Dhimmi Carter won’t debate Alan Dershowitz about Israel and the Palestinians. Why not? Because Dershowitz, says Carter, “knows nothing about the situation in Palestine.” Dershowitz, of course, is author of The Case for Israel, and author of a respectful and devastating review of Carter’s new book here. I doubt Carter has any reasonable response to the points Dershowitz raises in his review, and so he has resorted to the easy refuge of the intellectually bereft: he charges that his opponent is beneath him, and refuses to debate. Regular Jihad Watch readers will recognize this tactic from its use against me by academics such as Omid Safi and Carl Ernst. In all cases it’s the same situation: the side that knows it would lose a debate declines to debate at all on the grounds that the idiocy of the opponent make such a debate superfluous. But the emperor’s new clothes are showing in all their glory, Mr. Carter.
“Carter invite fizzles,” by Farah Stockman and Marcella Bombardieri in the Boston Globe, with thanks to James:
It seemed like a good idea: Have former President Jimmy Carter come to Brandeis University to talk about his controversial new book, “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.”
But the idea ended — as many things on Carter’s tumultuous nationwide book tour have — in disagreement and controversy.
Brandeis president Jehuda Reinharz said he agreed with a trustee’s suggestion to invite Carter last month, if Carter were willing to debate one of his most outspoken critics, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.
Carter, president from 1977-1981, rejected the idea. To Carter, the episode was proof that many in the United States were unwilling to hear an alternative view on what he says is the most taboo foreign-policy issue in the United States — Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.
But others say it shows Carter himself is unwilling to debate his own best — selling book, which has sparked allegations of errors and omissions, charges of anti-Israeli bias, and protesters at his book signings.
“President Carter said he wrote the book because he wanted to encourage more debate. Then why won’t he debate?” Dershowitz said.
Reinharz thought the debate was “a terrific idea,” he said in a telephone interview.
Carter, however, was stunned by the proposal.
“I don’t want to have a conversation even indirectly with Dershowitz,” Carter said. “˜”˜There is no need to for me to debate somebody who, in my opinion, knows nothing about the situation in Palestine.”
Jimmy Carter: the Omid Safi of ex-Presidents.