Thursday, December 14, 2006

NYTimes Punts On Jimmy Carter Controversy

The New York Times reports on the controversy surrounding Jimmy Carter's new book. But it doesn't do a very good job of detailing some serious charges. Carter's been accused of plagiarism; all the NYT does is quote Carter saying that he didn't. What about some actual details? People are upset that Carter uses the word "apartheid" to describe Israel's treatment of Palestinians. He uses the term in such a loosey-gooesy manner that Carter says the US could have been accused of apartheid when it practiced separate but equal segregation. Doesn't that cheapen the word? On the other hand, Israel is angry about the word "apartheid" even as it builds a wall to separate itself from most Palestinians? Perhaps the most inflammatory charge from Carter is that no one debates the rightness of Israel's actions in America because of an all-powerful Israeli lobby. Carter might have urged more debate without implying the old conspiracy of Jews controlling America. But whatever you think of Carter's arguments, calling him an anti-Semite and enemy of Israel cheapens THOSE words as well.

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