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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hardcore Jimmy Carter

posted by on January 11 at 14:50 PM

Carter’s new book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, caused this to happen:

“We are deeply troubled by the president’s comments and writings and are submitting the following letter of resignation to the Carter Center…”

The letters were signed by Alan Abrams, Steve Berman, Michael Coles, Jon Golden, Doug Hertz, Barbara Babbit Kaufman, Liane Levetan, Jeff Levy, Leon Novak, Ambassador William B. Schwartz Jr., William B. Schwartz III, Steve Selig, Cathey Steinberg, and Gail Solomon.

During the 80s, the peak of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, wasn’t Israel the only country that maintained an official diplomatic relationship with South Africa? Just wondering.

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I'm jewish and while I don't necessarily agree with his title I support his right to use it just as I would if someone wrote a book about the many countries in africa, asia and middle east and used the word "apartheid" in the title to describe the conditions of women. It would also be accurate. While I don't criticize Carter I also don't criticize the Jews who vocally disagree, or those who resigned. That is there right also. I'm sorry Israel condoned apartheid in South Africa, that is fucked. But equally fucked and dishonest is that the Muslims who claim to be angriest over this are usually the ones who are in favor of continuing the apartheid and injustice women and gays have to live with in under "Islam".

Posted by allie a | January 11, 2007 3:24 PM

So, Mudede has decided to write about Carter, his new book and Israel. This post is once again one you should do your very best to avoid. Why? Because few writers in the tradition of American commentary are as bad, as vapid, as blunt, as boorish, as obtuse, as this Mudede character. It is a wonder that anyone would go out of their way to publish one of his pieces, all of which have neither the alacrity of a keen intelligence or the force of good instincts. They are filled with a false sense of importance. They are filled with mucky muck. They are, in the Samkhya theory of matter, the epitome of the tamas guna—heavy, murky, dull. They are noisy and oppressive. They are the products of an imagination that is fueled by big chunks of elephant dung. Mudede is an artistic elephant. You know that, right? Of course you do! With just one ear you can hear, from many miles away, his muddy mind plodding on a bad piece. There is no grace, no sensitivity in the text of his work, just the dumbness of a mass that crashes through trees, stomps on fallen leaves, breaks bark with its rough and thick butt. This is the elephant that writes pieces in, that tromps on, our fine language.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | January 11, 2007 3:29 PM

Nearly every country in the world maintained official diplomatic ties with South Africa. The US has no official ties with North Korea, Iran, and Cuba. Otherwise, we maintain embassies (ie official diplomatic ties) with every UN member, including Syria, Sudan, and plenty of other countries we don't like. In fact, the US under Reagan resisted sanctions, and none other than Alan Keyes himself defended South Africa, thus earning the title of Biggest Uncle Tom Ever. International sanctions were imposed on South Africa, but mainly consisted of arms embargoes, suspension in international organizations, and prohibiting South African atheletes from international competition. All divestment campaigns were privately organized.

Israel was fully compliant with all international sanctions, and in 1987, Israel passed its own laws limiting trade and other ties, as well as denouncing the apartheid regime.

Posted by Gitai | January 11, 2007 3:29 PM

Comment 2 sounds like it was written by Charles, excepting the anti-Mudedean slant of it. Remarkably similar style.

Posted by Gabriel | January 11, 2007 3:42 PM

granted, gitai, but Israel gave PW Botha a state visit and also there is this from the Guardian:

"Botha brought South Africa close to self-sufficiency in weaponry, circumventing the UN arms embargo where import substitution failed. The state-owned arms corporation produced cannon that were regarded as the best of their kind. Major warships, the latest aircraft and helicopters were beyond reach, but three small submarines were acquired from France, while Israel proved a surprisingly willing partner in such joint enterprises as missiles - and nuclear technology. When the US secretly backed the increasingly blatant South African interventions in the Angolan civil war against the FPLA government backed by Cuban troops, Botha was able to acquire munitions and spares in cornucopian quantities."

Posted by charles Mudede | January 11, 2007 3:48 PM

Yes, Israel and South Africa were close.

Posted by Gabriel | January 11, 2007 3:50 PM

Thou shalt not speak ill of Israel. Yea, the very poop in the sewer does not stink, though there is meat on the street til its coming out of peoples noses.

Posted by Anonymous | January 11, 2007 3:52 PM

Didn't Israel also supply Mobutu with personal bodyguards?

There's a long history of Jewish ties to South Africa. Lest you think all of them were in support of the apartheid regime, Jews founded South Africa's Communist party and helped found the ANC.

Posted by keshmeshi | January 11, 2007 3:54 PM

keshmeshi, my point is the state of israel not jews as such. for me there is a clear distinction. But check out this story.

Posted by charles Mudede | January 11, 2007 3:58 PM

Yes they were supportive of S. Africa. As was the Israeli goverment of Latin American dictators. The Israeli goverment trained and armed with Israeli Galils, Nicaragua's Somoza's notoriously murderious special forces the EEBI. IDF officers were advisors to Somoza, Pinochet, The Argentinian Junta and if Im not mistaken Alfredo Strossner in Paraguay. No surprise there. If you looka at the weaponery of the Kaibilis in Guatemala during the 80's war, it is all Israeli made Galils. Only in the US there seems to be this rule of not speaking ill of the Israeli goverments' ties with dictators and racist regimes. In Israel, the left there says it all the time. The Israeli left is light years ahead of the Israel apologists here.

As far as Carter goes, he is not critical of Israeli society, he actually praises it as the democracy it is, his book is about the conditions of the occupied territories. The brutality of it. The plain greed that is at the root of the land grab of the settler movement. He does not say that Israel is a state of apartheid, but come on now what the hell else would u call the occupied territories? Do you honestly think Palestinians live as comfortably as the "settlers"? Of course to say this in some circles is to be anti semitic which is absolute nonsense. If we can say the land grab of the Americas was wrong, we can say the same in that case.

Posted by SeMe | January 11, 2007 4:02 PM

Comment #2 was not written by Charles, I'm sorry to report. It was written by a troll-like figure whose identity we know. He has been warned to get relevant or get the hell out of comments.

Posted by Amy Kate | January 11, 2007 4:03 PM

Yeah Charles, I read the link. There is nothing about it that surprises me because my past experience has shown me that people are more than willing to play the victim card while persecuting others. You don't have to look any further than many African American faux-civil rights leaders from the 1970's onward. Many of them are nothing but the black KKK. Yes some Jews are willing tp treat others Nazi's, just like many African American activists have adapted a KKK stance towards other minority groups that stand up to them. 15 years after the pograms on Korean-Americans in LA by african americans and supported by many "civil right" leaders the victims story hasn't been told cause of fear of being at the wrath of black anger. Still many blacks openly continue to justify it by saying they were "disrespected". An excuse the KKK also used to justify violence towards blacks.

Posted by allie a | January 11, 2007 4:12 PM

"troll-like figure"

lol, you didn't even do him the courtesy of calling him a full fledged troll

Posted by Deeply Depressed | January 11, 2007 4:13 PM

Would Carter's book be less problematic if it were titled "Palestine: Peace Not Segregation"?

Posted by PG | January 11, 2007 4:33 PM

Hey, I heard that Jews are greedy and steal from everybody and own everything and stuff and have horns and eat babies and don't tip well. Just sayin'.

Posted by Will | January 11, 2007 4:34 PM

I have been informed by Amy that my daily posts “slamming Charles” are “repetitive” (I agree), “pointless” (I disagree) and “bordering on troll-like behavior” (I neither agree nor disagree, but I will concede the point).

In order to avoid the Stranger’s standard (?) punishment explained as “we will block your ability to comment and/or attempt to publicly humiliate you” I will cease and desist (nearly) immediately.

But first, in defense against the second charge leveled against me (“pointless”), I would like to say the following. At least one savvy slog reader (posting as “duh” on the “Twilight of the Empire” comments string) heard and understood (if not agreed with) my point. Referring to me as @1 he posted: “@1's post is an incredible hilarious repurposing of an actual post by Mudede. @1 is apparently so offended by -- and so unable to articulate his actual distaste for -- Mudede's writing, that repeating the same joke in each of Mudede's post's comments is what passes as his critique.” Charles’s critique of Albee’s literary output in “On Edward Albee” was so similar to my critique of Charles’s “writing” (“bad”, “vapid”, “blunt”, “boorish”, “obtuse”, lacking in “the alacrity of a keen intelligence or the force of good instincts” and “filled with a false sense of importance”) and so very exemplary of the very worst of Charles’s work that I could not resist using his own words to describe his own efforts. I kept the rest of his drivel (Samkhya theory and elephants) intact as parody (?) of his “style” (and because of its sheer pseudo intellectual stench). I’ll also add the “repetitive” nature of my posts was meant to parrot the same quality I see in Charles’s posts.

Any way, enough said. (I’m strangely flattered to have even been noticed by Seattle’s only newspaper.) I’ll do my best to leave poor Charles alone from now on and will permanently retire the post that I have grown to affectionately think of as “Mudede on Charles Mudede”.

But at least now I know exactly how may licks it takes to get to the center of the Tootsie-Pop that is Charles’s ego… six.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | January 11, 2007 6:07 PM

It's interesting that Jews worldwide are among the toughest critics of the Israeli government and its policies toward the Palestinians. Shoot, Israeli Jews criticize their own government all the time. In the U.S., however, criticism of the Israeli government is so often equated with anti-Semitism or blanket attacks on Jews generally.

Christian fundamentalists and other apologists for hardcore Zionism should be introduced to two important facts: all Jews are not the Israeli government; and the Israeli left seem to have more balls (in calling BS on their government) than do the aforementioned fundamentalists in this country...

Posted by Karen Olsen | January 11, 2007 6:17 PM


If you spend the extra minute to think things through, you'll realize that just about every critical Mudede post on SLOG is self-criticizing, that is, it commits precisely the misdeeds that it identifies. It's a common trait in comprehensible post-structuralism, and I believe that the attempt to avoid or evade this failing is the primary reason that so much writing falling under that broad, nebulous rubric is obscured, convoluted, and difficult.

Full Mudede jujitsu doesn't take much more effort than your cut-and-paste approach; try it out and see how it suits you.

Posted by robotslave | January 11, 2007 7:40 PM

of course Carter slammed the Jews. He's Baptist. Everyone knows Baptists and Jews hate each other.

Posted by Simple Minded Fuck | January 11, 2007 8:24 PM

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