The controversy surrounding the invitation of former U.S. president Jimmy Carter to be honored by one of the Yeshiva University affiliated Cardozo law school’s journals, is growing.
We should reiterated, as YU President Richard Joel, and Matthew Yaniv, the university’s director of media relations have been saying to anyone in the tri-state area who would listen, that “neither Cardozo nor YU are honoring Jimmy Carter. The student-run Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution invited him to receive the award.”
President Joel’s statement reads:
The student-run Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution has invited former United States President Jimmy Carter to receive its Advocate for Peace Award. President Carter’s invitation to Cardozo represents solely the initiative of this student journal, not of Yeshiva University or the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School. The university recognizes the breadth of impassioned feelings engendered by this appearance, and is mindful of the diversity of expressed opinions on the matter. Nevertheless, having the single most anti-Israeli president be honored as resolver of conflicts by the students of a Jewish school on the premises of said Jewish school is not being well accepted, to be polite.
The Jewish Press has received the following email that’s being sent out to school alumni:
Dear Cardozo Alumni and Friends of the School:
I want to thank you for the overwhelming outpouring of support of our campaign to cancel the honoring of Jimmy Carter at Cardozo.
We have been inundated with copies of emails sent to Dean Diller and President Joel and in the space of 48 hours we have received widespread media coverage including in Ha’aretz, Jewish Press, Jewish Forward, Times of Israel as well as many other news outlets.
Commenting on the controversy, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz stated that “I can’t imagine a worse person to honor for conflict resolution. Here’s a man who has engendered conflict wherever he goes. He has encouraged terrorism by Hamas and Hezbollah. He was partly responsible for Yasser Arafat turning down the Clinton-Barak peace offer.”
Dershowitz has even offered to fly down to New York on his own dime to debate Carter at Cardozo on Wednesday if Cardozo agrees.
While the Cardozo administration stubbornly digs its heels in, I’m including below a letter sent to the Board of Overseers of Cardozo law school in the hope that sanity prevails among those that are responsible for the oversight of the Cardozo administration.
If you have not done so already, I urge you to take 2 minutes to contact Dean Diller and President Joel. Every voice counts.
Again thank you for your support.
Gary Emmanuel ’04 on behalf of The Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni
The same coalition has also sent an “Open Letter to Board of Overseers of Cardozo Law School”:
Ladies and Gentlemen:
As esteemed members of the Board of Overseers of The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, we are writing to you on behalf of The Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni who are appalled to learn that President Jimmy Carter is scheduled to receive the International Advocate for Peace Award from the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution on Wednesday, April 10th. We beg your indulgence that you read this letter to the end.
One can only assume that by taking the time to serve on the Board, you take great pride in your affiliation with such a reputable institution and one whose mission is, in part, to “bring wisdom to life by combining the finest contemporary academic education with the timeless teachings of Torah.” While we all may interpret those words slightly differently, Jimmy Carter is anathema to the aspirations of the Jewish people and the survival of the State of Israel. Honoring him at a bedrock of the American Jewish community does not bring wisdom to life or combine a fine education with the teachings of Torah. Honoring Jimmy Carter makes the statement that, notwithstanding the empty claims by the administration that the Journal’s choice does not necessarily represent the views of the institution, this individual is someone deserving of recognition. Awarding this honor to someone with Carter’s anti-Israel record that includes whitewashing the genocidal aims of Hamas, mainstreaming the notion that Israel is a racist state, and validating a nuclear Iran is quite simply abhorrent.