I normally like the work of Tim Rutten, a writer for the LA Times; but his article today, “In Carter’s Oval Office”, reviewing Jimmy Carter’s new book White House Diary, was glaringly pro-Israel in tone, claiming he saw “…the seeds of Carter’s recent shrill antipathy to Israel and its interests.”
Despite strong criticism by Israeli and American Jewish right-wing Likud supporters, President Carter probably did more for Israel than any other president in getting both Egypt and Israel to agree to a permanent peace treaty in the 1979 Camp David Accords. Carter unlike most presidents, with exception of President Eisenhower, has not been willing to appease Israel and ignore its despicable treatment of the Palestinians. He accurately described Israel’s illegal policies of annexation and settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as reminiscent of the apartheid policies of South African whites toward the indigenous black inhabitants of that country. That bit of truth earned President Carter the lasting enmity of Israeli and American Jewish right-wing Likud supporters as well as their obligatory label of anti-Semite.
While Carter’s criticism of Israeli policies may seem one-sided to Mr. Rutten, sometimes one-sidedness best reflects reality. Any accurate, critical description of Saddam Hussein’s treatment of the Kurds could be described by Saddam apologists as one-sided, shrill antipathy toward Saddam and his Baath party, who, after all, were only acting in the best interest of Iraq and its survival. Yet, most would say that the one-sided critique of Saddam’s policies and actions accurately reflects the criminal nature of his atrocities against the Kurds. While some might object to this comparison, any careful investigation of Israel’s despicable treatment of the Palestinians makes Israeli claims for balance and fairness seem overwrought at best.
Mr. Rutten claims and justifies Israeli actions and policies as existential, and concerned only with Israel’s survival. What he ignores or is ignorant about is the reality that the dispute over Palestine is not over Israel but over the West Bank and East Jerusalem portions of Palestine which were allocated to an intended Arab State by the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan, which, coincidentally, also created a Jewish State in the western and southern portions of Palestine. The West Bank and East Jerusalem were conquered and occupied by Israel in its 1967 Six Day War, and then either illegally annexed or colonized with hundreds of Jewish-only “settlements” now containing over 500,000 Israeli Jews protected by Israeli army units, and all this on the intended homeland and future state for the Palestinians.
While the Palestinians are not without fault in their actions of the past 63 years since Israeli independence, any reasonable review of Israeli actions shows a clear intent to displace Palestinians from as much of Palestine as the world will allow, while replacing them with Israeli Jews, a policy most would label ethnic cleansing.
Israel, its right-wing Likud leaders, and their U.S. supporters, intend Israel to include the entirety of Palestine. So long as U.S. policies unquestionably support Israel’s illegal seizures of land set aside by the United Nations for the Palestinians as their share of Palestine, the U.S. is complicit in that theft.
It would be useful if the U.S. media, including Mr. Rutten, showed some balance and even some investigatory independence and zeal in reporting the Israeli-Arab conflict over Palestine rather than its normal shrill antipathy toward the Palestinians and their interests.
You do feel the Palestinians have some claim to Palestine don’t you Mr. Rutten?