Carter's Views on Middle East Prompt Resignations

President Jimmy Carter's latest book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, has prompted 14 members of a Carter Center community board to resign in protest.

Last month, a Carter Fellow and longtime Carter advisor also resigned over the book. It has raised criticism from Jewish groups and Democrats across the country.

Those who resigned say it's clear to them that the former president is blaming Israel for the Middle East conflict. The title of the book has been divisive. House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. John Conyers are among those who have spoken out against it.

In an interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the former president defended his use of the word "apartheid" in the title.

"I'm just referring to Palestine," Carter said, "which is the area outside of Israel, in the West Bank and Gaza, in which Israelis are practicing apartheid."

Members of the Carter Center Board of Counselors say they dispute the facts as Jimmy Carter presents them. And they contend it's wrong for Carter to enflame the public who will read his book.

After the resignations, the Carter Center thanked the members for their service and noted that those who resigned were not engaged in implementing the work of the Carter Center — nor were they part of the center's governing board.

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