Jimmy Carter is due to be honored on Wednesday in New York by a student publication at Cardozo Law School, part of Yeshiva University, which has institutional Jewish ties. Opposition has now arisen to his appearance, with one fervent site calling itself “Shame on Cardozo” and alleging that Carter is a “defamer of Israel” and a supporter of Jew-haters.
Here is a statement from a Cardozo official standing by the international peace award (posted at the opposition site) and citing Carter’s broad record for human rights, including the Camp David accords:
The students have made this decision based on President Carter’s achievements, and we support their right to do so.
As usual in these cases, it is not clear how wide the opposition is. Here is a concerned statement from the Jewish Law Students Association of Cardozo, sent out by email yesterday:
This past week it was announced that Cardozo’s Journal of Conflict Resolution will be honoring former President Jimmy Carter at Cardozo on Wednesday, April 10th. Upon hearing this news numerous students and alumni expressed their concerns about honoring the former President because of his views on Israel. Some alumni calling themselves the “Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni” even launched a website to express their disappointment.In order to address these concerns JLSA will be organizing a town-hall style meeting, tomorrow April 8th (assuming we can get a room), which will be open to everyone. The floor will be open for people to express their opinions and hopefully give everyone an opportunity to be heard. We will send out another email tomorrow once we have confirmed.We would like to remind everyone that the Journal of Conflict Resolution has a right to honor whomever they choose and it is doubtful that they are honoring the former president for his political views on Israel. However, we do understand that some people may be disappointed by this choice because of these views.Hopefully everyone’s concerns can be addressed constructively, with due respect to the school and the Journal’s event organizers.
Here is an excerpt of a more extreme statement at the Shame on Cardozo site:
Jimmy Carter has an ignominious history of anti-Israel bigotry. He is responsible for helping to mainstream the antisemitic notion that Israel is an apartheid state with his provocatively titled book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”, the publication of which prompted mass resignations from the Carter Center. He has met numerous times with leaders of the terror group Hamas whitewashing their genocidal goals and undermining US efforts to isolate Hamas. And Carter’s record of slandering Israel is so voluminous that both CAMERA and Alan Dershowitz have written books refuting his lies.
While Carter may be credited for the role he played in the Camp David Accords as President of the United States and the resultant cold peace between Israel and Egypt that ensued, that event took place close to 30 years ago. Since the end of his presidency, Jimmy Carter has exhibited extreme antipathy towards Israel – and by extension the Jewish people – that places him firmly in the camp of the likes of Walt and Mearsheimer.
It is simply unconscionable for a Jewish affiliated school to honor someone who has played such a high profile role in demonizing the Jewish state.
We therefore urge you to condition any continued support of Cardozo, be it financial or otherwise, on the cancellation of this event.
Please also take 2 minutes out of your busy schedules to contact the Dean of Cardozo and President of Yeshiva University to express your outrage. Contact details are below…
Silence is complicity.
The Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni *
Carter’s great achievements of the last few years include getting the word “apartheid” in the American discourse, over the opposition of Wolf Blitzer and Terry Gross, and reporting from Gaza, after the onslaught, that people there are treated worse than animals. The Cardozo opposition is symptomatic of the poverty of the U.S. conversation on this issue, and of the fact that Carter was lately denied an appearance at the Democratic convention because his views on Israel and Palestine are seen as toxic to Jewish supporters. When all Carter has ever supported is a two-state solution, and the autonomy promised to Palestinians in the peace deal he brokered with Egypt in 1978, and in the UN Partition resolution of 1947, promises never fulfilled.
Thanks to Alex Kane.