Among the gems in last month’s much talked about Carter interview in Der Spiegel magazine was this:

“I don’t think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon.” Carter also said that there should be an exchange of prisoners — equating kidnapped Israeli soldiers with Palestinians who have shot Jewish parents in front of their children then crushed the children’s skulls against rocks. He further suggested an early ceasefire, saying that Hezbollah said it would comply and that he “hopes” Israel will comply — oblivious to the historical pattern that a Middle Eastern “ceasefire” has only ever meant that Israel ceases fire. But then, this is a man who recommends ignoring history:

SPIEGEL: Should there be an international peacekeeping force along the Lebanese-Israeli border?

Carter: Yes.

SPIEGEL: And can you imagine German soldiers taking part?

Carter: Yes, I can imagine Germans taking part.

SPIEGEL: … even with their history?

Carter: Yes. That would be certainly satisfactory to me personally, and I think most people believe that enough time has passed so that historical facts can be ignored.

So there you have it: the ever-present pattern of those who study history being those who are most eager to repeat it, as the following Carter quote from the interview demonstrates: “You can be certain in advance if you don’t negotiate, that your problem is going to continue and maybe even get worse.” Here he ignores the fact that negotiations throughout the 90s proved fruitless and got thousands of Palestinians and Israelis killed. Spiegel followed up:

“But negotiations failed to prevent the burning of Beirut and bombardment of Haifa.” To which Carter replied only, “I’m distressed.”

Then Carter — who once even blamed Israeli West Bank settlements for Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait — started in with the oft parroted criticism that the Bush administration hasn’t been an active enough mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, that it had “disengaged,” as is the favored term. Disengagement, of course, is code for not enabling terror against Israelis. Engagement was the peace process, which brought that region to Intifadah II.

“So WHAT!” scream the enlightened classes. “It’s always better to be engaged. Even if you’re screwing the whole thing up, the important thing is you’re involved. (Kind of like voting!) Another thousand dead? Well, it’s the thought that counts. The Clinton White House was the best friend Israel ever had. OK, so maybe it was in a Dr. Kevorkian sort of way, but still…”

Spiegel then moved on to Fidel Castro, observing, “Cuban exiles are partying already in the streets of Miami. You are probably not in the mood to join them.”

Carter: No, that’s true. Just because someone is ill, I don’t think there should be a celebration of potential death.

Really? That must mean celebrations are called for only after someone dies, since celebrating is what Carter’s Palestinians were doing on September 11, 2001 — as were other Muslims in whose employ this former American president is while he pens monthly anti-Israel editorials for major publications.

So now here’s the twist. The frustrated, talentless poet Jimmy Carter has had a lifelong lust for folk singer Bob Dylan, whose lyrical musings always appealed to the hippie dippie leftist crowd. In fact, when Carter was a member of the Georgia state legislature, he and the other Democrats would sit around reading and discussing poetry and Bob Dylan songs. Having recently read two Carter books — one flatteringly written by his 1976 campaign speech writer Patrick Anderson (Electing Jimmy Carter) and the other an unflattering portrayal titled The Real Jimmy Carter — I know of Carter’s repeated efforts to get Dylan to perform or at least show up at Carter events and campaign stops and major political bashes. Every time, Dylan was either too busy or traveling, or made sure that he was. Diss!

Some interviewer should ask Carter whether he’s aware that Bob Dylan is a Jew. Even worse, he’s a Jew who doesn’t hate Israel. In fact, he’s the Jew who wrote the song “Neighborhood Bully” in 1983:

Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man,
His enemies say he’s on their land.
They got him outnumbered about a million to one,
He got no place to escape to, no place to run.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive,
He’s criticized and condemned for being alive.
He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin,
He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land,
He’s wandered the earth an exiled man.
Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn,
He’s always on trial for just being born.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized,
Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad.
The bombs were meant for him.
He was supposed to feel bad.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him,
‘Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

He got no allies to really speak of.
What he gets he must pay for, he don’t get it out of love.
He buys obsolete weapons and he won’t be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace,
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease.
Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly.
To hurt one they would weep.
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon,
No contract he signed was worth what it was written on.
He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth,
Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

What’s anybody indebted to him for?
Nothin’, they say.
He just likes to cause war.
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed,
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed.
He’s the neighborhood bully.

“Dylan was never genuinely political,” writes Ronald Radosh. “His left-wing friends in the Minnesota folk crowd tried to interest him in the events of the day…But still Dylan, as [biographer Howard] Sounes writes, ‘remained steadfastly, frustratingly apolitical.’ He refused to write pro-Castro songs…When many lent their names and their talents to anti-Vietnam advertisements and rallies, Dylan was not among them.”

I’d bet money that his Number One Fan Jimmy Carter makes Dylan’s stomach turn.