Outraged Y.U. Alumni Hope To Block Jimmy Carter From Cardozo Peace Honor

Group Opposes Carter's Harsh Critique of Israel

Former President Jimmy Carter visits East Jerusalem in 2010.
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Former President Jimmy Carter visits East Jerusalem in 2010.

By Paul Berger

Published April 08, 2013.
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Enraged alumni have threatened to physically block Jimmy Carter from entering Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law, where he is due to receive a peace award on April 10.

Daniel Rubin, 62, said about a dozen former alumni are planning an act of civil disobedience to prevent Carter, a harsh critic of Israeli policies on the occupied West Bank, from picking up the International Advocate for Peace Award, given annually by Cardozo’s Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Rubin said former alumni would use their knowledge of the building layout to outmaneuver any attempts to stop them.

“Mr. Carter ain’t going to get anywhere,” Rubin said.

“There’s no reason for a school that has any sense of Jewish integrity to have a guy like that around,” he added.

Separately, a group calling itself The Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni has called on former students to express their outrage to Y.U. President Richard Joel and Cardozo dean Matthew Diller. Citing Carter’s 2006 book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” and Carter’s voluminous “record of slandering Israel,” a statement on the coalition’s website, said: “Jimmy Carter has an ignominious history of anti-Israel bigotry.”

In a statement posted on Y.U.’s website, Joel emphasized that the award was “solely the initiative” of a student-run journal and “not of Yeshiva University or the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School.”

Emphasizing Y.U.’s commitment to Israel, Joel said he strongly disagreed with many of Carter’s statements and actions regarding Israel in recent years.

Nevertheless, Joel said: “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.”

Contact Paul Berger at berger@forward.com or on Twitter @pdberger


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