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KD MAGAZINE! 
Posted: Monday, January
29, 2007 -  י' בשבט, תשס"ז

 
 
 
   
 

An Open Letter to Congressman Mark Kirk
(Congressman of the 10th Congressional District of Illinois)

Rabbi Shea Hecht
About the Author

Dear Congressman Kirk,

 

It is with much respect and thanks that I address this letter to you.

 

Former President Jimmy Carter's Book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, has caused much anguish and protest in the Jewish community.

The book is full of misinformation and has an obvious anti-Israel slant, yet until now I have not heard anyone in the public arena disagree with or condemn its "facts."

 

Not everyone has the courage to question a book written by so prestigious an author as a former president. Most people will unfortunately accept whatever Mr. Carter wrote as truth.


Therefore, I was very happy to receive the in depth information below, detailing how you, Congressman Kirk, have registered your protest to the former president's book in a place no less prestigious than the Congressional Record.

 

Recorded on January 18, 2007 the
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD-HOUSE H737, is:

PEACE NOT APARTHEID: MORE FICTION THAN FACTS

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. KIRK) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. KIRK. Madam Speaker, in today's Washington Post, former President Jimmy Carter defended his book, ''Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.'' President Carter wrote, ''. . . most critics have not seriously disputed or even mentioned the facts . . . ''

But after reading the book, I have become a critic and today will only correct the facts that he purports in his book. Regarding our policy towards Israel, there is little room for mistakes, let alone outright misstatements of fact.

For that reason, I want to present to the House eight factual inaccuracies found in President Carter's book.

Error number one, on page 62, President Carter quotes Yasser Arafat as telling him, ''The Palestinian Liberation Organization has never advocated the annihilation of Israel.'' No evidence is provided, and the book does not contain a single footnote.

Fact check, article 22 of the PLO's charter states, ''The liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence.'' Yasser Arafat supported this charter, and he directly lied to President Carter.

Error number two, on page 57 President Carter writes, ''The 1949 armistice demarcation lines became the borders of the new nation of Israel, and were accepted by Israel and the United States, and recognized officially by the United Nations.''

Fact, the 1949 armistice lines were never accepted as the official borders of Israel, United States or the United Nations. The error reflects a very poor attention to detail in the book.

Error number three, on page number 127, President Carter writes that there was ''a surprising exodus of Christians from the Holy Land.''

Fact, Israel is one of the only Middle Eastern nations where the Christian community has grown in the last half century. But Christian communities and other faith communities like Baha'is have dropped in size in many Muslim nations.

Error number four, on page 152 President Carter writes, ''It was later claimed that the Palestinians rejected a 'generous offer' put forward by Prime Minister Barak with Israel only keeping 5 percent of the West Bank.  The fact is no such offers were made.''

Fact, according to President Clinton's lead negotiator, Ambassador Dennis Ross, Prime Minister Barak accepted President Clinton's proposal, offering to withdraw from 97 percent of the West Bank, to dismantle isolated settlements, and to accept the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. Arafat rejected this proposal, and a quick call between President Carter and President Clinton would have corrected

this error.

Error number five, on page number 148 President Carter presents two maps he claims were considered at Camp David, one of them labeled ''Israel's interpretation of Clinton's proposal.''

 

Fact, there were no maps at Camp David. The map President Carter labeled as Israel's interpretation is a copy of a map that was created later by Dennis Ross for his book, ''The Missing Peace.'' Ambassador Ross's map is a representation of an offer agreed to by Prime Minister Barak and rejected by Arafat. President Carter violated Ambassador

Ross's copyright of the map.


Error six, on page 197 President Carter writes, ''Confessions extracted
through torture are admissible in Israeli courts.''

Fact, the Israeli Supreme Court banned the use of torture in interrogations in a decision handed down by the court on September 6, 1999, by Supreme Court President Barak.

Error number seven, on page 188 President Carter writes, ''Kadima had been expected to gain 43 seats based on its pledge of a unilateral expansion of the 'great wall.' ''

Fact, Israel's Kadima Party ran on Prime Minister Sharon's platform of

disengagement, a pledge to dismantle settlements and unilaterally withdraw from territory.

Error number eight, on page 215 President Carter writes that the one
option for Israel is ''withdrawal from the 1967 border as specified in U.N. Resolution 242.''

Fact. The U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 does not define a border.

Madam Speaker, these errors, in fact, diminish the credibility of President Carter's book. President Carter is entitled to his own opinions, but not to his own facts.

The errors I present here are only a sampling of the other errors included in his book.

Now, in the twilight of his career, with many at the Carter Center resigning from their posts, President Carter should recall the book and hire competent assistants to assure that his future work does not reflect such poor scholarship.

I want to thank, especially, Dr. Mitchell Bard and the Committee for Accuracy in the Middle East Reporting in America for helping compile this list of errors.

 

Recently, former President Carter spoke at Brandeis University and apologized for one sentence in the book that seems to condone terrorist violence. That apology is not enough as it only addresses one of the errors in the book, not all.

Professor Alan Dershowitz has challenged the former president to debate him on the "facts" written in the book, but Mr. Carter has avoided such a debate with numerous excuses.
Apparently Mr. Carter cannot publicly defend his own book!

 

Congressman Kirk, taking all of this into account makes your public acknowledgement of the fallacies in Palestine: Peace not Apartheid all the more special.

 

On behalf of American Jewry, I thank you. It is so gratifying that a congressman in the US House of Representatives should not only have the courage to point out the errors on the part of a former president, but do so on public record, as well.

 

Shea Hecht

 

B"H
Rabbi Shea Hecht
824 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11213
718-735-0200
rabbishea@aol.com
www.sheahecht.com

 

Read more articles by Rabbi Hecht 

Rabbi Hecht's Website:  www.sheahecht.com  

 

 
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