Jimmy Carter honor by Yeshiva University law school journal draws alumni, pro-Israel opposition

(JNS.org) Alumni and pro-Israel supporters of Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law protested the honoring of former President Jimmy Carter with the student-run Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution's “Advocate for Peace Award.”

The journal presented Carter with the award on Wednesday.

Former President Jimmy Carter. Credit: Department of Defense.

In reaction to the award, a group of leading alumni and pro-Israel supporters calling itself “The Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni” established a website, shameoncardozo.com, which accuses Jimmy Carter of “anti-Israel bigotry” and urged Cardozo alumni to contact the Dean of Cardozo and the President to Yeshiva University to express their outrage.

Carter has been criticized by many in the Jewish community for his 2006 book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, which criticizes Israel’s presence in the West Bank. Many leading Jewish scholars, including former top Mideast diplomat Dennis Ross, Emory University Professor and Middle East historian Kenneth Stein, and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, have pointed out inaccuracies in Carter’s book.

“I can’t imagine a worse candidate for any kind of a human rights award,” Dershowitz told the Washington Free Beacon on Monday. “He has more blood on his hands than practically any other president.”

Yeshiva University President Richard Joel defended the law school journal's decision, saying in a statement that Yeshiva University "both celebrates and takes seriously its obligation as a university to thrive as a free marketplace of ideas, while remaining committed to its unique mission as a proud Jewish university." Joel added, "President Carter’s presence at Cardozo in no way represents a university position on his views, nor does it indicate the slightest change in our steadfastly pro-Israel stance."

Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs, said in a statement, “Since YU has chosen to stand by [the Cardozo law school journal's] nomination, we call upon the University to capitalize on the moment and educate their students about the real Jimmy Carter. His statements and actions provide clear evidence of his support for extremism, hypocrisy, and bigotry.”

“We believe that Jimmy Carter is an inappropriate choice for a conflict resolution award, considering that his record has been to inflame Middle East tensions rather than resolve them. Unfortunately, Jimmy Carter’s influence on Yasser Arafat may actually have prevented peace,” Rothstein said.

Posted on April 8, 2013 .