Jimmy Carter believes all kinds of things. He believes that the 1949 Armistice Lines became permanent borders, even though they never did — because the Arabs kept refusing the Israeli offer to make them so. And he appeared to know the truth back in 1974, but has forgotten it in the intervening years.
He believes that Resolution 242 is to be read to mean withdrawal from “all the territories” won in the Six-Day War, when it not only says no such thing, but Lord Caradon and others carefully crafted the document so that it would deliberately NOT mean that. And the statements of both Lord Caradon, the British ambassador to the U.N., and of Michael Stewart, the-then British Foreign Minister, make clear that Resolution 242 did not mean what the Arabs, who failed in their attempts to change the wording and the interpretation at the U.N. itself, then went off and insisted without any justification that it did mean — the meaning which Jimmy Carter, Arab stooge, now blithely gives it.
It was Jimmy Carter who wrote speeches for Yasir Arafat, so that he could make a better impression (see Douglas Brinkley’s biography of Carter). It was Jimmy Carter who hectored and bullied the Israelis incessantly at Camp David, and caused them to finally sign that terrible (from the point of view of Israel) agreement. By that agreement, in three tranches over a very short period, the entire Sinai, with its oil and critical airfields and infrastructure all put in by the Israelis, was handed over to Egypt.
And in return nothing tangible at all was given — mere promises to discourage hostility toward Israel and to encourage a “peaceful” attitude. The antisemitism of Egyptian television and its press, that is so reminiscent of Der Stuermer in its depiction of Jews lying in wait to snatch a child in order to use his blood for some ritual, has not exactly been an example of what the Israelis had in mind, and what, under the Camp David Accords, was the only thing that they had a right to expect. Even that was denied them.
Shall we go into Carter’s credulous acceptance of the “Palestinian people”? What about Carter knowing — the documents have now been released, and it is clear that the American government knew all along, but was hiding it in order to protect Arafat — that Arafat himself signed the order for the seizure and killing of two American diplomats in Khartoum by Black September? How could Carter, knowing that, proceed not merely to protect Arafat by not making this information public, but increase his efforts to help Arafat improve his image and polish his sinister message?
And finally, what does Carter know — what — about Islam and the doctrine of Jihad? Do you have the feeling he’s been studying up on that? Has he been reading the Qur’an and Hadith and Sira, figuring out why it is that the size of Israel does not make a whit of long-term difference to the Arabs and Muslims? Does he know that they differ only on the time it will take to achieve their ultimate and unswerving goal, whether they are like Fatah and support the Slow Jihad and lying or fudging about their objectives, or are like Hamas and support the Fast Jihad and telling the truth about their objectives?
He’s a guide to nothing. And an obvious antisemite. Not only in his indifference and cruelty toward Israel, demonstrated on so many occasions. No, that antisemitism is also demonstrated in the sympathy he gave to a self-serving letter from the daughter of a Nazi concentration camp guard and murderer, who had been found out and was in the process of being expelled. Carter found the daughter’s letter convincing, and wrote that it was worthy of sympathetic consideration, and then had it sent on to the O.I.S. How often, by the way, does any President ever read any of the mail sent to him? And of the few letters that he actually reads, how often does he feel compelled to write a handwritten note urging that the letter’s contents be favorably considered? And how often does that letter’s contents, about a Nazi murderer who is being expelled by the Office of Special Investigations after a thorough and meticulous study, become the object of such remarkable presidential solicitude?
There’s a lot to say about Carter. He was, in both domestic and foreign policy, our worst president. Under Carter Iran was lost, and Khomeini replaced the Shah. Under Carter, nothing was done, save that witless fireside chat, which proceeded without any attempt to educate the public about the need to get off oil. Under Carter, so many things went wrong that even Gerald Ford, so mediocre himself, later described Carter as a “disaster.”
But one did not know, or few did, that he was morally so vicious, morally so unacceptable.
And now everyone knows, or should, and not merely the few who took his measure thirty years ago, and did not like what they saw.