Jimmy Carter, whose book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid did more to legitimize the Apartheid smear than anything published by the BDS movement, is now publicly opposed to boycotts against Israel, including boycotts limited to the West Bank.
Carter told the AP this week that he and “The Elders” – a group former world leaders that includes outspoken Israel critics such as Desmond Tutu, among others – had discussed BDS and decided against it. “We decided not to publicly endorse any kind of embargo, or so forth, against Israeli invasion, or occupying troops in Palestine,” Carter said.
The move represents a significant break with Carter’s previous rhetoric on Israel, especially since the publication of his book in 2006. After all, if he still believes that Israel is an apartheid state, why would he not support the same tactics of boycott and sanctions that brought down the apartheid regime in South Africa?
But Carter’s rejection of BDS should not be interpreted with a conversion to Zionism. In the same interview, Carter endorsed the policy of labeling products from the West Bank “so that the buyers can decide whether they want to buy them or not” and rejected the Israeli demand that the Palestinians reconize Israel as a Jewish state.
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