Thursday, December 07, 2006

Peace Not Apartheid: Plagiarism Not Accuracy?

Dr. Kenneth Stein is the William E. Schatten professor of contemporary Middle Eastern history, political science, and Israeli studies at Emory University, and the director of the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel and Middle East Research Program at Emory College. He once co-authored a book on the Middle East with former president Jimmy Carter. For the past 23 years he has been a fellow at Emory's Carter Center, and served as its first director (1983-1986). Carter guest-lectured for Stein's undergrad class at Emory each year. According to this blog post at, Stein was "in many ways was Carter's 'brain' on the Middle East for years."

In response to Carter's new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, Stein recently sent an email of resignation from the Carter Center. Stein complains that the book is

replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments. Aside from the one-sided nature of the book, meant to provoke, there are recollections cited from meetings where I was the third person in the room, and my notes of those meetings show little similarity to points claimed in the book. Being a former President does not give one a unique privilege to invent information or to unpack it with cuts, deftly slanted to provide a particular outlook. . . . Falsehoods, if repeated often enough become meta-truths, and they then can become the erroneous baseline for shaping and reinforcing attitudes and for policy-making. The history and interpretation of the Arab-Israeli conflict is already drowning in half-truths, suppositions, and self-serving myths; more are not necessary. In due course, I shall detail these points and reflect on their origins."