New York Times joins slander campaign against Carter book

Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter

To the Editor:

The New York Times has now joined the slander campaign against President Jimmy Carter following the release of his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. (The paper gets the title wrong — there’s a colon.)

Just how ignorant does the Times think its readers are? All of the “critics” cited — Kenneth Stein, Alan Dershowitz, David Makovsky and the Wiesenthal Center — are unqualified apologists for Israel and its occupation.

The paper claims that Stein’s “criticism is the latest in a growing chorus of academics who have taken issue with the book”. What chorus can the Times have in mind if the only critics it can find just happen to be pro-Israel anti-Arabists?

Stein might be the most moderate — he’s also the most insignificant. One way or another, the Times cites not one example of the claimed factual errors or copying, except to convey Stein’s vague (and possibly actionable) assertions about an unnamed source.

Professor Stein, by the way, was also part of a campaign at Emory University to stop Mary Robinson, former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, from speaking at Emory’s 2004 commencement — because of her criticism of Israel.

Makovsky is a long-time apologist for Israeli occupation and settlements. He likewise refers to many errors. The Times cites none. Did Makovsky offer none?

The Wiesenthal Center has never offered any criticism of occupation. It does routinely charge any critic of Israel with anti-Semitism.

Dershowitz is a vicious apologist not just for Israeli occupation but for Israeli atrocities. His own book The Case for Israel really has been shown to be riddled with errors and probably plagiarized (from Joan Peters’s debunked From Time Immemorial). Dershowitz plagiarizes ‘fact’ from fiction, but the Times makes no mention of this.

The Times is fond of turning to Dershowitz. It did so when Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival appeared on the best seller lists following a mention before the UN by Hugo Chavez. Then as now, Dershowitz exhibited no experience of or interest in either reading or truth. Yet the Times thinks not only that he’s worth citing, but worth citing repeatedly and without qualification.

It is notable that the Times says nothing at all to suggest that these Carter critics might have an axe to grind. But it shows no comparable hesitation when the critic is one of US or Israeli actions. Chomsky and others like him are routinely identified by their criticism of US and Israeli policy. Why the discrepancy?

The Times provides yet another example of just how right Professors Walt and Mearsheimer are.

Sincerely,

Hugh Sansom
Brooklyn, NY

Related Links

  • Democrats Ignore Subjugation of Palestinians in Vilifying Carter’s Book, Michael F. Brown (15 November 2006)