Carter explains his use of 'apartheid'

Ex-president sends letter to "Jewish citizens of America" explaining his book.

By
December 16, 2006 06:27
2 minute read.
Carter explains his use of 'apartheid'

carter 298.88. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Facing controversy over his new book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, former President Jimmy Carter issued a letter to American Jews explaining his use of the term "apartheid" and sympathizing with Israelis who fear terrorism. In a "letter to Jewish citizens of America," released Friday by The Carter Center, the former president also said American Christians, not Jews, are responsible for an "overwhelming bias for Israel" in American media. Carter wrote the letter following his meeting Tuesday with a group of rabbis in Arizona. The rabbis said they would not call for a boycott of Carter's book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," but they also would not suggest that anyone read it.

  • Carter defends 'Peace Not Apartheid'
  • Opinion: Carter's compromised statesmanship
  • Opinion: Jimmy Carter, go back to your peanut farm Carter's book follows the peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians during his presidency in 1977-1980. He is critical of all players in not reaching a better accord, but he is especially critical of the Israelis. He previously told The Associated Press that Americans are rarely exposed to anything other than pro-Israeli views in the news media. In the letter, Carter said the group's chairman, Rabbi Andrew Straus, "suggested that I make clear to all American Jews that my use of 'apartheid' does not apply to circumstances within Israel, that I acknowledge the deep concern of Israelis about the threat of terrorism and other acts of violence from some Palestinians, and that the majority of Israelis sincerely want a peaceful existence with their neighbors. The purpose of this letter is to reiterate these points." Straus said he was "very appreciative" of the letter and believes in Carter's sincerity. However, he still disagrees with the former president's use of the word "apartheid." "Even though he doesn't mean it in a racial term, to use that term can be nothing less than overly-provocative," Straus said. The rabbi also said he would like to see Carter further acknowledge Israel's efforts in achieving peace and fighting terrorism in the Middle East. Carter's letter asserted 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." The former president also said, "I have never claimed that American Jews control the news media, but reiterated that the overwhelming bias for Israel comes from among Christians like me who have been taught since childhood to honor and protect God's chosen people from among whom came our own savior, Jesus Christ." He went on to say the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has a "powerful influence" in American politics to the extent that, "There are no significant countervailing voices." Carter added that he knows of "the extreme acts of violence that have been perpetrated against innocent civilians" in Israel, and understands Israelis' fear of terrorism. "I reiterated my strong condemnation of any such acts of terrorism," he said. Publisher Simon & Schuster said the book is in its fourth printing, with 395,000 copies in print.

    Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

  • Related Content

    Joan Rivers
    August 28, 2014
    Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery

    By JPOST.COM STAFF