Yeshiva University’s president, Richard Joel, has issued a statement on his disagreements with Jimmy Carter in response to a student group’s April 10th forum with the ex-president at YU’s Benjamin Cardozo Law School.
“While he has been properly lauded for his role in the Camp David Accords of 1978, I strongly disagree with many of President Carter’s 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,” Joel said in a statement posted on YU’s news blog Monday.
“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.”
Carter has rankled Israel supporters with his 2006 book, “Israel: Peace Not Apartheid,” in which he argued that government policies toward the Palestinians living under Israeli control were similar to those of South Africa’s notorious racist government. He has also held meetings with leaders of Hamas, in part to relay messages from the family of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held captive by the terror group from 2006 to 2011.
Prior to Rosh HaShanah in 2009, Carter issued a public apology to the Jewish community for any words are actions that may have offended them. “We must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel,” he said in an open letter.
In his statement, Joel noted that Carter will be honored by the student-run Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution with its Advocate for Peace Award. “The university recognizes the breadth of impassioned feelings engendered by this appearance, and is mindful of the diversity of expressed opinions on the matter,” he said.
A group calling itself The Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni set up a website called Shame on Cardozo for Honoring Jimmy Carter.