Others have questioned whether Carter's letter is primarily an attempt to keep his anti-Israel advocacy from damaging the political aspirations of his grandson, who just launched a campaign for the state Senate in Georgia.
In an open letter of her own, CAMERA executive director Andrea Levin wrote "we hope your conciliatory words are indicative of a true change of heart in which Israel is no longer subjected to unwarranted and false criticism" and noted a handful of very recent lies and distortions made by Carter which he needs to correct. (The text of her letter may be viewed on the CAMERA web site.)
We suggest a few other steps Carter should take, besides ceasing future incitement against Israel and issuing corrections to his latest lies and distortions, if he is actually sincere in his apology.
- Stop the distribution of his anti-Israel books.
Regardless of his future statements, as long as people are buying his existing books those books will continue to spread hatred.
- Compensate the organizations, such as CAMERA, Honest Reporting, the Anti-Defamation League and others, which have been forced to expend a tremendous amount of time and resources to combat the lies, distortions and innuendoes in Carter's books and articles.
A reasonable start would be to transfer the royalties earned from his books to those organizations.
- Donate copies of CAMERA's "Bearing False Witness," refuting a small portion of the lies and distortions in his "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid" screed, to every library containing copies of either that or any of his other books on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Whether Jimmy Carter follows up his public apology with actions to undo the damage he's caused will show whether or not he's sincere.
Carter's Open Letter:
The time of Chanukah and the Christian holidays presents an occasion for reflection on the past and for looking to the future. In that vein, I wish to share some thoughts with you about the State of Israel and the Middle East.
I have the hope and a prayer that the State of Israel will flourish as a Jewish state within secure and recognized borders in peaceful co-existence with its neighbors and with all the Moslem States, and that this peaceful co-existence will bring security, prosperity and happiness to the people of Israel and to the people of the Middle East of all faiths.
I have the hope and a prayer that the bloodshed and hatred will change to mutual respect and cooperation, fulfilling the prophetic aspiration that the lion shall lie down with the lamb in harmony and peace. I likewise hope that violent attacks against all civilians will end, which will help set a better framework for commencing negotiations. I further hope that peace negotiations can soon commence, with all issues on the negotiating table.
I have the hope and a prayer that just as Chanukah is the Festival of Lights, the State of Israel will fulfill its destiny as a light unto the nations.
We must recognize Israel’s achievements under difficult circumstances, even as we strive in a positive way to help Israel continue to improve its relations with its Arab populations, but we must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel. As I would have noted at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but which is appropriate at any time of the year, I offer an Al Het for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so.
May we work and pray for that better day.
Hag Semach and Happy Chanukah.