Kenneth W. Stein: Professor Describes Carter 'Inaccuracies'

Historians in the News

Emory's top expert on the Arab-Israeli conflict outlined his criticisms of Jimmy Carter's new book on Monday, charging the former president with distorting the history of Arab-Israeli relations.

Professor Kenneth Stein, who resigned last week from his post at The Carter Center over the book, listed two "egregious and inexcusable errors" and several other inaccuracies in Carter's Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid.

Although Carter has insisted in several interviews that his book contains no factual errors, Stein said the president misrepresents the wording of key security council resolutions and negotiated documents, including the Camp David Accords, which Carter himself negotiated.

"History gives no refunds, no do overs," Stein said in his class on the Arab-Israeli conflict, where he presented his criticisms of the Carter book. "You have to take what is and build on it. You can't bend the [facts] to suit a need."

Stein, who worked closely with Carter in the 1980s, said the former president's first error concerns United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. Signed in November 1967, the agreement has been used as the basis for all subsequent Arab-Israeli negotiations.

In his book, Carter writes that the resolution says, "Israel must withdraw from occupied territories" it acquired by force during the Six-Day War in 1967 between Israel and Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

But the word "must" never appears in the actual U.N. resolution text.

Stein argued that each word in the resolution was carefully chosen and by inserting the word "must," Carter changed the implications of this key resolution....

comments powered by Disqus