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Carter and Middle East

April 08, 1988

View recently featured a front-page interview with Billy Carter, expounding on a variety of topics ranging from his alcoholism to Jesse Jackson to recent events in the Middle East ("Billy Carter Is Back" by Bob Sipchen, March 7).

Carter was a lot better off when he was the court jester during his brother's Administration. Neither his intellect nor his grasp of history has improved over the past decade. He clearly ought to avoid serious topics.

He opined that the Marines ought to be marching into Israel because of the uprisings on the West Bank and Gaza. But, "because it's Israel, it's all right. . . ." He also suggested that the Palestinians have been in the Middle East "40,000 years. . . , " suggesting that the Jews are latecomers.

I'm not sure what version of history Billy Carter reads. The Jews' connection with the Holy Land is a deep, historic and amply documented one. Fortunately, Billy Carter's cavalier remarks are insignificant when set against the historic record.

Nearly everyone--no matter their political attitude vis-a-vis the parties in the Middle East--understands that it is a very complex and trying situation that Israel confronts. Carter's prescription of "sending in the Marines" is not on anybody's list of remedies.

DAVID A. LEHRER

Regional Director

Anti-Defamation League

of B'nai B'rith

Los Angeles

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