Last Saturday, the Boston Globe editorial page criticized Jimmy Carter for refusing to debate Alan Dershowitz at Brandeis University over Carter’s new book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.” The editorial said in part:
Some of the fury Carter has provoked is so overwrought that it appears to confirm his own overstated contention that any criticism of Israel is treated like heresy by the mainstream media. But it is precisely because of the hyperbole of his critics, and the seriousness of the issues he wants to raise, that Carter should agree to debate that inveterate defender of Israel, Alan Dershowitz.
I agree. So I was a little surprised today when the Globe ran an op-ed by Carter in which he both flogs his book and whines about the way he’s been treated. Carter writes:
[T]here has been a pattern of ad hominem statements, alleging that I am a liar, plagiarist, anti-Semite, racist, bigot, ignorant, etc. There are frequent denunciations of fabricated “straw man” accusations: that I have claimed that apartheid exists within Israel; that the system of apartheid in Palestine is based on racism; and that Jews control and manipulate the news media of America.
Actually, the Carter op-ed isn’t a surprise. It’s the lack of a counterbalance from Dershowitz or anyone else — not necessary under normal circumstances, but necessary because the Globe just got finished applauding Brandeis for insisting on a debate rather than a monologue.