Monday, April 08, 2013

A Controversial Advocate

April 8, 2013

Pro-Israel activists have launched a campaign to prevent a Jewish university from presenting anti-Israel former President Jimmy Carter with the school’s “International Advocate for Peace Award.”

Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law is scheduled to present Carter with the award on Wednesday, leading former alumni and pro-Israel advocates to galvanize in opposition to what they say is the former president’s anti-Israel views.

“I can’t imagine a worse candidate for any kind of a human rights award,” Harvard law professor and pro-Israel author Alan Dershowitz told theWashington Free Beacon Monday. “He has more blood on his hands than practically any other president.”

Carter, author of the controversial book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, has met with the terrorist group Hamas and rallied against Israel on the international stage, providing much fodder for the Jewish state’s fiercest critics.
“He has encouraged terrorism and violence by Hamas and Hezbollah,” Dershowitz said, who dubbed the school’s desire to award Carter as “immoral.”
Carter “has done more harm to the cause of human rights than anyone I can think of,” Dershowitz said. “It’s a terrible, terrible choice.”
Opponents of the award have united under the banner of “Shame on Cardozo,” a website started by university alumni and others who believe the Jewish school should be held accountable for honoring Carter.
They argue that it is inappropriate for a Jewish institution to honor Carter, a leader who they maintain has an “ignominious history of anti-Israel bigotry” and is “responsible for helping to mainstream the anti-Semitic notion that Israel is an apartheid state.”
“For those familiar with Jimmy Carter’s recent involvement in the Israel-Arab conflict, they will know that he has an ignominious history of demonizing Israel,” said Gary Emmanuel, founder of the Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni. “I simply could not believe that a law school affiliated with Yeshiva University could honor a man who has gone to such great lengths to harm the Jewish people.”
Cardozo has maintained that its students are responsible for selecting Carter as the award’s recipient, though some sources close to the matter have cast doubt on this claim.
The anti-Carter activists are urging Cardozo’s donors to pull their financial support of the school and petition its leaders to cancel the event.
“We therefore urge you to condition any continued support of Cardozo, be it financial or otherwise, on the cancellation of this event,” activists wrote in an open letter to the school.
Cardozo’s dean, Matthew Diller, and Yeshiva University’s president, Richard Joel, did not respond to a Free Beacon request for comment on the controversy.
Cardozo says it is awarding Carter 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,” according to a statement the school gave to theJewish Press.
The law school publicly announced Carter’s visit just days ahead of the event, leading some to speculate that it was trying to keep the award quiet in an effort to head off criticism.
“Obviously someone is ashamed about this,” said Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a New York-based Jewish activist and donor. “It was kept a secret until four or five days before. That tells me no one is more ashamed than the university itself.”
A Yeshiva University spokesperson said the event “wasn’t really meant for the public,” but for students and alumni, which is why it was not heavily publicized.
Other Cardozo alumni expressed shock when they learned that their alma mater would be honoring Carter.
“I was surprised, or shocked is more the word,” said Ari Davis, the former executive editor of Cardozo’s Journal of Conflict Resolution, the student body responsible for selecting Carter as the award’s recipient.
Davis said opponents do not intend to stifle free speech, but ensure that Carter is not bestowed an honor he does not deserve.
“To bestow any honor on him, that’s what surprised me,” Davis said. “Especially as a Jewish institution, that [Carter] called Israel and apartheid state and cozied up to Hamas, is most offensive.”
Wiesenfeld argued that Cardozo is empowering Israel’s enemies.
“Having one of the most important Jewish institutions” honor Carter is “self-defeating,” Wiesenfeld said. “It deserves more condemnation that I would give an anti-Semite because I don’t expect much from an anti-Semite.”
Carter has a controversial record that includes criticizing Israel and downplaying the impact of a nuclear-armed Iran.
“The religious leaders of Iran have sworn on their word of honor that they’re not going to manufacture nuclear weapons,” Carter told Time Magazine in a 2012 interview. “If they are lying, then I don’t see that as a major catastrophe because they’ll only have one or two military weapons.”
Carter is also reported to have told a Hamas official that he needs their help “to help Obama to overcome the Zionist lobby,” according to reports.
Dershowitz said Carter does not even deserve to be awarded for his efforts to broker the Camp David Peace Accords in 1978 between Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
“He gets too much credit for Camp David,” Dershowitz said. “He was the ball boy in the dugout and almost ruined it.”
“It’s really hard to find a less deserving person that Jimmy Carter,” Dershowitz added. “What students should do is walk out on him, turn their backs on him.”

On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 10:51 AM, Lori Lowenthal Marcus <> wrote:
what can I say?  Unless he was writing in secret code where "not" means "yes, please" and the absence of "not" means "insert not here" ... that ain't what he wrote.  And since when is something being "inevitable" a reason to support it or at least not debunk it? 

Yishai was in Florida for an extended time recently - maybe he had too much direct sun.  I do, generally, really like him, but this one just can't be glossed over.

On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 10:30 AM, Carl in Jerusalem <> wrote:
Guess who commented on my post.....
Now he says that he just thinks it's inevitable that it's going to happen so the people there should make a strong protest. Not exactly what his blog said....

On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 8:23 AM, Carl in Jerusalem <> wrote:
I actually know Yishai Fleisher and was surprised to see that post. I really wonder if he discussed it with his wife (see his post to understand why).

On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 8:17 AM, Lori Lowenthal Marcus <> wrote:
Go Carl!  Embarrassingly, my own outlet ran Yishai's piece.  Perhaps he should have read Carl's or my article before he wrote his, which reveals his take to be plain wrong on the facts.

On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 7:42 AM, Carl in Jerusalem <> wrote:

On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 4:34 AM, Elliott Green <> wrote:
It would indeed be a rare anatomical phenomenon if he had no heart, but not inconceivable. After all, There are more things in heaven and earth, Professor Leibowitz, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

2013/4/8 Yisrael Medad <>
the lust in his heart, we can presume, he resolved as he has no heart.

On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 9:09 AM, Elliott Green <> wrote:
reallly good work, Lori.

as to jiminy, what conflict did he resolve?? The Arabs hate Israel as before, if not more so. If the MB can consolidate its rule in Egypt, their profound hatred of Israel & Jews would make them extremely dangerous. The camp david accords have been more of an enhanced truce than any real peace.

btw, carter's family [his mother] was KKK and admirers of Tom Watson, the hater who got Leo Frank lynched.


Lori Lowenthal Marcus
610.664.1184 (phone)
610.664.1186 (fax)
on twitter: LoriLMarcus

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