I disagree with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s contention that Jimmy Carter is not an anti-Semite.
It’s true, as Boteach reasons, that Carter has always supported the weaker party in any conflict. It’s equally true that Carter has enjoyed funding from various Arab sources for years. Neither fact, though, detracts from his lifelong record as a garden-variety anti-Semite. There is much evidence to support this charge. However, I believe one bit of information, often overlooked, trumps all others.
I doubt many would disagree that of all the causes Carter has supported, the “plight of the Palestinians” is among his most passionate. He went into overdrive during his media blitz following the release of his controversial “Apartheid” book, repeating his mantra that the persecution of the Palestinians was one of the worst examples of human rights violations he knew. Well, David Shuster of MSNBC challenged that thought, asking if it was even worse than Rwanda, where 800,000 Tutsi tribesmen were slaughtered by Hutu militia in just over three months. Caught by surprise, Carter stammered and said, “I’m not going back into ancient history about Rwanda.” (It happened in 1994.) He added, “You can talk about Rwanda if you want to. I want to talk about Palestine.” Clearly, it was Carter’s cause.
It’s a logical assumption that Carter’s particularly close relationship with Yasser Arafat was based on his admiration for the leader devoted to fighting for his people. So, when major news outlets broke the story that Arafat had diverted well over a half billion dollars in humanitarian funding meant for the Palestinians into his own accounts – monies meant to improve the quality of his people – the expectation was that Carter would be outraged at Arafat’s betrayal. He wasn’t. The friendship never wavered one bit, and a few years after Arafat’s death, Carter made it a point to place a wreath at his grave.
In my opinion, it’s clear that for both these men, the Palestinian people were simply pawns. For Arafat, they were a convenient means of satisfying his craving for power. For Carter, they were a choice vehicle to “stick it to the Jews” while appearing to be a humanitarian. How else can you explain his indifference to Arafat’s outrageous act? More likely, Carter’s warm relationship with Arafat was based on the dictum “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”