Friday, January 12, 2007

Carter Center advisers resign over book

President Carter's recent book on Israel and the Palestinian conflict has caused problems in the Carter Center.

CNN reports, "Former President Jimmy Carter's controversial book and subsequent remarks about the Israel-Palestinian conflict have prompted the resignations of 14 people from an advisory board of the Carter Center, the 25-year-old Atlanta-based humanitarian organization. The 14 explained their concerns, which reflect an uproar in the U.S. Jewish community over Carter's Mideast stance, in separate letters sent Thursday to fellow Board of Councilors members and Carter. "

The letter noted, ""We can no longer endorse your strident and uncompromising position. This is not the Carter Center or the Jimmy Carter we came to respect and support."

The book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid blames Israel for the Palestinian conflict. As suggested by the title, it argues Israel is treating Palestinians just like the whites in South Africa treated blacks. The analogy has historical problems and many consider it to be anti-Israeli.

Those who resigned wrote, ""Israelis, through deed and public comment, have consistently spoken of a desire to live in peace and make territorial compromise to achieve this status. The Palestinian side has consistently resorted to acts of terror as a national expression and elected parties endorsing the use of terror, the rejection of territorial compromise and of Israel's right to exist. Palestinian leaders have had chances since 1947 to have their own state, including during your own presidency when they snubbed your efforts."

It will be interesting to see what Carter's stand on this issue may have on his long term legacy.

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