Israeli UN Ambassador: ‘Carter a Bigot With Blood on His Hands’
I read that headline tonight and got sick to my stomach. But I wasn’t going to write about it because it just didn’t rate high enough on my disgust-o-meter. After all, with Israel offering to return the Golan and Hamas on the verge of approving a temporary Gaza ceasefire there is actually something positive to write about for a change.
But then Michael Furmanovsky, an old friend living in Japan, said he was waiting to hear what I had to say. I couldn’t let an old friend down now could I?
So here’s what Dan Gillerman, God and Israel’s gift to international diplomacy, had to say about America’s former president, Nobel laureate and the statesman responsible for negotiating the first major peace agreement between Israel and one of its Arab enemies:
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday called former President Jimmy Carter “a bigot” for meeting with the leader of the militant Hamas movement in Syria.
Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, “went to the region with soiled hands and came back with bloody hands after shaking the hand of Khaled Meshal, the leader of Hamas,” Ambassador Dan Gillerman told a luncheon briefing for reporters.
The ambassador called last weekend’s encounter “a very sad episode in American history.”
He said it was “a shame” to see Carter, who had done “good things” as a former president, “turn into what I believe to be a bigot.”
What a foul and disgusting performance. Yossi Beilin called for Gillerman to be sacked which is what he so richly deserves. I hope to God Gillerman went off the reservation on this one and that Olmert and Livni (his ostensible boss) don’t agree with what this jackass said. Saying that Carter has “bloody hands” for meeting Meshal? If we want to talk about bloody hands I think we can mention a few Israeli politicians and generals whose hands are at least as bloody if not more.
Carter is a bigot? Meaning that he hates Israel? Gimme a break. This is about as low as a diplomat can go. I’m hoping that Tzipi Livni, at the least, will tell Gillerman that it’s inappropriate to have a hissy fit regarding a U.S. president. The Nobel Committee found the sort of mission Carter undertook to Syria precisely the reason they awarded him the Peace Prize. Between the Committee’s judgment and Gillerman’s I know which I trust more.
I note that the press briefing at which he suffered this debilitating case of verbal diarrhea was hosted by those paragons of balance and objectivity: the Israel Project. Hey, as if we don’t have enough militant pro-Israel groups (CAMERA, Middle East Forum, Frontpagemagazine, MEMRI, AIPAC, the David Project, ZOA, Americans for a Safe Israel). We seem to need another. Their goal is to inveigle journalists into presenting Israel in the best possible light in the international media (do I hear hasbara anyone?). They sure failed this time.
21 thoughts on “Israeli UN Ambassador: ‘Carter a Bigot With Blood on His Hands’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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I heard Gillerman ( was it last night?) on “The Newshour” ( Lehrer) and had the same disgust. These critics of Carter show their colors: anyone who dare to talk to ‘the enemy” to break this dance of death is anti-Israel. I was also disappointed to read a recent editorial in the Forward criticizing Carter.
Fear is spreading that the Jewish vote will go to McCain with this “madness”.
It’s not just Carter’s trip to see Hamas, but also his ‘Apartheid’ book which has really disappointed many who had a higher regard for Carter at one time.
From Yossii Sarid’s this weekend on Haaretz ( quote):
“Let’s let old Carter be, so he may let sleeping warriors lie; he will not be back. The contents of his words, however, should not be ignored. “Apartheid,” he said, “apartheid” – a dark, scary word coined by Afrikaners and meaning segregation, racial segregation.
What does he want from us, that evil man: What do we have to do with apartheid? Does a separation fence constitute separation? Do separate roads for Jewish settlers and Palestinians really separate? Are Palestinian enclaves between Jewish settlements Bantustans?
There is no hint of similarity between South Africa and Israel, and only a sick mind could draw such shadowy connections between them. Roadblocks and inspections at every turn; licenses and permits for every little matter; the arbitrary seizure of land; special privileges in water use; cheap, hard labor; forming and uniting families by bureaucratic whim – none of these are apartheid, in any way. They are an incontrovertible security necessity, period.
The white Afrikaners, too, had reasons for their segregation policy; they, too, felt threatened – a great evil was at their door, and they were frightened, out to defend themselves. Unfortunately, however, all good reasons for apartheid are bad reasons; apartheid always has a reason, and it never has a justification. And what acts like apartheid, is run like apartheid and harasses like apartheid, is not a duck – it is apartheid. Nor does it even solve the problem of fear: Today, everyone knows that all apartheid will inevitably reach its sorry end. ”
Amen to that!
@Einstein: I found Carter’s book, not disappointing, but courageous and a useful contribution to the debate about the evils of the Occupation.
I honestly do not see what is so courageous about Carter’s book. Neither does Kenneth Stein:
[link removed per comment rules]
Carter’s book is a giant step backwards for true Tikun Olam. Anyone objective and knowledgable about actual historical fact can see why Progressive Jews (not just conservative) are highly disappointed with Carter.
His book was a bestseller. Someone disagrees with you. I do too. Those who were disappointed by it (don’t you mean “despised it?”) didn’t have a high regard for him BEFORE he wrote the book.
Kenneth Stein is not a progressive Jew, nor are you. Carter’s book had some unpalatable truths for people like you. That the Occupation creates an unjust immoral apartheid system. That’s the truth & advances the cause of Tikun Olam. Eliminating the Occupation & resolving the conflict through compromise will advance Tikun Olam in an exponential fashion. Carter’s work promotes that. Your views don’t.
Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum is a propaganda site. My comment rules prohibit references or links to such extremist hate-promoting sites (I also prohibit links to extreme anti-Zionist & anti-Semitic sites as well). Don’t link to it in future.
1. Do all occupations of countries produce apartheid, or just in Israel’s case is this so? Would you say there was apartheid prior to Intafada II, or as a result of Intafada II?
2. I 100% agree with Carter that compromise is necessary. I’ve never seen Arafat or Hamas’ factions ever compromise from any extreme position they’ve held. Kinda hard for only one side to compromise while the other refuses to budge – like Camp David 2000.
You “agree that compromise is necessary” but can’t seem to find anyone with whom to compromise on the other side. How convenient. That means, of course, that you don’t have to compromise.
Then she you have very serious vision problems. Did you ever hear of Oslo? The PLO accepted Israel’s right to exist, remember? Or do you discount this as a compromise fr. an extreme position. Hamas’ positions too have changed over time. When you make uninformed statements like this you show both how little you know about Palestinians & how prejudiced you are.
1. Why didn’t you answer my first questions, from May 2, about apartheid?
2. Since Hamas hasn’t accepted Israel’s right to exist (as the PLO claims), how can anyone expect their leadership to honestly negotiate and compromise on a peace deal? They’re going to compromise with a state they don’t even acknowledge?
3. If accepting Israel’s right to exist is the best compromise Palestinian leadership has made for 40 years, that’s quite sad – isn’t it? It costs Palestinians absolutely nothing to just say they accept Israel, or accept it as a Jewish state. My point is proven with Camp David 2000. What concessions through negotiation did Arafat make then? I can think of none.
Einstein – a few points about yr comments….
1. Anyone objective and knowledgable about actual historical fact can see why Progressive Jews (not just conservative) are highly disappointed with Carter.
No offense, but on reading yr posts here, you aren’t coming across as progressive, objective or knowledgable. Why exactly are you dissapointed with Carter? Do you share Kenneth Stein’s anger that Carter dared criticise Israel’s policy of settlements in the West Bank? Have you even read his book, or are you just going on what you read about the book on the internet?
2. Do all occupations of countries produce apartheid, or just in Israel’s case is this so? Would you say there was apartheid prior to Intafada II, or as a result of Intafada II?
Any occupation which involves the occupying country moving its own citizens into the occupied territory is more than likely to produce an apartheid style system with segregation and different sets of laws (eg civil law for the citizens of the occupier, and military law for the occupied people)…
3. 2. Since Hamas hasn’t accepted Israel’s right to exist (as the PLO claims), how can anyone expect their leadership to honestly negotiate and compromise on a peace deal? They’re going to compromise with a state they don’t even acknowledge?
What do you mean ‘as the PLO claims’? Are you saying you believe that the PLO claimed it accepted Israel’s right to exist, but it didn’t really at all? That the letters of recognition in Sept 1993 where Arafat stated: ‘The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.’ is just a figment of our imaginations?
How would Hamas negotiating with a state it doesn’t acknowledge be any different than Israel negotiating with Hamas, which it doesn’t recognise? btw, the lack of acknowledgement is on an official level, and it hasn’t stopped low level dealings in the past (think of Israeli officials who met with the PLO back before the PLO officially recognised Israel.
If accepting Israel’s right to exist is the best compromise Palestinian leadership has made for 40 years, that’s quite sad – isn’t it?
Who said it was the *best* compromise Palestinian leadership has made? Richard certainly didn’t. He was replying to yr claim that there’d been no compromise from the Palestinians at all. I can think of other compromises that have been made. Let’s start with the PLO compromising on its previously held stance that they wanted the return of all of historic Palestine. The compromise was made and it was changed to wanting a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, and for Israel to withdraw to the Green Line. How is that not a compromise?
1. You can google Kenneth Stein’s critique of Carter’s book. Like Stein, I’m disappointed in the factual errors, ommissions, hyperbole, and fabrications. Examples include Carter’s claim (PBS Nov, 2006) that UN RES 242 requires Israel returning “ALL” land (it clearly does not). On pages 71and 98 Carter claims that Israel did not withdraw completely from Lebanon in 2000 (despite the UN Security counsel admitting Israel withdrew completely as per SCR 425, On page 62, Carter quotes Arafat as never calling for Israel’s annhilation (hundreds of quotes prove Arafat called precisely for this from the 1960’s onward). On pages 5 and 59, Carter takes a page out of Chomsky and claims Israel preemptively attacked Jordan in 1967 (when the fact is Jordan was already shelling Tel Aviv and Jerusalem before Israel did anything to Jordan). On page 197, Carter claims admissions by torture are admissable in Israeli courts. I could go on but Carter is quoted as saying his book is completely accurate. No, it’s a major step backwards.
As for the PLO’s compromise for a 2 state solution, check out quotes from Sakher Habash (Fatah) in al-Hayat al-Jadida, Nov. 17, 2000 regarding Palestine on ALL LAND, or Habash again: “The Jews must get rid of Zionism….They must be citizens in the state of the future, the State of Democratic Palestine” (al-Hayat al-Jadida, Jan. 1, 2001). Ziad al Rajoub spoke of the 1974 “stages plan” in Akhbar al-Halil, Jan 24, 2001. Faisal al-Husseini was quoted; “the strategic goal, namely to Palestine from the river to the sea.” (Al-Safir, Mar. 21, 2001 and Al-Arabi, May 24, 2001) and so was Marwan Barghouti with “one state for all the peoples” (July 9, 2001).
Maybe all these top men of Arafat’s failed to get the memo about a 2 state solution? This is all after Camp David 2000. Strange words for Arafat’s top men to say if indeed the PLO is firmly behind a peaceful 2 state solution, don’t you think?
Why would I or anyone else have any interest in the views of a hack like Stein?
Your claim that UN 242 “clearly does not” required returning all conquered land is of course false. The phrasing of the resolution is somewhat ambiguous, but those like yrself who claim it is crystal clear & supports yr position are fudging in the worst way.
Israel, indeed did NOT withdraw from all Lebanese land in 2000. It retains Shebaa Farms (a pt. which I’ve debated too many times with right wingers like you here). There may be a dispute about whether this territory is Lebanese or Syrian. But even Israel concedes it is not Israeli & should be returned. It has simply refused to return it. Carter is right again on this.
If you want to claim Carter’s book is in error you will have to quote the passages you claim are wrong, not merely list the page numbers. Pg. numbers prove nothing to anyone. I have no idea whether Carter claims what you say he claims. In fact, given your shoddy record I rather doubt Carter writes anything you claim he does unless you provide quotations.
Again, I don’t know what Carter really says since you don’t quote it. Evidence procured by torture may not be admissible in Israeli courts, but since the Shin Bet never concedes that they do torture; or if they abuse prisoners, they claim that what would be called torture in any other country isn’t torture in Israel–there are 1,000 ways to get around such a prohibition & I’m sure the intelligence services use every one.
But you avoid the larger question which is the fact that Israel tortures at all. Now that the Bush Administration has adopted Israel’s views about torture, it becomes that much easier for Israel to claim it looks good in comparison. But the fact is that Israel cannot call itself a traditional western democracy when it is in reality a national security state and an ethnocracy.
As for quoting someone named Sakher Habash, a name I’ve never heard in my life (& I know quite a bit about the Fatah & Hamas leadership), & claiming that his views, even if quoted accurately indicate that Fatah denies a 2 state solution–this is beyond pathetic. If you want to smear Fatah you’ll have to do better than this.
I find this recitation of anti-Palestinian propaganda to be unutterably tiresome. If you want to continue doing so, you’ll have to go back to Pro Semite Undercover where you’ll find much more compatible company. I’ve just about had it.
Einstein – Richard’s already covered what I was going to say about yr ‘critique’ of Carter’s book.
On yr bizarre insistance that the PLO didn’t recognise Israel. Is there a reason you totally ignored the mutual letters of recognition and proceeded to post whatever obscure ‘quotes’ from people I’ve never heard of? Surely yr not going to try to say obscure ‘quotes’ trump an official document like the letters of recognition? So if in the future Hamas officially recognises Israel’s right to exist, and some Hamas member who drives a taxi for a living goes ‘Hold on a second! Israel has no right to exist!’, I expect that you’ll be there quoting an obscure Hamas member and pretending that it means that all official statements are trumped by obscure ones made on a personal level and not on behalf of a group? That’s really silly, and I’d like to know if you hold Israeli members of political parties to the same high standards you do Palestinians…
UNSCR 242 does not, as Carter claims, call for Israel to withdraw from ALL territories (to the pre-1967 armistice lines of 1948). Lord Caradon, the original author of the resolution, is very clear about the language used in the resolution and he is quoted 3 times here:
Now where am I wrong and how is Carter correct in maintaining his view about UNSCR 242?
Here’s Caradon, from the article:
It was from occupied territories that the [r]esolution called for withdrawal. The test was which territories were occupied. That was a test not possibly subject to any doubt as a matter of fact…East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan and Sinai were occupied in the 1967 conflict. I[t] was on withdrawal from occupied territories that the Resolution insisted.
We didn’t say there should be a withdrawal to the ’67 line; we did not put the ‘the’ in, we did not say all the territories, deliberately.. We all knew – that the boundaries of ’67 were not drawn as permanent frontiers, they were a cease-fire line of a couple of decades earlier… We did not say that the ’67 boundaries must be forever; it would be insanity.
Knowing as I did the unsatisfactory nature of the 1967 line, I wasn’t prepared to use wording in the Resolution that would have made that line permanent. Nonetheless, it is necessary to say again that the overwhelming principle was the ‘inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war’ and that meant that there could be no justification for the annexation of territory on the Arab side of the 1967 line merely because it had been conquered in the 1967 war. The sensible way to decide permanent ‘secure and recognized’ boundaries would be to set up a Boundary Commission and hear both sides and then to make impartial recommendations for a new frontier line, bearing in mind, of course, the “inadmissibility” principle. The purposes are perfectly clear, the principle is stated in the preamble, the necessity for withdrawal is stated in the operative section. And then the essential phrase which is not sufficiently recognized is that withdrawal should take place to secure and recognized boundaries, and these words were very carefully chosen: they have to be secure and they have to be recognized. They will not be secure unless they are recognized. And that is why one has to work for agreement. This is essential. I would defend absolutely what we did. It was not for us to lay down exactly where the border should be. I know the 1967 border very well. It is not a satisfactory border, it is where troops had to stop in 1948, just where they happened to be that night, that is not a permanent boundary…
On Carter and Lebanon withdrawal 2000:
Page 71: Israel has relinquished its control over … almost all of Lebanon …
Page 98: [A number of events influenced] Israel’s decision in May 2000 to withdraw almost completely from Lebanon after eighteen years of occupation, retaining its presence only in Shebaa Farms.
On June 16, 2000, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan reported to the Security Council that “Israeli forces have withdrawn from Lebanon in compliance with resolution 425” and “in compliance with the line of withdrawal identified by the United Nations.”
(Security Council Resolution 425 called on Israel to “withdraw forthwith its forces from all Lebanese territory.” The line identified by the United Nations “conform[ed] to the internationally recognized boundaries of Lebanon based on the best available cartographic and other documentary material.”)
No mention of Shebaa farms. Would you agree that if Shebaa farms is Syria – as is apparent by UNSCR 425 – the Lebanon 2000 withdrawal was complete?
It looks again very clear that Carter’s facts are off. Where am I wrong?
Regarding Lord Caradon, what the original writer of a document meant is interesting & useful information, but certainly not relevant or operative in terms of how the document is understood & implemented today. Strict constructionists are ones who believe we today must interpret the Constitution according to the Founders original intent. But that’s not the way law is, or should be decided. This is also true of the Talmudic rabbis who understand that even if God Himself believes a pt of law should be decided one way, the rabbis are entitled to contradict & rule the opposite way.
The wording was made deliberately ambiguous so that both sides might find as little as possible to object to. The wording is NOT “clear.”
It is incumbent on Israel to find someone to take Shebaa Farms off its hands. Hezbollah claims it is Lebanese & continues fighting at least partly for this reason. If it is Syrian, then let Israel return it to Syria & give Hezbollah one less excuse to continue fighting.
It’s quite clear Carter is wrong with his declarations. This has now been proven to you. Neither he nor you will let facts stand in the way.
Einstein – all that I’ve seen proven here is that you’ll neither let facts nor a lack of knowledge of international law stand in yr way…
Regarding the withdrawal phrase of 242, whether the word ‘all’ is there or not is irrelevent for several reasons:
1. The preamble of 242 states: ‘Emphasising the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war…’ When reading the resolution, it has to be read in its entirety taking into account the preamble. As the preamble makes it clear that the acquisition of territory by war is not allowed, anyone who claims that the withdrawal phrase should be interpreted as ‘only some that the side i’m cheering for can pick and choose’ isn’t reading the Resolution properly. It’s interesting to note that both the US and Israel tried unsuccessfully to pressure Caradon to remove the inadmissability sentence from the preamble.
2. There are other areas of the resolution where the word ‘all’ isn’t included eg ‘Affirms further the necessity for guaranteeing the freedom of navigation of through international waterways in the area’, but the meaning is clear that it applies to all navigation through all international waterways. Same goes for the withdrawal phrase. If you see a sign in a park saying ‘keep off the grasss’, do you think to yrself, ‘they don’t say keep off ALL the grass!’ ? Of course not…
3. I don’t know if you or anyone else reading this noticed, but yr bit you quoted from Wiki was actually from CAMERA. What Caradon says several years later, while interesting, isn’t relevant like the discussions and debate during the drafting of the Resolution and the statements made immediately after. You won’t find any of that at CAMERA, which is after all a highly biased pro-Israel site lacking in credibility. During a meeting to debate the draft resolution, he quoted from the British Foreign Secretary: ‘Britain does not accept war as a means of accepting disputes, nor that a state should be allowed to extend its frontiers as a result of war. This means that Israel must withdraw. But equally, Israel’s neighbours must recognise its right to exist, and it must enjoy security within its frontiers. What we must work for in this area is a durable peace, the renunciation of all aggressive designs, and an end to policies which are inconsistant with peace.’ (UNSCOR, 1381st Meeting). Also it has to be noted that Caradon praised the initiative and fairness of the Latin American states and their draft resolution for the General Assembly which urgently requested Israel to withdraw all of its forces from all the territories occupied by it. Caradon’s focus was on balance, and he didn’t see the withdrawal of troops from all occupied territory as being inconsistant with negotiating borders.
Now that I’ve wandered over to the CAMERA site, I see that’s where yr getting yr ‘talking points’ from about Carter’s book. How about instead of relying on incredibly biased rubbish, you try reading the book for yrself?
This isn’t a geometry problem and you haven’t “proven” anything except that you can’t seem to muster any independent thinking to attack Carter, but must resort to CAMERA to find your material. That’s sorta like a comedian turning to David Duke to come up with jokes about Blacks and Jews.