Monday, January 15, 2007

Carter Cut Down

Carter faces revolt over book on Middle East

· Walkout by 14 members of ex-president's rights group
· Criticism of Israel seen as 'malicious advocacy'

The former US president Jimmy Carter was facing a revolt from some of his own supporters yesterday after 14 members of the advisory board of his human rights organisation resigned in protest at his view on Israel and the Palestinians.
Mr Carter has faced a backlash to the argument in his latest book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, for a renewed effort to kick-start the Middle East peace process. The book has been denounced by some commentators as anti-Israeli.

The 200-strong advisory board of the Carter Centre is drawn from prominent local figures in Atlanta, Georgia, where it is based. In a letter to Mr Carter explaining their decision to quit, the 14 members accused him of holding a "strident and uncompromising position". They said the book "portrays the conflict between Israel and her neighbours as a purely one-sided affair with Israel holding all the responsibility for resolving the conflict ... It seems that you have turned to a world of advocacy, including even malicious advocacy."

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