President Carter’s book has poked into a hornet’s nest primarily for the US political elite. Carter has accused Israel for “worst than apartheid” treatment of the Palestinians and admits that it is the major hurdle against “peace in the region.”
Israeli lobby immediately labelled Carter as “anti-Semite” – the most potent weapon in its arsenal to silence the slightest criticism of the Jewish state, and Democrats and Republicans both distanced themselves from Carter. Who wants to commit political suicide and lose the political control over the lone superpower? Democrats were quick to distance themselves from the book. “On this issue President Carter speaks for himself, the opinions in his book are his own, they are not the views or position of the Democratic Party,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said in a statement.
Incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi agreed that the book does not represent their views on Israel. “It is wrong to suggest that the Jewish people would support a government in Israel or anywhere else that institutionalises ethnically based oppression. Democrats reject that allegation vigorously,” she said, “With all due respect to former President Carter, he does not speak for the Democratic Party on Israel.”But Carter has rejected the criticism. “I feel completely at ease,” about my comments, Carter told the Atlanta Press Club. “I am not running for office. And I have Secret Service protection.” Carter said the greatest commitment in his life has been trying to bring peace to the region.