more are not necessary. In due course, I shall detail these points and reflect on their origins.

The decade I spent at the Carter Center (1983-1993) as the first permanent Executive Director and as the first Fellow were intellectually enriching for Emory as an institution, the general public, the interns who learned with us, and for me professionally. Setting standards for rigorous interchange and careful analyses spilled out to the other programs that shaped the Center's early years. There was mutual respect for all views; we carefully avoided polemics or special pleading. This book does not hold to those standards. My continued association with the Center leaves the impression that I am sanctioning a series of egregious errors and polemical conclusions which appeared in President Carter's book. I can not allow that impression to stand.

Through Emory College, I have continued my professional commitment to inform students and the general public about the history and politics of Israel, the Middle East, and American policies toward the region. I have tried to remain true to a life-time devotion to scholarly excellence based upon unvarnished analyses and intellectual integrity. I hold fast to the notion that academic settings and those in positions of influence must teach and not preach. Through Emory College, in public lectures, and in OPED writings, I have adhered to the strong belief that history must presented in context, and understood the way it was, not the way we wish it to be.

In closing, let me thank you for your friendship, past and continuing support for ISMI, and to Emory College. Let me also wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season, and a healthy and productive new year.

As ever,

Dr. Kenneth W. Stein,
Professor of Contemporary Middle Eastern History, Political Science,
and Israeli Studies,
Director, Middle East Research Program and
Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel
Atlanta, Georgia

aileen said...

Carter will convince me that his repentance is sincere when he does two things: First, he will withdraw from sale all the books in which he has libeled Israel and Jews, and point out the specific passages that are false and libelous. Second, he will add up all the royalties he has received from the sale of those books and donate the money to an organization that defends Israel against libelers, and/or an Israeli charity that cares for victims of Muslim violence.