Like Israel, Jimmy Carter is a litmus test in the political world of the times. While it seems to me perfectly reasonable to question Carter's effectiveness and many of his decisions as President, the need to denigrate in the strongest possible terms any accomplishment of his is a sign of a closed, authoritarian mind. Similarly, those with a sealed like-mindedness cannot tolerate any questioning of any Israeli act.
So it is with considerable courage that Carter criticizes Israel, and it's powerful lobbying arm, AIPAC, in today's L.A. Times, writing that: (h/t memeorandum)
For the last 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee and the absence of any significant contrary voices.
I have not yet read his new book on Israel, but if Alan Dershowitz hates it, it can't be all bad.
Before reading it, I hope to post some of my own thoughts on the unprecedented success of Israel's lobbying efforts in the U.S, and her enormous power in determining the narrative that dominates much of our foreign policy - whether it is how acts of civil disobedience become acts of terrorism when the Palestinians commit them, or how the likelihood of our meeting with Iran is influenced by Israeli self-interest; rather than our own interest in stopping the catastrophe of Iraq.