Thursday, December 21, 2006

With friends like this... Carter's book fiasco continues:

Allan Dershowitz, an intrepid defender of Israel and historical truth, does not mince words when he lashes out at President Carter's inglorious attempt to foist his animus and bias upon Israel's history and reality. Frankly, I was hoping that I'd read the last of anything that could be said about P. Carter's moral and intellectual failure (a somewhat redundant adjectival duo, since intellectual should, as per definition, contain the moral dimension). But alas, now I find out that:

.. Carter .. has accepted money and an award from Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan , saying in 2001: "This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan." This is the same Zayed, the long-time ruler of the United Arab Emirates, whose $2.5 million gift to the Harvard Divinity School was returned in 2004 due to Zayed's rampant Jew-hatred. Zayed's personal foundation, the Zayed Center, claims that it was Zionists, rather than Nazis, who "were the people who killed the Jews in Europe" during the Holocaust. It has held lectures on the blood libel and conspiracy theories about Jews and America perpetrating Sept. 11. Carter's acceptance of money from this biased group casts real doubt on his objectivity and creates an obvious conflict of interest.

A man claiming that "Zionists, rather than Nazis, "were the people who killed the Jews in Europe" during the Holocaust." is embraced by Carter as a "personal friend"? Is this possible? I've watched Carter speak on television interviews. I did not think he showed any sign that his mind is any less lucid than usual. Yet here he is, defending an indefensible book, full of lies, conjectures and hostility while claiming it purports to promote "debate"! I mean, isn't the contradiction between what he claims and what he has produced so glaringly incongruous that he should have, by now, addressed some of the criticisms levelled at him? Defended his ideas, his facts? So far he has dodged every attempt to answer directly to the specific questions asked by his puzzled interviewers. If this is his book, based on firm knowledge and irrefutable official records, why doesn't he stand behind what he has written, defang the accusations of distorting history and playing dangerous games of favouritism?

So instead of answering to the legitimate points of his detractors, he resorts to the dishonourable tactics of rhetorical fallacies: he claims Dershowitz is ignorant of Middle east history without actually citing one example of such ignorance, he claims his book his castigated because the media is controlled by Jews. Instead of defending his book by producing valid, sustainable arguments and facts, he exploits the intellectual or emotional weaknesses of his audiences, or the natural respect interviewers show to a former world leader such as himself. By conjuring Jewish conspiracies or belittling the standing of a respected Harvard Law proffessor, he is clearly floundering.

Which begs the question I posed before: Did he write his book or was it dictated to him?


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