In a suit filed in federal court in New York, former president Jimmy Carter, along with his publisher, Simon & Schuster, is being sued by five readers of his 2006 book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." The suit alleges that the defendants violated New York's consumer protection laws by committing "deceptive acts in the conduct of business, trade, or commerce."
The plaintiffs, who hope to be considered a class, were "members of the reading public who thought they could trust a former president of the United States and a well-established book publisher to tell the truth..."
Does Carter deserve this trouble? Oh, yes, he deeply, richly deserves it. Should the suit prevail? More on that in a moment.
Carter has preened that "my role as a former president is probably superior to that of other presidents." Considering that he had four years as leader of the free world, the post-presidency claim sounds more like a bleat than a boast. And even still, it's false.
In fact, no former president including Richard Nixon has behaved as dishonorably as Carter. His post-presidency has been marked by truckling to America's enemies (North Korea, Syria, the PLO, Nicaragua) and actively impeding U.S. foreign policies of which he disapproved. Before the first Gulf War, for example, when President George H. W. Bush was attempting to assemble an international coalition to expel Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, Carter wrote a letter to the U.N. Security Council urging members not to cooperate with the U.S.
Carter's apologies for the United States make Obama's seem chauvinistic. Meeting with Haiti's dictator Raoul Cedras, Carter allowed as how he was "ashamed of what my country has done to your country." And explaining why other Americans took a skeptical view of Syria's Hafez al-Assad and North Korea's Kim II Sung, both of whom, he wrote, "have at times been misunderstood, ridiculed, and totally condemned by the American public," Carter surmises that this is in part because "their names are foreign, not Anglo-Saxon."
And then there is Carter's festering abhorrence of the Jewish state, which reached its fullest expression in "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." The title expresses his sympathies and antipathies succinctly. It's a book about a land -- Israel -- that Carter would prefer become "Palestine." How else to interpret the latter part of the title -- "Peace Not Apartheid"? The leftist/Islamist slur against Israel is that it is a racist, apartheid state akin to South Africa and therefore lacking in legitimacy. Carter embraces this calumny.