Wednesday afternoon, April 10, a journal from Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of law will be presenting former President Jimmy Carter with an award, honoring him for his “human rights record.” The Jewish Press has covered developments concerning this award and responses to it, extensively.
In addition to the many alumni and concerned individuals who spoke out against the Carter Cardozo Award, four of the largest American Jewish organizations have weighed in over the last 24 hours, all expressing their disgust 0ver the decision of a Jewish-affiliated school to give kavod (honor) to someone like Jimmy Carter.
On Tuesday, April 9, two organizations called on Cardozo to rescind the Carter honor. The Zionist Organization of America issued a statement, describing Carter as having a “repellant, decades-long record as an Israel-basher and promoter of Israel’s most vicious enemies, including Hamas.”
The National Council of Young Israel also issued a statement calling on Cardozo to rescind the invitation to Carter. Farley Weiss, the president of the NCYI, wrote, “Mr. Carter’s well-known animus and bias towards the State of Israel has earned him widespread condemnation from Jews and non-Jews alike, and he certainly does not deserve to have any honor bestowed upon by him by an entity that has ties to the Jewish community and the Jewish State.”
On Wednesday, April 10, the day of the award ceremony, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League each publicly criticized Yeshiva University’s law school for choosing to honor and provide a platform to someone with such a well-documented anti-Israel history.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, said the Cardozo law students had not exercised “due diligence” before choosing Jimmy Carter as an honoree.
“Had they done so,’ he told the Algemeiner, “they would have discovered that Mr Carter has never resolved his conflict with the Jewish state. His serial bias against Israel is well-documented. That alone should have led tomorrow’s lawyers, whatever their ethnicity or religion, to conclude that President Carter should not receive such an honor.”
The ADL’s Foxman slammed the students, saying, “The students were wrong – they are entitled to be wrong and inappropriate and we are entitled to say that honoring former President Carter is wrong, especially for a Jewish institution…and indeed for any institution.”
In response to Cardozo’s refusal to revoke the award and ceremony for Jimmy Carter, the Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni issued the following statement:
It is shameful that President Richard Joel of Yeshiva University and Dean Matthew Diller of the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School are not prepared to take a moral stand and rescind the invite to honor Jimmy Carter made by the Cardozo Journal for Conflict Resolution. By providing moral cover for those who would eradicate Israel and who despise America for her democratic values President Carter has caused irreparable harm to Israelis, Jews across the world and democracies across the globe. Cardozo has now provided a similar fig-leaf to President Carter and that is a terrible shame.
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.
It is disingenuous of the Cardozo administration to justify its decision to allow the event to go ahead in the name of “academic freedom”. If a student journal at Cardozo were to invite David Duke to bestow an honor upon him, rest assured that Cardozo administration would not have remained aloof on the matter. By honoring Carter at a bedrock of the American Jewish community, Cardozo administration not only betrays the values of honesty, integrity and truth but it betrays its community of supporters who rightfully view Jimmy Carter as anathema to the aspirations of the Jewish people and the survival of the State of Israel.
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.
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.
I am a proud graduate of the Cardozo School of Law, and I support the right of the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution to bestow the International Advocate for Peace Award upon former US president Jimmy Carter. And I do not agree with the so-called “Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni” who asked Cardozo Alumni to “to condition any continued support of Cardozo, be it financial or otherwise, on the cancellation of this event” (although I respect their efforts).
From the outset, a clarification is needed: the law school, as such, is not granting Carter the peace prize. Nor is the administration. Rather, it is the the Journal of Conflict Resolution — a student publication with a long history of honoring problematic public figures. This is a very important distinction: there are a lot of student-run journals (think of it as a type of club) on the Cardozo campus, and they enjoy the autonomy to run events such as this one.
When I was at the law school, the very same journal awarded Desmond Tutu the very same prize. Back then, there was this nice girl named Melissa, and she had formed the first pro-Israel club in the 25 years of Cardozo history. It was called CHAI: Cardozo Heightening Awareness for Israel – and she asked me to be the Vice-President of the club.
Soon after, Tutu, the Holocaust denier was about to show up on campus. Melissa and I put up posters all over campus with Tutu’s quotes. In 1988 he alleged that Zionism had “very many parallels with racism”, and regarding the Holocaust he said: “But who pays the penance? The penance is being paid by the Arabs, by the Palestinians. I once met a German ambassador who said Germany is guilty of two wrongs. One was what they did to the Jews. And now the suffering of the Palestinians.” And, of course, who can forget his lamenting of “the Jewish monopoly of the Holocaust” and his classic anti-Semitic fear-mongering: “the Jewish lobby is powerful – very powerful,”
We tried to shut down the event, but were rejected on the ground of academic freedom. Melissa and I then asked the administration for the right to organize a protest on campus. Our beloved Dean David Rudenstine told us that we may protest, but only outside the building.
I said to him: “Dean, Yeshiva University and Cardozo Law are private schools. They were established by the Jewish people so that our children would no longer be kept out of higher education. Now an anti-Semite is coming to our private school, established by our people precisely because of people like him — and I am the one who is going to be kicked out of the building?”
Dean Rudenstine relented. We had an amazing protest in the lobby of the law school, with placards detailing Tutu’s opinions. As Tutu walked by he was booed by many students who had joined CHAI’s loud and proud protest. Tutu had egg on his face, and I am not certain that the prize he received from the Journal of Conflict Resolution was worth the embarrassment for him. He certainly did not look happy.
Now Jimmy Carter is about to get that prize, and he is, indeed, a manipulative, long time anti-Israel agitator. In my class on Conflict Resolution at Cardozo, I read about how Carter bullied Prime Minister Begin at Camp David to give up on Israel’s vital security needs. Like Tutu, Carter equates Israel’s policies to the South Africa’s Apartheid regime, conveniently forgetting that Israel is actually the country most under threat of annihilation by the real racists of the Jihad. Carter also fails to mention that Israel is the shining star of freedom in the whole Middle-East and, instead, he embraces Hamas. In short, Jimmy Carter is to be reviled by lovers of Israel and lovers of freedom and peace of worldwide, and it is shocking that he should be honored by anyone claiming to be a Journal of Conflict Resolution at Cardozo.
Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law is scheduled to present former U.S. president Jimmy Carter with the “International Advocate for Peace” Award this Wednesday, April 10.
Since leaving the presidency, former president Carter has been present in many places around the globe where tremendous conflict has taken – and continues to take – place. With respect to the conflicts foremost in the minds of pro-Israel Jews and other Zionists, the role Carter has played has been wildly unpopular.
The award is being presented by the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution. The law school administration has insisted – through a statement issued by a public relations firm – it was a choice made by the students. Sources have suggested the opposite is the case.
In what appeared to be an effort to distance themselves from the award and the event, at least to those complaining, some concerned individuals were told “on good assurance” that neither Cardozo’s Dean Diller nor YU’s President Joel would be present at the award ceremony, and that they were completely uninvolved.
As a letter obtained by The Jewish Press that was sent by Dean Diller to certain “high roller” alumni inviting them to the event made clear, however, Diller plans to be front and center at the event.
“Today, I am particularly pleased and honored to invite you,” wrote Dean Diller, “to a very special afternoon with President Jimmy Carter on April 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm.” Diller closed the letter by telling the big givers he hoped they would “plan to join me in welcoming the 39th President of the United States to the law school.”
The Jewish Press sent repeated queries to find out why and how Cardozo, of all law schools – it is the only one connected to an officially Jewish institution – chose to honor Jimmy Carter.
The Cardozo statement explained that Jimmy Carter was being honored specifically for his “lifetime of work, from the historic Camp David Peace Accord between Israel and Egypt, to monitoring some 90 elections around the world and supporting fledgling democracies to resolve conflicts without violence.”
When he found out about the award, Cardozo alumnus Gary Emmanuel decided to act. He gathered other alumni and concerned individuals to form the group “The Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni.” When they looked at Carter’s “lifetime of work,” they saw something very different from what was expressed in Cardozo’s official statement. The CCCA also created a website, Shame On Cardozo for Honoring Jimmy Carter, on which Carter is described as having a 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.
The Shame on Cardozo website links to a litany of Carter’s anti-Israel activities, including his stating on national television in 2006 that Hamas had observed an 18-month truce – not true – and in 2007 using a faked Nelson Mandela letter to “prove” Israel is an Apartheid state.
Perhaps most troublesome is that just over a year ago Jimmy Carter said in an interview with Time magazine that he didn’t think it was such a big deal if Iran gets a nuclear weapon. Here’s the full quote, with no characterizations:
Well, of course, the religious leaders of Iran have sworn on their word of honor that they’re not going to manufacture nuclear weapons. If they are lying, then I don’t see that as a major catastrophe because they’ll only have one or two military weapons. Israel probably has 300 or so.
In the four days since Carter’s Cardozo award became public, on April 4, emails and Twitter blasts have been ricocheting around the Internet. Most have been highly critical of the pending honor. In addition, alumni and others interested have sent letters of protest to Richard Joel, the President of Yeshiva University, and to Matthew Diller, the Dean of Cardozo School of Law.
When the Iranian student revolutionaries took American hostages in 1979, U.S. President Jimmy Carter chose a path consistent with his character, but inconsistent with the American character. He tried desperately, again and again, to prove to the Islamist revolutionaries and their ruling Mullahs that the big bad United States would not be a bully or resort to violence to enforce its views or to protect its assets, even when those assets are American citizens. His strategy failed.
That strategy is still a failure. And, by all accounts, our current president is hell-bent on employing it whenever he can.
In a book that shows clearly the parallels between the dilemma posed to America by Iran during Carter’s regime and the one Iran presents to our current president, To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the “Arab Spring,” Ruthie Blum brings the not-so-distant-history alive.
Blum’s book is a must read for those who lived through and remember that first Iranian assault on American leadership. But it’s also for those too young to remember that episode – and really, it’s for everyone now living through the current Iranians’ attack on America’s role as leader of the free world and bulwark against the unfree world. In both cases the Iranians have played America for a fool, and in both cases they had a U.S. leader who willingly, maybe even eagerly, took on that role.
For those old enough to remember, in 1979, when Jimmy Carter was president, he was furiously engaged in an effort to persuade the Islamists in Iran that the United States harbored only “genuine good will” towards them. What he most sought from them was “dialogue,” not disagreements. His timidity encouraged rather than discouraged those who sought to overthrow America’s long-time ally, the Shah of Iran. Instead of reaching out to meet U.S. overtures, Ayatollah Khomeini and his followers refused to meet, let alone negotiate, with Carter’s emissaries.
Blum’s clear writing, coupled with her ability to convey the real drama of the historical events she describes, allow the reader to place the complicated series of diplomatic falters, Iranian acts of aggression and the parading of blind-folded Americans for more than a year, in a comprehensible context.
Blum then juxtaposes America-Under-Carter’s response, to that of the Obama administration’s fawning over the Arab Spring and reluctance to meddle in the efforts of today’s revolutionaries across the Arab Middle East – other than to hand millions of dollars to Islamists organizing these nationwide riots that our President seems to think are events of national liberation. Blum’s book is essential reading for those who want to understand why, this time around, we should have known better.
Blum’s book shows that what look to some uninformed Westerners, including the president of the United States, like progressive, democratic impulses, have turned out instead to be determined flights backwards to the Middle Ages.
Tunisian pushcart merchant Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-incineration as the spark for the greatest upheaval in the Middle East in modern times is laid out in Blum’s book. She illuminates the path from Tunisia to Libya, to Yemen and Bahrain and, where it remains hovering, over Syria and, possibly, hopefully, back toIran.
After reviewing Carter’s misguided and disastrous Middle East strategy, it is painful to then read how closely our current administration’s strategy tracks the Carter debacle in its mindset and its failures.
Blum reveals the perfect consistency between Carter’s craven posture before Ayatollah Khomeini and Obama’s whiplash-like series of always-off-kilter responses to the Arab Spring: his cutting ties with former ally Tunisian president Ben Ali, his refusal to do more than mouth platitudes to support the outraged Iranian citizenry when their election was stolen by the tyrannical Ahmadinejad, his delivering a swift kick out the door to our former close ally Egyptian President Hosnai Mubarak. And so on.
The admonition from Kohelet Rabbah 7:16: “Those who are kind to the cruel end up being cruel to the kind” is perfectly illustrated by the misguided efforts of two recent American leaders who thought they could convince truly evil adversaries to refrain from doing evil if only the powerful America would treat them more nicely.
Although To Hell in a Handbasket is very consciously launched during this election season, it would be a shame for it to be relegated to merely a momentary flash in the literary pan. At fewer than 200 pages and written from hard historical sources that might otherwise seem dry to an average reader, Blum’s book moves like a novel. It will be an invaluable addition to any college or sophisticated high school student’s library as a tool for understanding America’s place in the geo-political moment.
According to YNet, former US President Jimmy Carter, in a visit to Jerusalem on Monday said that the prospects for peace are “vanishing” and that a Palestinian state has become “unviable”.
Carter was upset that east Jerusalem has become more isolated from the “West Bank”.
Carter blamed Netanyahu for not doing enough, and of course his favorite target, the Settlements.
I could write a 300-page book on how the Obama Administration’s Middle East policy has damaged Israel. I could write an 800-page book about how the Obama Administration’s Middle East policy has damaged U.S. interests. But why bother?
This is all you need to know:
The U.S. government asked its good buddy Egyptian President al-Mursi to inspect an Iranian ship suspected of carrying arms to Syria while it passed through the Suez Canal. Remember that to do so is arguably in Egypt’s own interest since Cairo is supporting the rebels while Tehran backs the regime. But it is also possible that the U.S. government blundered, or was badly timed, since international agreements dictate that Egypt is not supposed to inspect ships in the Canal itself.
The Egyptian government despite three decades of massive U.S. aid, licensing to produce advanced American tanks and other equipment, strategic backing, and an invitation to Washington to meet Obama—refused. Indeed, al-Mursi headed for Tehran to attend a “non-aligned” conference.
Does this mean Egypt is going to ally with Iran? No, Egypt will fight Iran for influence tooth and nail. The two countries will kill the others’ surrogates. But it means al-Mursi feels no friendlier toward America than he does toward Iran. And Cairo will not lift a finger to help Washington against Tehran unless by doing so the Egyptian Brotherhood advances its own cause of putting more Sunni Islamists (anti-Americans, of course) into power.And right now that means Syria. Indeed, at the Tehran meeting al-Mursi called for the overthrow of the Syrian regime while the Iranian media mistranslated that as a statement of support for Syria’s government. (Wow, that will make the Egyptians mad!)
In other words, under Jimmy Carter’s watch we got Islamist Iran—and, yes, things could have turned out very differently—and under Obama’s watch—and, yes, things could have turned out very differently— we got Islamist Egypt.
Egypt, the Arab world’s most important single country, has been turned from an ally of America against the Iranian threat into, at best, a neutral between Washington and Tehran that will do nothing to help America.
Egypt, the Arab world’s most important single country, has been turned from an ally of America—albeit an imperfect one of course—in maintaining and trying to extend Arab-Israeli peace into a leading advocate of expanding the conflict and even potentially going to war.
Egypt, the Arab world’s most important single country, has been turned from an ally of America in fighting international terrorism into an ally of most international terrorist groups except those that occasionally target Egypt itself.
But here’s one for the 600 rabbis who front for Obama: The destruction of the Egyptian natural gas pipeline and deal, as a result of the instability and revolution that the U.S. government helped promote, has done as much economic damage to Israel as all the Arab and Islamic sabotage, boycotts and Western sanctions or disinvestments in its history.
But wait there’s more, lot’s more.
After meeting Egypt’s new president, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said, “I was convinced that President Mursi is his own man,” adding that the new president is committed to democratic reforms and to representing all Egyptians.
Question: How does Panetta know this?
Answer: This is what Mursi told him.
Of course, by endorsing Mursi before he does anything, the U.S. government puts its seal of approval on the Muslim Brotherhood regime. Shouldn’t it have to do something to prove itself before Obama gives up all that leverage? What next? Perhaps Mursi will get the Nobel Peace Prize after a couple of months in office.
Note the phrase “his own man.” What does that mean? Why that Mursi won’t follow the Brotherhood’s orders. He will even stand up against it, presumably to be more moderate, right? There is no reason to believe that this is true.
Panetta added: “They agreed that they would cooperate in every way possible to ensure that extremists like al Qaeda are dealt with.” Of course, they are more likely to cooperate against al-Qaeda, a group they don’t like. But will they cooperate against Egyptian Salafist terrorists, Hamas, and lots of other terrorists? Of course not.
Indeed, at the precise moment Panetta was meeting Mursi, the new president was releasing Islamist terrorists from Egyptian prisons. These include terrorists from Islamic Jihad which is part of the al-Qaeda coalition! How do you square that one, Secretary Panetta?
And finally, Mursi pointed out to Panetta that his own son was born in California, when the future Egyptian president was studying there. His son, Mursi pointed out, could be the president of the United States one day.
I’ll let you, dear readers, pick up on that previous paragraph.
Of course, the Obama Administration can claim one success in Egypt: the regime pulled its forces out of eastern Sinai in accord with the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. The problem is that it has been reported in the Egyptian media—a good source though not confirmed—that the regime made a deal with the al-Qaida terrorists who attacked Israel. If they promised to stop fighting (for how long?) the Egyptian government would release all of their gunmen.
Meanwhile the most important (formerly) pro-Islamist moderate intellectual in the Arabic-speaking world has defected, an event of monumental importance that is being ignored in the West. The Egyptian sociologist Saad ed-Din Ibrahim hated the Mubarak regime so much that he joined with the Islamists as allies and insisted that they were really moderate.
Now here’s an interview he just gave (view this clip on MEMRITV) spoke as follows:
Interviewer: “You indicated that the Muslim Brotherhood are hijacking the country, not merely the top political posts. Is the Muslim Brotherhood indeed about to hijack the country?”
Ibrahim: “Well, this is how it seems to me, as well as to other observers, some of whom are more knowledgeable than me about the Brotherhood,” long-time members, who have now helped him understand the Brotherhood’s “desire to hijack everything and to control everything.”
I assume Ibrahim is referring to relative moderates in the Brotherhood–and some of these individuals have also spoken publicly–who have either quit the Brotherhood in disgust or been expelled.
I suggest Ibrahim and these people, not to mention the liberals packing their bags and the Christians piling up sandbags, know better than Panetta.