You wouldn’t think a Nobel Peace Prize winner would rile up a vocal minority, but you’d be wrong. Tomorrow, the Journal of Conflict Resolution at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law plans to honor former President Jimmy Carter with the International Advocate for Peace Award.
That seems fair, since the Nobel committee already decided he’s got the peace-y bona fides. And it’s not like they just give that award to people who blow up countries or launch drone wars or anything.
But some people are just not happy about it and they’ve taken their (largely anonymous) complaints to the Interwebs, and they found their way into the ATL inbox. I guess the Simpsons warned us that he was “history’s greatest monster.”
First, the email from a group calling themselves The Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni (emphasis in the original):
Dear Cardozo Alumni and Friends of the School:
On Wednesday April 10, 2013 – that is this Wednesday -, Jimmy Carter will be honored at Cardozo to receive the International Advocate for Peace Award from the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution.
Jimmy Carter has an ignominious history of anti-Israel bigotry. He is responsible for helping to mainstream the antisemitic notion that Israel is an apartheid state with his provocatively titled book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”, the publication of which prompted mass resignations from the Carter Center. He has met numerous times with leaders of the terror group Hamas whitewashing their genocidal goals and undermining US efforts to isolate Hamas. And Carter’s record of slandering Israel is so voluminous that both CAMERA and Alan Dershowitz have written books refuting his lies.
While Carter may be credited for the role he played in the Camp David Accords as President of the United States and the resultant cold peace between Israel and Egypt that ensued, that event took place close to 30 years ago. Since the end of his presidency, Jimmy Carter has exhibited extreme antipathy towards Israel – and by extension the Jewish people – that places him firmly in the camp of the likes of Walt and Mearsheimer.
It is simply unconscionable for a Jewish affiliated school to honor someone who has played such a high profile role in demonizing the Jewish state.
While you read that, I kicked back with a couple of Billy Beers I’d been saving. The email goes on begging folks to pull their funding of the school and to bug the dean and university president. They’ve even set up a website.
If I sound a little dismissive of this group, it’s because I’m completely dismissive of this group. Jimmy Carter isn’t the world’s greatest expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and his feelings on the subject seem clouded by frustration that his efforts in the 70s failed to put the issue to bed by now. But suggesting he’s anti-Semitic because he finds fault with Israeli government policy is ludicrous.
Protest Carter for meeting with Hamas if you want, but don’t try and lump his decision to pursue talks with a political party that represents some of the Palestinians with antipathy toward the Jewish people.
It’s frankly beneath these protestors to suggest that Carter’s motives are anything but peaceful.
And at the end of the day, that’s all this award represents: a person who advocates for peace. Carter isn’t advocating for anything but peaceful co-existence. He may be naïve about the contours of the conflict. He may be wrong about how it should be addressed. But he does meet the criteria for this award.
Comments from the peanut gallery? You can read the full email on the next page if you like.