Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Carter's Maps: Worse Than Plagiarism.

One of the controversies swirling around Jimmy Carter's scurrilous screed, Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid, is the apparent lifting, without attribution, of maps from The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace, by Dennis Ross. Jewish Current Issues demonstrates that there are far worse problems in the use of those maps than mere plagiarism. In his book, Carter has altered the descriptions that Ross provided for the apparently misappropriated maps, in a manner that illustrates the mendacious nature of Carter's entire project. To fully appreciate what Carter has tried to put over on the American public, one must read the entire post at Jewish Current Issues.

Carter has defended the charges of plagiarism regarding the maps by insisting that he has never seen the Ross book. If that is not an outright lie--and given Carter's other prevarications, one can't dismiss the likelihood that he is lying--it would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Carter book is bereft of serious scholarship. No reputable scholar would attempt to write knowledgably about the breakdown of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations since the Oslo Accords, especially about the Camp David and Sharm el-Sheikh talks at the end of the Clinton Administration, without reading the account of those events by Dennis Ross, the chief U.S. negotiator at those talks.

Rick Richman is blogmaster at Jewish Current Issues. When I was a summer clerk at a downtown Los Angeles firm in 1975, Rick was a young tax partner. Now he is a not-so-young tax lawyer, although he looks much younger than me. (See photo at upper left.) If the Devil's Dictionary definition of a neoconservative is a liberal who got mugged, then Rick and I are both neoconservatives. His mugging came at the hands of the Clinton Administration, the Oslo Accords, Yassir Arafat and finally September 11. His blog is both an excellent source of neocon political analysis (although he might possibly eschew the label) and a collection of rich observations of Jewish American culture.

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