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Book: Carter Told Yasser Arafat How to Gain ‘maximum Sympathy’

April 7, 1998
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

President Carter advised Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat how to reshape his image to win world sympathy for Palestinians, according to an upcoming book.

Douglas Brinkley, a professor of history at the University of New Orleans, says in his book,”The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter’s Journey Beyond the White House,” that Arafat agreed to distance himself from radical elements in the Palestine Liberation Organization and that Carter advised him to tell the world of the Palestinians’ situation in speeches designed “to secure maximum sympathy.”

According to the book, Carter even advised Arafat on how to describe the intifada, or 1987-1993 Palestinian uprising.

Brinkley said Carter told him, referring to the civil rights injustices that occurred in the southern United States in the 1960s, that “the intifada exposed the injustice Palestinians suffered, just like Bull Connor’s mad dogs in Birmingham.”

Brinkley also said he was given access to Carter’s papers in researching the book.

A spokeswoman for Carter said a newspaper report published from page proofs of the book “grossly overstated” the relationship between the two men.

The book is scheduled to be published in May by Viking.

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