Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL) Rips Carter With Sword Of Truth
(I want to thank Ed Lasky for rushing this to Atlas readers. Mark Kirk is one of the greats. About an hour ago Mark delivered this special order speech on the floor of the US House. This is not a passionate attack on Carter; it merely shows the FACTS as opposed to the MYTHS in Carter's book. This is now a part of the Congressional Record.)
Madame Speaker: In today's Washington Post, former President Jimmy Carter defended his book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." President Carter wrote: "...most critics have not seriously disputed or even mentioned the facts..." After reading the book, I have become a critic, and today will only correct the facts purported in his book.
Regarding our policy towards Israel, there is little room for mistakes, let alone outright misstatements of fact. For that reason, I want to present to the House eight factual inaccuracies found in President Carter's book:
#1: On page 62, President Carter quotes Yasser Arafat as telling him, "The Palestine Liberation Organization has never advocated the annihilation of Israel." No evidence is provided and the book does not contain one footnote.
Fact check: Article 22 of the PLO's Charter stated that "the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence." Yasser Arafat supported this charter and lied to President Carter.
#2: On page 57, President Carter writes, "The 1949 armistice demarcation lines became the borders of the new nation of Israel and were accepted by Israel and the United States, and recognized officially by the United Nations."
Fact check: The "1949 armistice" lines were never accepted as official borders by Israel, the United States or the United Nations. This error reflects a poor attention to detail in the book.
#3: On page 127, President Carter writes that there was "a surprising exodus of Christians from the Holy Land."
Fact check: Israel is the only Middle East nation where the Christian population has grown in the last half century. Christian communities and other faith communities like Baha'is have dropped in size in many Muslim countries.
#4: On page 152, President Carter writes, "It was later claimed that the Palestinians rejected a 'generous offer' put forward by Prime Minister Barak with Israel only keeping 5 percent of the West Bank. The fact is no such offers were ever made."
Fact check: According to President Clinton's lead negotiator, Ambassador Dennis Ross, Prime Minister Barak accepted Clinton's proposal-offering to withdraw from 97% of the West Bank, dismantle isolated settlements and accept a Palestinian state with part of Jerusalem as its capital. Arafat rejected the proposal. A quick call between Presidents Carter and Clinton would have corrected this error.
#5: On page 148, President Carter presents two maps he claims were considered at Camp David. One of them is labeled "Israel's interpretation of Clinton's proposal."
Fact check: There were no maps ever created at Camp David. The map President Carter labeled as "Israel's interpretation" is a copy of a map created by Dennis Ross for his later book, "The Missing Peace." Ambassador Ross' map is a representation of the final offer agreed to by Prime Minister Barak and rejected by Arafat. President Carter violated Ambassador Ross' copyright of this map.
#6: On page 197, President Carter writes, "Confessions extracted through torture are admissible in Israeli courts."
Fact check: The Israeli Supreme Court banned the use of torture in interrogations in a decision handed down on September 6, 1999 by Supreme Court President Barak.
#7: On page 188, President Carter writes, "Kadima had been expected to gain 43 seats based on its pledge of a unilateral expansion of the 'great wall.'"
Fact check: Israel's Kadima Party ran on Prime Minister Sharon's platform of disengagement-a pledge to dismantle settlements and unilaterally withdraw from territory.
#8: On page 215, President Carter writes that one option for Israel is "withdrawal to the 1967 border as specified in U.N. Resolution 242."
Fact check: U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 does not define a border.
Madame Speaker, these errors diminish the credibility of President Carter's book. President Carter is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts.
The errors I present here are only a sampling of those included in the book. Now in the twilight of his career and with many at the Carter Center resigning their posts. President Carter should recall this book and hire competent assistants to ensure his future work does not reflect poor scholarship.
I want to thank Dr. Mitchell Bard and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America for helping compile this list.