If you watched the Democratic convention closely — very closely — you caught a brief glimpse of former President Jimmy Carter on stage, looking decidedly unhappy.
No surprise: Carter was snubbed deliberately by Obama Inc. Reports the Forward:
The sidelining of Carter was driven by recognition in the Obama camp and among Democratic leaders that giving the former president a prominent convention spot might alienate Jewish voters.
Carter, of course, had dared use the word “apartheid” is discussing Israel’s abysmal treatment of the Palestinians. Carter was gracious about the snub: “I didn’t want to intrude…. I didn’t need to get on the stage and make a speech.”
The Jewish Telegraph Agency reports:
Democrats were determined not to allow the former president to spoil their Denver party with talk of evenhanded policies in the Middle East. No mention, please, of “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” the book whose title set off a firestorm in the pro-Israel community.
Adds the Forward:
“What more could we do to diss Jimmy Carter?” said a Democratic official who was involved in deliberations on how to handle the former president’s presence at the convention. The treatment Carter received, the official added, “reflects the bare minimum that could be done for a former president.” …
“I think it’s hard to ask a political party to take a former president and say, ‘We’re not going to hear you at all,'” said Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council. “The party is very sensitive to the American Jewish community, and it’s very sensitive to ever conveying that this is anything but a pro-Israel party.”