Carter talked with reporters at a Pasadena, Calif., bookstore, Monday night during a brief session prior to signing his new book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid."
Pro-Israel supporters and scholars like the former Carter Center director have criticized the book, accusing Carter of anti-Semitism. Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, says Carter's claims constitute "an anti-Semitic canard." Foxman says the book projects myths such as Jewish control of media and universities as well as Congress.
Carter maintains lobbyists for Israel stifle debate about the Israeli-Palestinian situation. The Los Angeles Times said Carter emphasized his criticism relates to territories occupied after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. He says his use of the term "apartheid" is "completely appropriate."
The paper said small groups of protesters, both in support of and against Carter's message, gathered without incident outside the bookstore.
One of the first reviews appearing in Sunday's Washington Post called Carter's understanding of the conflict "anti-historical."