USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

Michael F. Brown: A rebuttal to the Carter Center Board of Councilors resignation letter

Posted by uscsjp on January 31, 2007

Fourteen members of the Carter Center Board of Councilors resigned on 11 January to express their dismay over President Jimmy Carter’s book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid. Their criticisms are petty and inaccurate and say much more about them than about President Carter. They fail to grapple in the letter with Israel’s subjugation of the Palestinians and with President Carter’s call for substantive peacemaking. My comments about their concerns are provided below along with pertinent information in boxes regarding other erroneous or misleading criticism leveled at President Carter. (The following text of the resignation letter was posted on the website of CAMERA, an organization which has been highly critical of President Carter’s book and has orchestrated protests against publisher Simon & Schuster.)

Dear fellow member of the Carter Center Board of Councilors,

This has been a difficult time for us. As members of the Board of Councilors of the Carter Center we have endeavored to promote the efforts of the Carter Center in our community. However, the recent book authored by President Carter “Palestine; Peace not Apartheid” [SIC] and his comments in the press made while promoting the book have given us pause in our efforts. We are deeply troubled by the President’s comments and writings and are submitting the following letter of resignation to the Carter Center. We wanted to inform you, our fellow Board members, of our actions and encourage you to contact us if you have any questions regarding our resignation.

MICHAEL F. BROWN: Only 14 members of a Board of Councilors numbering over 200 actually resigned in this letter. Clearly, enormous support for President Carter’s efforts still exists. Several of those resigning had strong connections to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), another organization that has been highly critical of President Carter’s book and has condemned thoughtful peace activists for being anti-Israel when, in fact, they simply object to Israeli policy. According to Shelley Rose, Interim Director of the ADL’s Atlanta Regional Office, “Among the 14 individuals who have resigned are several former and current members of the ADL Southeast Region board of trustees. We are gratified that the work of ADL in monitoring extremist web sites has played a part in exposing the negative impact Carter’s words have had.

(continued . . . )


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