Poor Jimmy. Even the comedians know he’s wrong.

Never mind Leno, though. You’re watching here for four separate lies in the span of two minutes.

Count ’em:

1. Hamas wants to trade Gilad Shalit for 300 Palestinian women and children? Alas, the truth is more nuanced:

The deal is intended to take place in three stages: In the first, Israel is expected to release about 400 prisoners, among them women, minors and prisoners suffering from health problems. A short while later, or parallel to the initial release, Shalit would be released to Israel.

In the second stage, following the release of Shalit, another large group of Palestinian prisoner would be released. In the third stage, another group of prisoners, considered “heavy duty” figures, would be freed. These include senior members of terrorist organizations, including individuals with “blood on their hands.”

At the top of Hamas’s list: Abbas Sayed, mastermind of the 2002 suicide bombing in Netanya that killed 29 people.

2. There hasn’t been a single day of negotiation between the two sides in six years? Well, there hasn’t been much. But there’s certainly been some.

3. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a “key issue” throughout the region, including in Iraq? This one isn’t a lie so much as a myth, but close enough. Lisa Beyer, writing today in Time, explodes it:

To promote the canard that the troubles of the Arab world are rooted in the Palestinians’ misfortune does great harm. It encourages the Arabs to continue to avoid addressing their colossal societal and political ills by hiding behind their Great Excuse: it’s all Israel’s fault. Certainly, Israel has at times been an obnoxious neighbor, but God help the Arab leaders, propagandists and apologists if a day ever comes when the Arab-Israeli mess is unraveled. One wonders how they would then explain why in Egypt 4 of every 10 people are illiterate; Saudi Arabian Shi’ites (not to mention women) are second-class citizens; 11% of Syrians live below subsistence level; and Jordan’s King can unilaterally dissolve Parliament, as he did in 2001. Or why no Middle Eastern government but Israel’s and to some extent Lebanon’s tolerates freedom of assembly or speech, or democratic institutions like a robust press or civic organizations with independence and clout–let alone unfettered competitive elections.

4. There’s no debate in America about Israeli “persecution” of Palestinians? Kind of hard to make that argument while sitting on the set of the Tonight Show plugging a book about “apartheid” in the territories, but he does. Rich Lowry takes him to task for his “creepy” reasoning:

Carter thinks he is providing an extraordinary public service. In an interview with Newsweek, Carter said he wants “to provoke discussion, which is very rarely heard in this country.” Carter must not have followed the news during Israel’s war with Lebanon this summer, when media outlets were replete with criticisms of the Jewish state. Carter-like calls for a rejuvenated peace process, meanwhile, are so common that they are a cliché…

Incredibly, given his media presence, Carter thinks that he is being silenced by shadowy forces. He makes this bizarre claim: “My most troubling experience has been the rejection of my offers to speak, for free, about the book on university campuses with high Jewish enrollment.” Does Carter keep track of which schools have lots of Jews? And who does he think is keeping him from speaking at them?

In fact, there’s plenty of debate. Carter’s side just happens to be losing, for reasons concisely explained in Michael Kinsley’s brief treatment of Jimbo’s “moronic new book.” You can’t scream about “apartheid” in Palestine when the rest of the region is Judenrein — or, rather, you can, but don’t wonder then when people end up questioning your priorities. And like Kinsley says: “If Israel is white South Africa and the Palestinians are supposed to be the blacks, where is their Mandela?”

Tags: Egypt Israel