In connection with this news of Bill Clinton’s rupture with his fellow Democratic former president, Jimmy Carter (reported in The Forward, March 30, with highlights below), it’s interesting to note that Meretz party chair, Yossi Beilin, has also expressed disappointment with Pres. Carter’s “Apartheid” book. Beilin considers the former president a personal friend and a friend of Israel who did great work in mediating the peace with Egypt. But Beilin indicated during his meeting with Meretz USA, March 22, that the book was published as if it were an unedited draft, without fact checking. He said that Carter had even misidentified him (Beilin), referring to him as deputy prime minister in the Barak government rather than justice minister.
‘Apartheid’ Book Exposes Carter-Clinton Rift
Clinton: ‘I Don’t Know Where His Information Came From’
Jennifer Siegel | Fri. Mar 30, 2007
….[F]ormer president Bill Clinton spoke out against Carter’s book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” during an appearance before the United Jewish Federation of San Diego County. “If I were an Israeli I wouldn’t like it, because it’s not factually correct and it’s not fair,” Clinton reportedly said.
This appears to be one of the few times that Clinton has taken a public swipe at the book or spoken out directly against his fellow former president on any matter. In addition to Clinton’s comments in San Diego, the American Jewish Committee released a letter last week from the former president thanking the group’s executive director, David Harris, for speaking out against the book.
“Thanks so much for your articles about President Carter’s book,” Clinton wrote in a handwritten note dated January 11. “I don’t know where his information (or conclusions) came from, but Dennis Ross has tried to straighten it out, publicly and in two letters to him. At any rate, I’m grateful.”
Clinton appeared to be referring to sections of Carter’s book that denigrate the American-backed land-for-peace final settlement offer that Israel made to the Palestinians in 2000. Ross, who served as Clinton’s envoy to the Middle East, has said publicly that maps he published outlining the Clinton proposal were improperly reprinted, and then mislabeled, by Carter. In doing so, Ross said, Carter wrongly suggested that Israel had not, in fact, offered the Palestinians all of Gaza and roughly 97% of the West Bank, but instead small and isolated islands of Palestinian territory.
… Carter argues that the terms of Clinton’s peace proposal at Camp David in the summer of 2000 were untenable for the Palestinians. “There was no possibility that any Palestinian leader could accept such terms and survive,” Carter wrote. “But officials statements from Washington and Jerusalem were successful on placing the entire onus for the failure on Yasir Arafat.”
Click here for entire Forward article online. Enjoy the rest of the Passover holiday; unless somebody else posts, this blog will be taking a break during the two last days of Yom Tov, Monday and Tuesday.