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Dershowitz: I Challenge Carter to Human Rights Debate at Cardozo

I will come, at my own expense, to debate Jimmy Carter on Carter's own human rights record. If Cardozo will have me, I will come and provide the students, the administration and anyone else that is interested, with a first rate debate about the meaning of human rights and they can decide whether what Jimmy Carter has done, constitutes human rights or human wrongs.

alan and jimmy

Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter professor of law at Harvard Law School, has challenged former president Jimmy Carter to a debate on his human rights record.

Dershowitz spoke by telephone to a reporter with The Jewish Press, on Monday, April 8, in response to the news that the Cardozo School of Law’s Journal of Conflict Resolution will be honoring Carter with the “International Advocate for Peace” Award this Wednesday, April 10, as reported that morning.

During the course of the interview, the law professor recounted the widespread death and devastation caused by Carter’s efforts at “human rights.”

“What should be discussed is not Jimmy Carter’s role as a peacemaker, but instead it should be his role as a deal breaker,” said Dershowitz.  He then proceeded to tick off the bases for his reasoning.

“First, it was Carter who advised Yassir Arafat not to accept the peace deal offered in 2000-01.  That failure led to the deaths of more than 4000 Israelis and Arabs.”

“Secondly, by encouraging and supporting Hamas, and always placing the blame on Israel, Carter has guaranteed the continuation of terrorism.”  Indeed, “Carter has embraced Arafat, he’s embraced Mashaal, why, he’s never met a terrorist he didn’t love, and never met an Israeli whom he did.”

“And third,” the professor said, “it was Carter who was responsible for not acting to prevent the death of two million Cambodians at the hands of Pol Pot.  Carter was the president of the United States and yet he did not intervene in that slaughter, he did not lead and prod the United Nations to take action.”

Dershowitz paused, to sum up, “Carter has prevented peace, encouraged terrorism and done more than anyone else to isolate and demonize the Middle East’s only democracy, Israel.”

But Dershowitz wasn’t finished.

“Jimmy Carter has distorted the very meaning of human rights, he has turned the concept on its head, what he does should be called ‘human lefts.’”

What does that mean?

“The way human rights should be addressed is based on ‘worst, first,’ you deal with the most egregious wrongs, the worst kind of abuses committed by governments first,” Dershowitz explained.  “He’s turned everything upside down.  Instead of Israel, just look over a little to the south, “Saudi Arabia is the worst human rights violator in the world: sex segregation, gender preference discrimination, religious discrimination,” that’s where a real human rights activist would focus, said the law professor.

“But Jimmy Carter was bought and paid for by the Saudis.  The Carter Center stopped criticizing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia when the Saudis started funding it.”

So what should be the plan of action with respect to the Cardozo award?

Dershowitz started out by suggesting that when Carter comes to Cardozo, leaflets should be distributed to everyone, including the former president, detailing Carter’s human rights records.  But his thoughts continued to develop as he spoke further about the many “failures Carter has orchestrated.”

Turning again to talk about Yassir Arafat, Dershowitz, more slowly this time, explained how Arafat had gone to seek advice from Jimmy Carter, in the run up to Camp David.  “And Jimmy Carter advised Arafat not to accept the peace accord.”

“We’d be celebrating 10 years of peace already had Carter not given that disastrous advice to Arafat.  Jimmy Carter is primarily responsible – along with Arafat – for the deaths since that time.”

“What’s more,” Dershowitz continued, “Jimmy Carter has not only sown death and destruction by inserting himself in global conflicts, his actions themselves are illegal.” Dershowitz was referring to the Logan Act, passed in 1799 in the wake of the XYZ Affair, which made it a crime for private citizens to conduct foreign policy.

Finally, Dershowitz settled upon the best course of action.

Dershowitz said:

I will come, at my own expense, to debate Jimmy Carter on Carter’s own human rights record.  If Cardozo will have me, I will come and provide the students, the administration and anyone else that is interested, with a first rate debate about the meaning of human rights and they can decide whether what Jimmy Carter has done, constitutes human rights or human wrongs.

So, Dean Diller, other administration and faculty, and students on the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution: here is your opportunity to resolve this particular conflict.  Jimmy Carter, by all means! come to Cardozo and talk about human rights, but be prepared to have a full discussion, a debate even, with Alan Dershowitz on the topic.

No doubt Yeshiva University, which today issued a statement about the controversial decision, will support the offer made by Dershowitz.

Richard Joel, president of Yeshiva University, under the auspices of which Cardozo operates, took pains to distance himself as well as the school from Jimmy Carter’s history of “statements and actions in recent years which have mischaracterized the Middle East conflict and have served to alienate those of us who care about Israel.”

But Joel concluded by emphasizing how seriously YU takes its obligation “to thrive as a free marketplace of ideas, while remaining committed to its unique mission as a proud Jewish university.”

So, on Wednesday, at Cardozo, what shall it be?  Shall we have a true marketplace of ideas, or will only a single stall be open?

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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24 Responses to “Dershowitz: I Challenge Carter to Human Rights Debate at Cardozo”

  1. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Why would Carter debate Dershowitz? He has now found "legitimacy" in his vitriolic Jew hatred thanks to YU. He knows debating Dershowitz would force him out of the gestapo closet, a conclusion he dreads.

    YU is quickly regressing to being a redo of the Jews of Berlin 1939, who exalted the Nazis thinking they were above the persecution and genocide facing the 'common Jew'.

  2. Marsha Roth says:

    My thanks to : Lori Lowenthal Marcus! Your articles are well written, report Truth and I am an admirer of your writing! Jimmy Carter's use of words like Apartheid and Israeli Colonization are incorrect and creates more conflict. His views on Israeli borders clearly puts Israel at high risk. Why anyone would listen to Jimmy Carter or honor him in any way is beyond me. The man is an embarrassment to the United States. A do nothing President who should have never been in the White House in the first place. Please. Ms. Marcus, continue your reporting and opinions. Thank you!

  3. Marsha Roth says:

    My thanks to : Lori Lowenthal Marcus! Your articles are well written, report Truth and I am an admirer of your writing! Jimmy Carter's use of words like Apartheid and Israeli Colonization are incorrect and creates more conflict. His views on Israeli borders clearly puts Israel at high risk. Why anyone would listen to Jimmy Carter or honor him in any way is beyond me. The man is an embarrassment to the United States. A do nothing President who should have never been in the White House in the first place. Please. Ms. Marcus, continue your reporting and opinions. Thank you!

  4. It's time for YU/Cardozo alumni to rally and say not one penny more if they insist on going through with this insanity.

  5. applause applause ms Marcus for your excellent articles. thank you.

  6. Thank you Professor Dershowitz. You are factual and are displaying the courage that so many of our Jewish leaders lack. Lest we forget…Carter called Israel an "Apartheid State"….and to President Joel…."Distancing yourself"..again? What are you doing re: psychiatric evaluations of Rabbinical Students to prevent abuse? Where is your mission statement? So disappointing!

  7. How about instead of labeling Carter Anti-Semite just dig some water wells in Occupied Territories? Are'nt those people Semites also?

  8. The problem here is not that wretched anti-Semite Jimmy Carter but those Jewish liberals who bend over backwards not only to appease the Jimmy Carters of the world but to give them platforms to spew their venom and brainwash the young and foolish.

  9. Erik Moses says:

    Why isn't there any jewish organization that will start a law suit against that old skeleton called Jimmy Carter for incitement to hatred and antisemitism. The sheer fact that he embraces the Hamas organization means that he promotes anti Israel sentiments. The guy is a real shmatte and only deserves our contempt.

  10. Gil Gilman says:

    This is more like it ;-) His parading around about women's issues is a mere mask for his more egregious blindness on other issues, this included.

  11. Edward Lobel says:

    This should prove to be a very interesting debate. I personally agree with professor Dershowitz.

    I would also like to see Professor Dershowitz respond to the jr senator from texas and demand that he release the names of the Harvard Law School Professors who he claims are communists.

  12. Gil Gilman says:

    This is more like it ;-) Carter's parading around about women's issues is a mere mask for his more egregious blindness on other issues, this included.

  13. Edward Lobel says:

    Arie you are still an idiot but know you are showing how crude and obscene you are.

  14. Edward Lobel says:

    Marsh Roth, while I agree with some of the things you say and disagree with others, could you PLEASE instruct Arie on how to respond to things so that his anger, crudeness and rudeness do not belittle the things he is trying to say.

  15. Ethan Perks says:

    Carter doesn't have the sand to debate a real opponent. His kind never does.

  16. Ethan Perks says:

    Carter doesn't have the sand to debate a real opponent. His kind never does.

  17. Scott Moore says:

    I suppose it's very PC for a Law School that is part of Yeshiva University to award its International Advocate for Peace award to someone who has done more to advocate terrorism than peace. That way, no one can accuse YU of trying to stifle free speech within their Cardozo School of Law's Journal of Conflict Resolution.

    Or perhaps the JCR wants to create more conflict because they have run out of things to write about. "What to do… what to do… I know! Let's award the Advocate for Peace to an advocate for terrorism. That should stir things up a bit."

    And YU… you silly people… don't tell me you have no say in what the JCR does. Those folks are going to get you in trouble with your alumni and your big donors. Just sayin'.

  18. Carter was terribly wrong to advise Aarafat to refuse Israel's most generous peace offering. It will never happen again. Jerusalem will never be divided. I cannot understand how Carter became President. I just knew he was much too ignorant about foreign policy especially that of the Middle East to succeed in helping to establish peace between Israel and the Palestinians. He should have stuck to growing peanuts.

  19. Dawn Yonah says:

    It's outrageous, but not surprising…. :(

  20. George Yanko says:

    Do remember that also Arafat had a peace offer that Ehud Barak rejected.
    Arafats offer was also in consensus with international law and the international community as well as the other arab nations.
    By Dershowitz logic, since Barak rejected it, he is responsible for the deaths since then, and all his advisers who told him not to accept it…

  21. George Yanko says:

    "Colonialism is the establishment, exploitation, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. Colonialism is a set of unequal relationships between the metropole and the colony and between the colonists and the indigenous population" Is his words of colonization really incorrect to describe what Israel is doing in the West Bank?

  22. It is not Cardozo law school, it is BOZO law school. I woudnt hire the graduates of this school to actually practice law, but perhaps they could bag groceries.

  23. Mark Ross says:

    I too am appalled at my alma mater honoring Former President Carter. I doubt very much that either Cardozo or Carter will accept Dershowitz's challenge even though a Law school of Cardozo's standing should encourage free and open academic debate of all issues. And we know that those who are unwilling to debate do so because they understand the weakness of their position. It is the cowards way out.

  24. Mark Ross says:

    I too am appalled at my alma mater honoring Former President Carter. I doubt very much that either Cardozo or Carter will accept Dershowitz's challenge even though a Law school of Cardozo's standing should encourage free and open academic debate of all issues. And we know that those who are unwilling to debate do so because they understand the weakness of their position. It is the cowards way out.

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