Right-wing hysteria over Carter, Israel

You read that right, Carter scares the s**t out of right wingers.

Time's 2004 Botch Blog of the Year, Powerline, has suggested more than once that Jimmy Carter is a traitor. Conservatives from Michelle Malkin on down applauded a nasty C-SPAN caller who slung insults at the president on-air recently, and cries of AHA! have arisen over an email from a former Carter colleague who's breaking with him over the president's latest book on Palestine.

The hysteria behind the name-calling is quite simple: He scares the bejeezus out of rightwingers. He's a Navy Vet, an evangelical minister, an American President, a Nobel Prize winner, a best-selling author, and a world-renowned philanthropist.

The email came from Dr. Kenneth W. Stein, professor of Israel Studies at Emory University, partner of the Carter Center. It will be promoted as proof, PROOF!, that Carter's latest book is some anti-Israel screed, to be ignored and the president castigated.

Leaving aside the fact that Stein's departure is admittedly a hollow gesture (Many still believe that I have an active association with the Center and, act as an adviser to President Carter, neither is the case... 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.) this email may more appropriately be seen as the book's seal of approval.

Stein claims in his email that the book "is replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments," though he declines to cite them. I don't doubt that he's found his differences, but those remain to be seen.

On the other hand, although Stein and Carter did coauthor a book some years ago, their approaches to the Israel/Palestine conflict have diverged markedly since then. Stein now sits on the board of editors for the Middle East Quarterly, a journal published by the fanatical fantasy-plagued neocon, Daniel Pipes, who also heads up a McCarthyite site called CampusWatch. The Middle East Forum, another associated project, boasts among its experts, neocon William Kristol and Joseph Farah, editor of rightwing yes-mag WorldNetDaily.

Juan Cole does not hold the MEQ in high esteem: "It publishes scurrilous attacks on people. There's no scholarship. It's a put-up job. As for Pipes himself, let's just say that he's not a full professor at a major university."

Pipes is a middle-brow bigot toward Arabs and Muslims, so having an associate of his break with you is, to my thinking, not too bad a thing. It's also interesting and fun to compare the language of CampusWatch to the language of Stein's Carter crit.

Here's an excerpt from Carter's book, whose "title [is] too inflammatory to even print":


There are two interrelated obstacles to permanent peace in the Middle East...

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