December 20, 2006

Carter's Arab Sponsors

Jimmy Carter has been a reliable anti-Israel voice for years, although he poses as an honest broker trying to speak truth in the face of a powerful Jewish-American lobbying effort. Jacob Laskin, writing at FPM, says Carter's credibility as an agent of good faith is shot, as long as he accepts millions of dollars a year for his Carter Center from Middle Eastern Arab oil billionaires and representatives of fiercely anti-Semitic Arab governments. Even a disinterested observer might perceive Carter to be just dutifully parroting the company line. Keep the paymaster happy. Keep the Saudi cash rolling in.

Carter’s chief complaint seems to be that anyone who identifies with Israel, whether in the form of individual support or in a more organized capacity, is incapable of grappling honestly with the issues in the Arab-Israeli conflict. But Carter is poorly placed to make this claim. If such connections alone are sufficient to discredit his critics, then by his own logic Carter is undeserving of a hearing. After all, the Carter Center, the combination research and activist project he founded at Emory University in 1982, has for years prospered from the largesse of assorted Arab financiers.

Especially lucrative have been Carter’s ties to Saudi Arabia. Before his death in 2005, King Fahd was a longtime contributor to the Carter Center and on more than one occasion contributed million-dollar donations. In 1993 alone, the king presented Carter with a gift of $7.6 million. And the king was not the only Saudi royal to commit funds to Carter’s cause. As of 2005, the king’s high-living nephew, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, has donated at least $5 million to the Carter Center.

It goes on and on. "Compromised" just isn't a strong enough word. The expression "bought and paid for" comes to mind. As Jay Nordlinger says in his column today, "There has always been little daylight between him and Hamas."

UPDATE 12/21: Alan Dershowitz:" Why Won't Carter Debate His Book?"

Posted by dan at December 20, 2006 1:48 AM