An historic class action suit has been filed against former President Jimmy Carter and the Simon & Schuster publishing company alleging that Carter’s book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, contained numerous false and knowingly misleading statements intended to promote the author’s agenda of anti-Israel propaganda and to deceive the reading public instead of presenting accurate information as advertised. The suit, captioned Unterberg et al. v. Jimmy Carter et .al (11 cv 0720), filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
The plaintiffs, who hope to have the case certified as a class action, are members of the reading public who purchased Carter’s book expecting that they were buying an accurate and factual record of historic events concerning Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. The lawsuit contends that Carter, who holds himself out as a Middle-East expert, and his publisher, intentionally presented untrue and inaccurate information and sought to capitalize on the author’s status as a former President to mislead unsuspecting members of the public. The complaint alleges that the defendants’ misrepresentations, all highly critical of Israel, violate New York consumer protection laws, specifically New York General Business Law section 349, which makes it unlawful to engage in deceptive acts in the course of conducting business. While acknowledging Carter’s right to publish his personal views, the plaintiffs assert that the defendants violated the law and, thus, harmed those who purchased the book.