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What could be worse news for Zionists than a defamatory, one sided, anti-Israel book by a former US President, Nobel prize winner and sainted hero of the downtrodden?

How about a defamatory, one sided, anti-Israel movie about the the book by a former US President, Nobel prize winner and sainted hero of the downtrodden?

When I wrote facetiously that the "Israel Lobby" of Mearsheimer and Walt would be turned into a movie, little did my sclerotic, unimaginative and slow-working brain imagine how dangerously close I was to the abysmal truth. The people who made Al Gore's movie are busy filming Jimmy Carter's book tour.


According to Reuters:

"He Comes in Peace," from "The Silence of the Lambs" director Jonathan Demme, is being produced by Participant Prods., the socially conscious firm behind the hit Al Gore documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."

Demme and his crew will join Carter on his book tour for "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which hit shelves November 14. At the same time, Carter, who has written more than 20 books, will speak about how to achieve peace in the Mideast and his lifelong philosophy of human compassion.

Carter's book about Israeli "apartheid" and the oppressed Palestinians is already around #9 in the Amazon sales ranking. Carter is touring the country with the same "gentle" message, "I just wanted to provoke discussion." Indeed he did provoke discussion.

It would be a great error for Zionist groups to cry foul too loudly, to point out the many errors in the book, or to not that its title uses the "apartheid" slogan of anti-Zionist extremists. Already, many have done so. All these protests will duly be noted in the movie, and will serve to illustrate Carter's contention, that the "Israel Lobby" doesn't allow anyone to criticize Israel. Thousands of movie houses, millions of CD players, will all be carrying Carter's defamation of Israel, along with the contention that nobody is allowed to criticize Israel. Every protest, every attempt to contradict him, to show that the security fence, the checkpoints and the bypass roads all came about as a result of the Oslo process and the attempt to combat Palestinian terror, will only make his movie more popular.

We've been there before, haven't we? If nobody had said anything, Mel Gibson's "The Passion" might have been just another bad movie, and Gibson would have been just another anti-Semite. Thanks to all our efforts, he is a much richer anti-Semite.

Not all that many people read a book, even if it is a best seller, and books don't have the emotional impact of articles. If it is not handled wisely, and maybe even if it is handled wisely, "He comes in Peace," AKA "The Passion of J.C." will be a disaster for Israel, a disaster for the Democratic party and for the liberal cause. It will provide tens and maybe hundreds of millions of people with a twisted view of the Israeli-Arab conflict. It will do more for the Palestinian cause than "Exodus" did for Israel.

What is needed is not raucous protests. What we need are level headed and thoughtful people who can get to Jimmy Carter and his advisers with a message. Sloganeering, sensationalism and distortions are not going to help bring peace to the Middle East. Adding another distorted view of the conflict is carrying coals to Newcastle. It makes Carter part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. It discredits him as a mediator. Mediators and peace makers should not be provoking and polarizing. If Jimmy Carter really does have compassion for the Palestinian people, and really does want a peaceful solution, he will have to change his approach. Carter may not listen, but his advisors might see the light.

Ami Isseroff


Original content is Copyright by the author 2006. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000311.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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Replies: 6 Comments

I wish to briefly address the final paragraph of Hume's post. The one which begins with the U.S.'s "tacit backing of Israel's settlements" and ends with "a mushroom cloud."

Excuse me, but I have to laugh. This reminds me of the absurd notion which the popular media picked up (about 10 years ago) from Chaos theory. Thus one would hear: "If a butterfly flaps its wings in California, there will be a hurricane in the Philippines." In the popular media, there would be the suggestion that somehow a butterfly's wing flaps were a CAUSE of hurricane X. Such hilarity. Two points.

First, such notions reflect what Freud termed "magical thinking." It reflects a confused, pre-modern, pre-scientific understanding of the world.

Second, in terms of logic, it can be characterized as a "non causa pro causa" type of argument -- also known as the fallacy of the slippery slope. The fallacy of the slippery slope suggests that if A happens (settlements are built in Israel), then by a gradual series of steps, eventually Z will happen too (that's atomic bombs going off in the United States). And, Z should not happen. Therefore, A should not happen either. Now that's an example of a fallacious slippery slope argument, perfectly illustrated by Hume.

I, for one, do not believe your peculiar theory of causation. In a nutshell, it's rubbish -- go back to the drawing board.

J.S., Tuesday, December 19th


Yes, let's stick to facts, shall we?

Even the most simplistic appraisal of Islam (the briefest, "read the headlines only" approach) should alert a person to the fact that Islam (as a religious imperative) teaches its followers to despise Jews. Thus, from the text "Why the Jews?" one reads: "Muslim antisemitism continued to be brutally expressed through the twentieth century" (p122). Morocco, 1907, "huge massacre of Jews;" Algeria, 1934, "massacre in Constantine;" Aden, Iraq. Go look up on the Internet Islamic pogroms against Jews, 20th century. How does one account for this? The State of Israel did not come into existence until 1948.

How does anyone reconcile such facts? How dare anyone blame "settlers" circa 1967?? What risible nonsense!

Karsh in his text, "Islamic Imperialism: a history" gives a much more detailed account of Islam's imperialist ambitions. It is Karsh's thesis that Islam is at heart an imperialist religion and it intends to spread itself world-wide, and subjugate the "non-believers."

So long as Israel is outside the Islamic realm (that is, not subjugated under Islamic rule), then Islam will be at war with Israel. The adage which is repeated continuously is "Islam dominates and must not be dominated." This is what fuels the current furor -- not "settlers."

J.S., Monday, December 18th


Robert, when where the first settlements built? I think that was 1967, shortly after the war. Do you really mean to say that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict started only by then? In 1948, Jordan captured East Jerusalem including the old city and put Arabs in the former Jewish quarter, demolished several synagogues and desecrated the Jewish cemetery, but that doesn't seem to bother you.
You are also saying that 9/11 and hatred of the USA are caused by the US support for Israel. So the Jews are to blame again. The USA supported and still supports many bad regimes, dictators, human rights violators, pursues its own interests in the world in a sometimes quite aggressive way, made a terrible mess in Iraq, but the only reason it is hated so much by Muslims is because of those damned Jews, correct me, Zionists. Of course, all problems in the Middle East, from the widespread corruption to the lack of freedom and women's rights, the lack of economic and scientific progress and persecution of minorities, it is all the fault of Israel and the occupation. If only those damned Zionists were forced to evacuate the territories everything would be fine. Right?

Ratna Pelle, Monday, December 18th


Robert, attacks against Israel (or Jews in the Middle-East in general) didn't start with the settlements, and I personally doubt that any events would mentioned above are related to the settlements.

Anon, Sunday, December 17th


Let's skip the ad-hominem and just stick to simple facts. The root of the problem is the settlements which are illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention which Israel signed in 1948. The Convention forbids settling your citizens in land conquered in war.

Protecting these illegal settlers has led to the inevitable conflict which afflicts democratic nations who occupy another country with troops on the ground of a different religion than the occupied. See Prof. Robert Pape of U. Chicago and his "Dying to Win."

The U.S. tacit backing of Israel's settlements has led to widespread hatred of the US, to 9/11, and to the war in Iraq. The settlements will cease or the US nation (and Israel and Tehran, etc.) will likely go up in a mushroom cloud.

Robert Hume, Saturday, December 16th


I think "reaching" someone like Carter is futile and pointless. Probably the best is simply to write the hate-filled moron off as just another antisemite.

I think someone could do a movie featuring the Peanut Farmer as Borat wanna-be, follow him around and document the antisemitism (in a sarcastic, comic way). Interestingly, Limbaugh did a quote comparison -- taking quotes from Peanut boy's screed and taking quotes from the KKKer David Duke (who was attending the Holocaust denial conference in Iran) and demonstrating the virtual word-for-word similarities. Now that would make for one hilarious movie!

J.S., Friday, December 15th


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