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Allan C. Brownfeld, Editor
Special Interest Report
April 2023

In light of the sad news that former President Jimmy Carter was entering hospice  
care, it is important to remember the brutal assault he faced from supporters of  
Israel and the number of times there were attempts to silence him by calling him  
“anti-Semitic,” the usual tactic used to silence criticism of Israel.  
In Israel, this tactic is openly discussed. Shulamit Aloni, a former Israeli  
Minister of Education and winner of the Israel Prize, declared, “It’s a trick.  
We always use it. When from Europe somebody criticizes Israel, we bring up the  
Holocaust. When in the United States, people are critical of Israel, then they  
are anti-Semitic.”  
Jimmy Carter always insisted that Israel was obligated to suspend building new  
settlements in the West Bank. He argued that settlements were a roadblock to a  
two-state resolution of the conflict. He warned that Israel was on the road to  
Negotiations Carter initiated at Camp David are widely believed to be the most  
consequential contribution any U.S. President has made toward Israel’s security  
since its founding. This represented the first personally negotiated peace  
agreement since Theodore Roosevelt successfully settled the 1904-05 Russo-  
Japanese War. Even Menachem Begin reluctantly agreed that Carter “had worked  
harder than our forefathers did in Egypt building the pyramids.”  
Yet Carter was paid for his success and for his commitment to both Israeli  
security and Palestinian rights with a consistent campaign of vilification by  
American Jewish leaders. Most of them never forgave him for the tenacity with  
which he pursued his vision of an even-handed Middle East peace.  
In 1978, the American Jewish Committee’s Washington representative, Hyman  
Bookbinder, called Carter’s Middle East policy “an anti-Israel campaign.” New  
York Times columnist William Safire titled a column, “Carter Blames the Jews.”  
Carter himself lamented that whenever an issue arose between the U.S. and Israel,  
American Jewish leaders would always side with the Israelis and “blame us for  
being even-handed in our concern for both Palestinian rights and Israeli  
When he wrote the book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” in 2006, which became a  
New York Times bestseller, the attacks on Carter became brutal. Deborah  
Lipstadt, then a professor at Emory University, now special State Department  
envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, reviewed the book for the Washington  
Post and accused Carter of relying on “anti-Semitic stereotypes.” She charged  
that Carter “has repeatedly fallen back on traditional anti-Semitic canards.  
When David Duke spouts it, I yawn, when Jimmy Carter does, I shudder.”  
At this time the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman called Carter “a bigot”  
and denounced him in paid advertisements around the country. Martin Peretz,  
publisher of the New Republic and an outspoken Zionist, called Carter a “Jew-  
hater” and a “jackass.”  
Peter Beinart, an editor of Jewish Currents and professor at the City University  
of New York—-and a onetime Zionist himself—-declared in Substack (Feb. 24, 2023)  
that, “I took the opportunity to go back and look at the reception to his  
(Carter’s) 2006 book…and I want to say something about the reception of that book  
because I want to suggest that in these last remaining days that he has alive—  
there are some people who should apologize to him.” Among those he named were  
Abraham Foxman and Deborah Lipstadt. **

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