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Alan Dershowitz on Jimmy Carter’s Human Rights Award from Jewish Law School: “I Can’t Imagine A Worse Person to Honor for Conflict Resolution”

April 8, 2013 5:30 pm 40 comments

Former President Jimmy Carter. Photo: www.reddogreport.com.

The Cardozo School of Law, which is associated with Yeshiva University, has decided to honor former U.S. President Jimmy Carter with its annual “International Advocate for Peace” award on Wednesday. This has many alumni and other members of the Jewish community up in arms, not least of which is because of Carter’s penchant for labeling Israel an “apartheid state”  and his chumminess with Yasser Arafat and the current Hamas leadership. (For more of Carter’s activities in the region see here.)

“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,” Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told The Algemeiner in an interview. Dershowitz wrote about Carter in his book “The Case Against Israel’s Enemeies: Exposing Jimmy Carter and Others Who Stand in the Way of Peace.”

“He is significantly responsible for the second Intifada. If he had told Yasser Arafat to accept that deal we might be celebrating Palestinian statehood today,” Dershowitz added. “He just prefers terrorists to Israelis.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus at the Jewish Press did some digging as to who, exactly, was responsible for deciding Carter should be this year’s honoree. “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,” she writes.

It’s even up for debate as to whether or not the Dean of the Cardozo Law School Mathew Diller will be attending. Marcus reports that “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.”

But in a letter to some wealthy alumni Diller wrote that he hoped they would “plan to join me in welcoming the 39th President of the United States to the law school.”

Dershowitz doesn’t blame the school, however. “In my own opinion it was a dumb, dumb decision by a group of students who are either ignorant or ideologically associated with Jimmy Carter,” he said.

In any case, Israel or not, Dershowitz questions the wisdom of honoring an individual who, in general, doesn’t have the best track record where human rights are concerned.

“Carter during his presidency sat idly by while 2 million Cambodians were killed by Pol Pot. He has been bought and paid for by Saudi Extremists. His Carter Center stopped investigating human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia when he received payment from important and wealthy Saudi businessmen,” Dershowitz said. “He has used the word apartheid to describe Israel but he never used the word in reference to Saudi Arabia which practices gender apartheid, religious apartheid, sexual preference apartheid.”

If anything, Dershowitz argues, Carter has harmed efforts to make the world a more peaceful place. “Before Jimmy Carter came along human rights were neutral. You attacked the left, you attacked the right. You attacked who were the worst perpetrators. Not with Jimmy Carter. He never attacks the left. He never attacks the Arab or Muslim world. He has turned human rights essentially into human lefts and distorted the concept of human rights. Eleanore Roosevelt and real founders of the human rights movement are turning over in their graves.”

But Dershowitz thinks that Carter’s presence on campus this week should be used as a positive. Students should attend the ceremony “and in a dignified and respectful way show contempt for Jimmy Carter,” he said. “Students should know who they’re honoring. The response to bad speech is good speech. You don’t cancel the event you use it as an educational opportunity to teach people about the evil things that Jimmy Carter has done.”

40 Comments

  • BlueShadowII

    The inmates are running the asylum.

  • OF COURSE DERSHOWITZ IS RIGHT…BUT LOOK AT ALL THE PUBLICITY YU IS GETTING. AND WHO IS SPREADING THE NEWS??? Us dopey Jews!! The best response to this award is utter silence; the less said about it the better. (y’ know: what if YU gave a party and nobody came?)

    Jus’ wait until YU sends around another letter asking for a contribution!! We should copy YU’s own publicity about their “award” and send it back to them.

    This kind of publicity and award are a disgrace. Worse yet, they devalue the award itself. If they were a company in the market-place, they’d be heading out of business altogether.

  • Robert Geller

    I am still amazed by this selection; it is even surprising by New YOrk City standards where it seems more important for Jews to be seen as liberal as opposed to supporting their own causes. A very easy solution would be for Jews to stop supporting Yeshiva University until the leadership starts to understand the importance of supporting those causes and people who actually support Israel and Jewish causes!

    How can we expect the rest of the world to respect us when we choose to praise and commend our worst enemies, both domestically and abroad?

  • Joel & Diller do not hide, come forward and explain why your students chose this man for Human Rights Award , why your students are lacking basic knowledge in recent history.It is so sad to realize how shallow and misinformed are young students today.

  • Who did Dershowitz vote for, Ford?

  • Christian Schiffer

    Now while I fully agree that Jimmy Carter is an anisemite and obviously not worthy of such an award I disagree that having a so called “palestinian” state inside Israel is a good idea at all.

    The only positive thing I see with a “palestinian” state is that if they gain statehood the can easier be held responsible for their terror attacks as a state as their constant argument, we did not do it the extreemist did would be invalidated under such conditions, probably that why they don’t really want a state of their own I would suggest…

    I also believe it is a great sin to give even an inch of the Holyland to other people and seeing Israel shrink in area som dramatically since June the 10th 1967 truly brakes my heart.

    I hope future Israeli governments will have the wisdom to turn the land for peace table and offer peace for land instead of land for peace and thereby turn any terror attack against Israel into a victory at least in regard to expansion for Israeli territory towards its by Hashem defined borders.

    I would suggest the following peace plan: Every Time Israel is attacked by even a single terrorist Israel should as a response automatically cease 1 nautical mile into the direction the attack or attacker came from and never again give even an inch for peace but demand more land for peace instead.

    If a country than attacks Israel the whole country should be ceased and made part of Israel an only areas that are undisputedly outside the Biblical commanded borders should come onto a negotiation table for peace and than only if the peace offered is permanent, globally accepted and signed.

    That way Israel would be on its way toward the by Hashem commanded borders instead of like now doing the opposite.

    And as we all know, when we obey Hashem Israel is well liked and admired by the nations and the land is flourishing and her people prosper while the opposite is true in times of disobedience to the Laws, decrees and statues of Hashem.

    So if Israel wants peace and international respect and favor she must not listen to what the nations say they want her to do for peace but what Hashem says which in almost all cases in recorded history is the opposite of the will of the nations surrounding Israel.

    Hashems ways are not our ways, what seam illogical to us Hashem know better, we should all know that by now.

    Shalom aleichem!

  • Bravo, Professor Dershowitz. “The response to bad speech is good speech.” I hope hundreds of greater New York students will follow your recommendation and attend, and speak out against the ant-academic, prejudiced and conflict-encouraging activity of Jimmy Carter.

  • As is so often the case with Nobel Peace awards, Jimmy Carter got credit that was very little deserved vis a vis the peace agreement signed between Israel and Egypt.

    He just happened to be at the right place at the right time, and people buy into the myth. In truth, Anwar Sadat had decided to realign his country, away from the USSR, and exchange peace for the recovery of Egyptian territory well before Carter’s inauguration.

    Carter’s legacy should include a series of bloody debacles, not just vis Cambodia, but Iran as well. Instead, people forget why he deservedly failed to be re-elected to a second term.

    • If you check the events preceding the peace treaty,you find that Carter was against it and Sadat told him that , as the president of Egypt will do what is good for Egypt and NOT what is good for Carter.

  • Carter is a vicious anti-Semite. Cancel this absurd event!

  • Esther Sarah Evans

    b”H

    I did not send any comment to this article before; so the accusation of duplicate does not apply. There is something fishy going on here.

    For once I agree with Dershowitz. Yashar Koach.

    • The following proves my point: One cannot learn history on You-Tube, the students are cutting corners, my point exactly. Derschowitz is right: Dershowitz doesn’t blame the school, however. “In my own opinion it was a dumb, dumb decision by a group of students who are either ignorant or ideologically associated with Jimmy Carter,” he said.

  • Esther Sarah Evans

    b”H

    For once I agree with Dershowitz. Yashar Koach.

  • David Sabghir

    This is wierd. Carter single-handedly created the monster called Iran by allowing them to hold the hostages without any US response or putting a price on such banditry.

    For the Cardoza Administration to invite him to the law school is a reflection of poor judgment. If the students are responsible, it is a reflection of lack of knowledge of history. Either way, one would customarily expect this behavior from NYU or Columbia, not from a supposedly Jewish institution, which might have a sensitivity to Jewish issues. This is even stranger coming as it does around Holocaust Day, which Carter seemingly has little concern for.

    Perhaps financial supporters of YU and the Law School might ask President Joel, just what is going on!

    • B”H

      Yes, Carter did embolden our enemies. He continues to give our enemies ammunition to destroy us, despite their cowardly ways. And, yet, there are so many people who see Carter as a hero. His “heroism” always has strings attached and pulling those strings unravels our free world. To give him a platform for his Antisemitic, Anti-Western values rhetoric at a Jewish institution is unconscionable.

  • Jaime Reibel

    Jimmy Carter was a weak and vacillating president, who has regularly plumbed new depths since he left office by his sanctimonious, self-serving and anti-Semitic outbursts, which have revealed his inherently flawed character and personal biases. He was an embarrassment then, and a disgrace now.

  • It all smells bad,very bad.Diller and Joel are asleep at the wheel.

  • This the result of progressive tactics that have infiltrated all parts of our culture starting with the media and down to our chidren’s textbooks that glorify Carter and others like him.

  • Pamela Deane Chester

    So, who is the leader in this school? Answer: the students that are supposed to be getting educated so they can make mature decisions AFTER they graduate! They are there to be educated not to control! The famous 60’s…….teachers in jeans sitting on their desks and encouraging students to act out their “opinions” instead of teaching! Carter is an old demented trouble maker, not a peace advocate! He stirs up the terrorists. What a society we live in; we honor those that are dishonorable! What on earth were these young mushy brained immature students thinking? Whoops…………sorry, they do not know how to think as they are too busy working against everything that is good. Whoops …again……they do not not know the difference between good and evil. Guess we know what direction the justice system is going if these are the future lawyers of the land! Good grief! Sad!

  • Dershowitz is right…Again, the american judenrat licks the boots of the antissemites

  • simon grossman

    I am shocked and horrified by their choosing Carter. This man has done more to harm the State of Israel than nearly any other prominent person.

  • Mireille Mechoullam

    Let’s say it’s the students who wanted to honor Carter. Isn’t the duty of the administration that knows better to decline the demande of the students?

  • mark roseman

    I am more dissapointed to read that Cardozo school leaders will nor be in attendance when Carter arrives for his award. then us not the time to show offense.: it is time to show true leadership; to welcome the American President whom the student leadership selected for the award..

    If the administration leaders were to honor this selection, then a higher example of ethics, democracy and menschlakeit will be demonstrared. invite attorney Dershowitz to lead public discussions with Carter on campus or after Carter’s departure.

    As an attorney, Dershowitz I’m sure eagerly defended the guilty and innocent without personal bias. Therefore, let him show similar respect to someone who, during his tenure, received great respect from the american voting public. He didn’t bow to the Islamists upon his election as our current President has. (though Drrshowitz may be a Republican in his current belief system.

    Cardozo, don’t be bullied and don’t bully. Be mindful and respectful if your students. Show other ways to protest Carter’s acceptance of your invitation.

    Mark Roseman, Ph.D.

    • David Hersch

      This from a Ph.D? The grammar and spelling is atrocious, not to mention his views and certain facts.

      Dershowitz is no Republican and never has been. He was, however, quite instrumental in getting aberration that was Carter elected, but has since seen the light.

      How Carter at the time made it to the top of the Democrat pile is a question, but his election thereafter was a slam dunk and a forgone conclusion as a reaction to Watergate and the Nixon years. At least the American electorate came to see their mistake and gave him only one term.

      No one mentions Carter being the great recipient of Arab largesse, which obviously means he has sold his soul and what he does to them.

  • Shalom-Hillel

    I could see this as an article in The Onion — “Jewish School to Give Award to Jimmy Carter”, with a funny satire following. But to think that this is really happening defies comprehension. Find out who was actually responsible and do an article on that. People want to know.

    • Elke Blinick

      Could not agree more. I love a good satire. Jews are very good at it too. Only sometimes I wake up and realize they (Joel) really mean it. Honor Jimmy Carter? what am I missing?

  • Howard Stein

    No wonder we are the laughing stock of the world. What other people would consider awarding and rewarding not only their avowed enemy, but an ally of their other enemies.

    It’s bewildering being a Jew. How incomprehensibly stupid can we be? How do I explain this to someone, that is, if he stops laughing long enough to ask for an explanation? I grew up enjoying the myth of Jewish intellectual prowess. Too bad that it is only a myth.

    We’re not smart enough to know that one doesn’t reward ones enemies.

  • Jewish Insanity

  • Rabbi Dov Forman

    Given YU’s history of protecting child molesters it comes as no surprise they would extend an honor to someone so ill suited for recognition in international affairs, let alone his position on Israel.

  • George R. Gallagher

    Carter should switch the “r” and the “a” around, giving us “Crater.” The man was/is an ineffectual, sermonizing, dithering, micro-managing, pallid handwringer. Possibly the 2nd worst president after the Muslim-In-Chief.

  • Dershowitz is 100 percent correct in his statements about Carter. This honor is shameful.

  • Carter is useful to those who hate Israel, his worldview is warped… he is supposed to be a peacemaker, not a supporter of terrorists and their handlers. The list is much longer than AD’s article had space to feature. He also favors compromise over strength. He supported the overthrow of the Shah etc., which gave us the current madness in Iran.

  • After they give Carter his award they will giving a similar award to Gertrude Stein.

  • YU, why him? I suppose, you could not, come up with a more deserving recipient, who is not tainted.

  • harry freedman

    unfortunately, being stuck in Australia, I wont be able to attend the protest, but for those who are, might I suggest they raise with the devious hypocritical deceptive and naive ex president theid concerns about the amount of funding he recieves from the Saudis and enquire whether he would still be maintaining his views without it

  • This may not be an isolated incident of compromised values at Yeshiva University.

    I am glad Dersh has come forward. His comments will make people realize the impact of this degeneracy. And possibly wake people up to other less prominent things going on at YU.

    • Faye Stiller Sued

      Why do we Jews always have to compromise. Jimmy Carter is a PAID & BOUGHT spokesperson for animals that want to destroy Israel & her allies.

  • herman weinberg

    How dum can they be

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