Is Jimmy Carter an anti-Semite? Even some of his critics concede that his biased views about Israel might not necessarily rise to the level of Jew-hatred. Surely, one can be critical of the Jewish state without necessarily being a Jew-hater, right?
Well–not exactly. Seven years ago I began writing about the ways in which anti-Zionism is indeed today’s “new anti-Semitism” and about how left-liberal progressives in the west were increasingly, perhaps unwittingly, allied with Islamist propagandists and terrorists in their joint betrayal of both the truth and the Jews.
The savage denunciation of the Jewish state has become an almost psychotic world-wide phenomenon. In fact, this coming weekend, the Hudson Institute is hosting a conference about the demonization of Israel at the United Nations. SEE HERE.
Now, back to our former President Jimmy.
In the late 1990s and into the twenty-first century, President Jimmy taught a series of Bible classes titled Sunday Mornings in Plains. Simon and Schuster has published a three volume set of compact discs that are available for sale online. A student at Columbia, Michael Miller, listened to these CDs and partially transcribed them with commentary galore.
Miller told me that he was so alarmed by what he heard that he tried to interest many major Jewish organizational leaders and journalists. For whatever reason, no one got back to him. Miller tells me that he focused on material that critics of Carter’s work have not yet discussed. Miller also points out that Carter has backtracked on some of what he has written: (I didn’t exactly mean that, perhaps that was a poor choice for a title, etc.). Here, while Carter may have said these things spontaneously, in a Bible class, he has nevertheless allowed a publisher to release the CDs for widespread use. He stands by what he has said.
I must admit, getting into the selected transcription and commentary was a daunting task. I nevertheless persevered. HERE is a brief excerpt from the transcription with Miller’s commentary.
I still believe–and have written as much many times–that now is the time for Jews and Christians to forge a radically new alliance. (I am not at all opposed to similar alliances with moderate Muslims). So, what I am about to say does not represent a change-of-policy on the subject.
Nevertheless, Carter sure sounds like one heck of a Jew-hater. Invidiously, almost hypnotically, he uses ancient Jesus-era history in order to demonize current day Jewish Israel and Israelis. He also uses this painful and tragic history as the basis for scapegoating contemporary Jewish Israelis for the the Islamic persecution of Christians in the Arab Middle East. Carter repeatedly whips up hatred towards modern-day Israeli Jews by telling lies, half-truths, and ancient, out-of-context truths. For example, he insists that (all) Jews view (all) Christians as “dogs” and despise and persecute (all) Christians because they are “unclean, uncircumcised.”
Anyone familiar with Middle Eastern realities will understand that it is Muslim fanatics who view Christians as unclean infidels and it is Muslims who persecute, exile, lynch, and be-head Christians. Palestinian Islamists have desecrated churches and murdered Christians. The very Israeli Jewish government whom Carter is railing against in his Bible classes has protected the holy sites of all religions. And, it is ethnic Arab Muslims who have been murdering black African Christians and Muslims in Darfur. Jewish Israelis have not mass-murdered Palestinian civilians or even those Palestinians who have been waging a fierce terrorist and propaganda war against them.
President Jimmy also presents the allegedly great power of Roman-occupied Jews in Jesus’ time as the emblem for the contemporary cabal of power wielded by Jewish and Israeli Zionists today. In his teachings, the stench of Messiah-murder clings to every possible Jewish deed.
Based on the transcription of these Bible classes, it seems that Carter’s Jew-hatred is classical Jew-hatred. It is theologically based. And its purpose is to stir up hatred for contemporary Israelis, not merely to teach an historical or religious lesson.
Yes, it is true: Jews did not and do not accept that Jesus is the Messiah or even the son of God. But so what? This should not be the source of resentment and enmity between Jews and Christians. Has Carter learned absolutely nothing from the Holocaust? Ah, maybe he has learned everything he needs to know: That the Jews were vulnerable, that their slaughter (in the Holy Land) might occasion no outcry until it is too late.
In my view, Carter might not be saying what he is saying in Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid because the Saudis have paid him off big-time (although the pay-off may certainly play a role). Carter may be the kind of old-fashioned Christian who believes that Jew-hatred is a sacramental article of faith. Most Christians, beginning with the Pope, have re-visited this issue. Perhaps Carter has yet to do so.
Of course, in America, anyone (Jimmy Carter, Ann Coulter, Ward Churchill) has the absolute right to express their political and religious views. And yet, Jew-hating views such as Carter’s have historically led to the persecution and mass murder of Jews.
And this man was once the President of the United States?
Maybe the crime of the Jew is that of having been there first, of being both the Mother and Father of religious monotheism. Maybe our descendents, whether they are rebellious followers or detractors, need to get out from under our looming parental shadow. But a true Christian is not supposed to hate. In fact, he is supposed to forgive even those who torment him. To demonize and scapegoat an essentially innocent people is so un-Christian that we might not only ask whether Jimmy Carter is a Jew-hater but whether he is really a good Christian.
What do you think?