Updated: "Liberal" neocon trashes Carter's new book (without reading it) ...

News & Politics

Just as Jerry Seinfeld had Newman (Newman!), so too do I have a nemesis. He's David Lublin, and he's a scholar who writes for the Gadflyer, as well as on his own blog, Maryland Politics Watch (which he promised would have a "a Democratic and DC suburban point of view" -- finally white suburban Dems get a voice!).

Anyway, Lublin hates liberals and Arabs, likes to use the word "Islamofascism," supported the war in Iraq and can be counted on to classify any criticism of Israel as an outpouring of anti-Semitism. What's not to like?

We get into flame wars, which I generally don't bother AlterNet readers with -- I'm happy to encourage his obscurity. But today, Lublin came out with a hit piece on Jimmy Carter's new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, and I want to highlight it because it's such a good example of the kind of knee-jerk reaction that can be expected when one asserts that Palestinians may have some legitimate claims.

Lublin admits he didn't read the book, before lighting into it. I haven't read the book either, so I can only look at who he sources in his smear of Carter.

Dennis Ross is one -- he doesn't like Carter's thesis. Ross, Lublin says, is the author of "the most detailed report on [the second Camp David] talks from someone who attended them who was not Israeli or Palestinian." That's true, but as Ann Lesch noted:

Ross ignores the perspectives of other participants in these negotiations. This comes across as breathtaking egotism. Only his own opinions and recollections count; there is no need to double check or cross-check them against the memoirs of others. Thus, although he cites in passing James Baker's The Politics of Diplomacy, Clinton's press secretary George Stephanopoulos' All Too Human, and Israeli ambassador cum Syria specialist Itamar Rabinovich's The Brink of Peace, he fails to comment on or assess their viewpoints. Moreover, one searches in vain for mention of and critiques of the discussion of Middle East issues in George H.W. Bush and Brent Scowcroft's A World Transformed, Bill Clinton's My Life, Warren Christopher's Choices of a Lifetime, and Madeleine Albright's Madam Secretary: A Memoir, much less articles by his fellow diplomats Martin Indyk, Daniel Kurtzer, Rob Malley, Aaron David Miller, and Edward (Ned) Walker. The result is a version of history that privileges not only an American perspective but one specific perspective: his own. [Read more of her critique here].
And while David presents Ross as just an impartial observer -- dismissing Carter's claim that "representatives of Jewish organizations who would be unlikely to visit the occupied territories" were the leading critics of his book -- he skips over the fact that Ross is currently Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a hawkish Israeli-American think-tank started by Martin Indyk (himself a former research director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee).

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