FREAKquel: Jimmy Carter and Israeli “Apartheid”
I posted here yesterday about the controversy over Jimmy Carter’s new book Palestine Peace Not Apartheid. I thought about, but did not comment upon, the book’s title. Rendered as it is, without any punctuation, it is an odd title. My eye very much wants to put a colon after “Palestine” and/or a comma after “Peace.” But it is what it is, right?
Well, not necessarily. In the Wall Street Journal‘s list of best-selling books, published today and each Friday morning, the Carter book is listed as simply “Palestine.” This is strange. It struck me that there are a few possible explanations for this.
1. Maybe the Journal list simply got it right. That is, maybe “Palestine” is the book’s real title and “Peace Not Apartheid” is only the subtitle. (Like most best-seller lists, the Journal‘s does not include subtitles.) You can certainly get that idea by looking at the book’s cover — and note that Amazon.com has indeed inserted a colon after “Palestine,” as has BarnesandNoble.com. But the New York Times treats all four words as the title — and, most tellingly to my mind, so does the book’s publisher, Simon & Schuster. Which leads me to believe that S&S very much wanted the word “Apartheid” in the title and not just the subtitle. (This is to say nothing of the political implications of calling the book “Palestine,” of course, as opposed to “Israel” — but that is a different and larger kettle of fish.)
2. Maybe, I thought, the Journal list simply didn’t have space for the entire title — but it did have space for “Mr. and Mrs. Happy Handbook,” so that explanation doesn’t make sense.
3. Maybe, I thought, whoever compiled the list simply erred in omitting “Peace Not Apartheid.” If I could, I’d compare this week’s Journal list to past lists, but I can’t find the list online and I didn’t happen to snip last week’s list out of the paper.
4. Or maybe, I thought, someone at the Journal has an editorial objection to Carter’s use of the word “apartheid.” The Journal‘s editorial page is quite famously pro-Israel, and although the editorial page is not meant to represent the paper’s other sections (particularly, I would think, Personal Journal, where the book list appears), I wondered if perhaps an editorial view had indeed seeped into the makings of the book list.