Jimmy Carter on Gaza

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Not so fast, Goldblog readers tell me, on accepting Jimmy Carter's mea culpa. They point to an op-ed in the Guardian the ex-president published just a few days ago that is filled with the same sort of one-sided invective we've come to expect:

I have discussed ways to assist the citizens of Gaza with a number of Arab and European leaders and their common response is that the Israeli blockade makes any assistance impossible. Donors point out that they have provided enormous aid funds to build schools, hospitals and factories, only to see them destroyed in a few hours by precision bombs and missiles. Without international guarantees, why risk similar losses in the future?

Egypt's border with Gaza, of course, does not exist on Carter's map. And yes, it's a well-known fact that Israel, completely unprovoked, decided to fire missiles into school buildings graciously provided to Gaza by the international community. Israel unilaterally withdrew its soldiers and settlers from Gaza in 2005 not because it wanted to create conditions for the emergence of a Palestinian state, but because it didn't want to hurt any Jews when it eventually fired its missiles at school buildings and mosques.

Gaza is complicated; Israel has committed sins, the Palestinians have committed sins. But Jimmy Carter's mind reels at the complexity.


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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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