Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fitzgerald: Questions Jimmy Carter was not asked

Jimmy Carter has exhibited, and did exhibit at Camp David, an antipathy to Israel, a cruel indifference to the past that every Jewish Israeli carries around within him. These were dead giveaways of the classic antisemite. Yet some are now horrified by his meeting with Hamas, as if all this were something new.

Carter has not changed. He is just freer now, or thinks himself freer, to be more openly vicious. Anyone who failed to recognize that in 1979, or 1989, or 1999, should bethink himself. Carter is interviewed on this station and on that. Not one of the interviewers thinks to ask Carter if he understands what a "hudna" is. Not one asks him why he thinks the figure of ten years, rather than five, or fifteen, or twenty years, was chosen by the leaders of Hamas as the appropriate length of time for this "hudna" or truce.

Not one of them has asked him, or will ask, if he has any idea that the model for this offer is the Treaty made at Hudiabiyya in 628 A.D. between Muhammad and the Meccans. Not one of them will ask Carter if he has heard about that treaty, knows its terms, knows when, and why, Muhammad chose to break it. Not one of those interviewing Carter will ask him if he knows the significance of Muhammad in Islam, if he knows what Muhammad said and did, if he knows what the phrases "uswa hasana" and "al-insan al-kamil" mean. Not one will ask Jimmy Carter if, since he has been an ex-president for nearly 30 years, and since he has considered himself a great expert on Middle Eastern matters, and even offered public relations advice, free, to Yassir Arafat, and clearly has a thing about Israel, a most unpleasant thing. There seems to be no need at this point to point out what prompts Jimmy Carter to have that "thing" about Israel.

And it did not start yesterday, but was or should have been obvious from his behavior at Camp David. Yet so many of those who then claimed (and claim still) to be "pro-Israel" have no idea of how obviously vicious Carter (and Brzezinski) were then, during those fantastic negotiations that I remember so clearly, at every twist and cruel turn, as they hectored and bullied and inveigled and mocked Begin's worries, and gave Saint Sadat not only what he dared to ask but made him ask for even more, and more.

And since Carter has been paid tens of millions of dollars during that time, in all kinds of annual support supplied by American taxpayers, and since furthermore he has decided on many occasions to formulate and attempt to execute his own foreign policy, should he not be asked if, in those nearly 30 years, he has bothered to study the Qur'an, the hadith, the Sira, or bothered to read any of the great Western authorities -- not the espositos and ernsts, please, not the michael-sells bowdlerized Qur'an, please, not Noah "After Jihad" Feldman, please. (For now let's leave Feldman to his ill-merited tenure at Harvard Law School. He is one more war profiteer of the Iraq folly, voted on by colleagues who themselves were in no position to judge his worth, but were deeply impressed by that Iraq-constitution business, as well as by glowing endorsements from John Esposito and Roy Mottahedeh.) Rather, has Carter read studies of Islam by Joseph Schacht, by C. Snouck Hurgronje, by Arthur Jeffrey, by Henri Lammens, by K. S. Lal, by fifty others, from a dozen countries, who were the Orientalists who studied Islam in the age of mental freedom that flowered in the field prior to the Great Inhibition? Has Carter attended to what the defectors from the army of Islam say, which is or should be as useful to the West as once were defectors from Soviet Russia, or Communist Eastern Europe?

Of course Carter was not asked any of this. He wasn't asked any of this because none of those who interviewed him, however briefly, and however skeptically, knew any of this themselves. Yet they still think that they are perfectly justified in reporting on, in talking about, in fashioning the judgments of others about, Islam -- when they are entirely unjustified in so doing, and guilty, as are so many, of criminal irresponsibility in the performance of their duties, of their difficult but indispensable task.

Thanks to Fitzgerald at Dhimmi Watch

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