Some politically correct colleges in America and Western Europe observe something they call "Israel Apartheid Week." It's another opportunity to libel Israel for building a defensive perimeter to keep out Arab suicide bombers. These misguided young people who libel the only democracy in the Mideast look to former President Jimmy Carter for their inspiration. Carter was the most prominent person in the world to apply the hated term apartheid to Israel's purely defensive barrier. Carter's book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, has served as a text for the libelers of Israel.
The French have an apt expression for what Israel is doing: "This animal is very vicious; when you attack it, it defends itself." What Israel did in building a barrier between them and those territories that were staging areas for suicide bombers is entirely understandable. Americans are clamoring for more effective borders-north and south-and we have not yet, thank goodness, experienced suicide bombers in our pizza parlors.
There is no doubt that many Arabs in Palestine are suffering because of the barriers. They used to move freely in and out of jobs in the Jewish majority sections. Now, they must endure checkpoints. But whose fault is this? If they protest that they are not terrorists, our sympathy naturally goes with them. But if they try to finger the terrorists who dominate their towns, they will of course be attacked and in many cases killed. And their families punished, as well.
Former President Jimmy Carter is working on his humility. It's hard when you are so prominent. Speaking on NPR of his role as Mideast peacemaker, Carter said this:
I doubt that any other prominent human being has been blessed with such a great opportunity, as I have, to actually know what's going on there.
Now, Winston Churchill traveled throughout the region and created two Arab kingdoms as Britain's Colonial Secretary, Iraq and Trans-Jordan. But he never won a Nobel Peace Prize, as Carter did. And Churchill's contemporary, T.E. Lawrence, the famed "Lawrence of Arabia, just might be considered a prominent human being. He led the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire. Without his efforts there would probably be no Arab states.
It should be noted that Chaim Weitzman, founder of the Jewish State, David Ben Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister, and Golda Meir, Israel's longtime chief diplomat, might also have been considered prominent human beings. And they, too, might have actually known something about the Arab-Israeli Dispute.
Carter's humility doesn't extend to precision in writing. He boasts that he wrote every word of his book himself. And then had this to say about his choice of words:
NPR: The sentence [in your book] said that Palestinians and Arabs in general should end suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism, when international laws and the ultimate goals of the roadmap are accepted by Israel?
Carter: The "when" was obviously a crazy and stupid word. My publishers have been informed about that and have changed the sentence in all future editions of the book.
He said it. You read it. It's not just a slip of the tongue, or the fingertips. This "stupid and crazy" sentence went around the world and gave legitimacy to the idea that terror attacks on Israel would cease only when Israel agreed to yield up more territory to her enemies according to an internationally-agreed upon "roadmap" for peace.
Has any other country ever allowed a "Quartet" of foreign powers to decide its fate? Actually, one did: Czechoslovakia in 1938 was not even invited to the Munich conference at which British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, France's Premier Edouard Daladier, Italy's Duce Benito Mussolini and Germany's Fürer Adolf Hitler deprived Central Europe's only democracy of its vitally needed border defenses. That infamous conference bought no peace and precious little time for the shamed democracies.
On too many U.S. campuses, liberal activists are inspired by Carter's condemnation of Israel's self-defense. They shout down Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, and promise to bring to the U.S. the kind of intimidation and libel the PLO has brought bring to all international forums. The late Yasser Arafat even wore a holster and pistol at the UN General Assembly in 1974. This was just months after he ordered the murder of U.S. Ambassador to Sudan, Cleo Noel.
We pay Jimmy Carter some $199,000 a year as a former president. He also gets office expenses and Secret Service protection. We have protected him for thirty-two years.
With all this protection, he is safe to jet around the world, meeting such worthies as the leaders of Hamas-the openly terrorist faction that rules in Gaza. On one of these taxpayer-supported trips, Mr. Carter proudly related how he met with the late Syrian dictator:
On one occasion [Hafez al-Assad] invited me to meet with him and his entire family, and I met all his children and got to know them. One of them was a college student who is now the president of Syria.
Hafez al-Assad murdered some 20,000 Syrians at Hama in 1982. His son, the one Jimmy was so proud to meet, has topped his father. Bashar al-Assad has reportedly killed 60,000 of his Syrian people.
Jimmy Carter's single term was distinguished by utter ineffectiveness. Americans in forty-four states booted him out unceremoniously. But even that electoral drubbing was not enough to humble his pride. Americans are generous. We thought Jimmy Carter was a good man, but just one over his head.
Now, we see increasingly that he can be mendacious and malicious, and seems determined to intrude himself where he never has to worry about the voters' wrath again.