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Mass Resignation at Carter Center

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Quite a blow to America’s worst former president today, as 14 members of the advisory board of the Carter Center resign en masse: Carter Center Board Members Resign Over Palestine Book. (Hat tip: Rednek.)

ATLANTA — Fourteen members of an advisory board at the Carter Center resigned today, concluding they could “no longer in good conscience continue to serve” following publication of former President Jimmy Carter’s controversial book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”

“It seems that you have turned to a world of advocacy, including even malicious advocacy,” the board members wrote in a letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “We can no longer endorse your strident and uncompromising position. This is not the Carter Center or Jimmy Carter we came to respect and support. Therefore it is with sadness and regret that we hereby tender our resignation from the Board of Councilors of the Carter Center effective immediately.”

UPDATE at 1/11/07 9:18:47 am:

And the hits keep on comin’: Another Academic Shuns Carter and His Center.

Melvin Konner, physician and professor at Emory University, declined an invitation to be part of a group advising President Carter and The Carter Center on Carter’s recent book on the Mideast. Konner notes especially that “President Carter has proved capable of distorting the truth about such meetings and consultations in public remarks following them. In particular, he mischaracterized the meeting he had with the executive committee of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Phoenix, saying he and they had positive interactions and prayed together, when in fact others present stated that the meeting was highly confrontational and that the prayer was merely a pro forma closing invocation.” Konner says also that “in television interviews I have seen over the past week, President Carter has revealed himself to be so rigid and inflexible in his views that he seems to me no longer capable of dialogue.”

UPDATE at 1/11/07 9:48:55 am:

Brandeis University has invited Carter to speak, accepting his “no debate” rule: Carter agrees to speak at Brandeis. (Hat tip: davesax.)

Jimmy Carter, after weeks of controversy, has agreed to speak and field questions on his new book about Israel at a forum at Brandeis University, administrators and a spokesman for Carter said yesterday.

Last month, the former president told the Globe he had declined an invitation from a university trustee to speak at Brandeis, because it came with the suggestion he debate Alan Dershowitz, a professor at Harvard Law School who has criticized Carter’s book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”

Carter’s original decision set off a furor on campus and sparked a petition of more than 100 students and faculty members, who said Carter should be invited to speak without debating Dershowitz. Others contended that inviting Carter to speak without a debate would violate the university’s responsibility to promote free speech.

The invitation to Carter also triggered questions about how open the predominantly Jewish campus is to views critical of Israel.

In the end, Carter is slated to speak for 15 minutes and answer questions for 45 minutes, campus officials said. The forum is scheduled for Jan. 23, but the date may change, they said.

Notice the Boston Globe’s use of turnspeak in the quote above; they imply that Brandeis is not open to “views critical of Israel,” when in truth it’s Jimmy Carter who is not open to debating his so-called views.

UPDATE at 1/11/07 1:31:51 pm:

Jpundit has the entire text of Melvin Konner’s December 24 Letter to Carter.

UPDATE at 1/11/07 2:56:48 pm:

And here’s Alan Dershowitz’s latest on Carter: Ex-President for Sale.

Journalist Jacob Laksin has documented the tens of millions of dollars that the Carter Center has accepted from Saudi Arabian royalty and assorted other Middle Eastern sultans, who, in return, Carter dutifully praised as peaceful and tolerant (no matter how despotic the regime). And these are only the confirmed, public donations.

Carter has also accepted half a million dollars and an award from Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, saying in 2001: “This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.” This is the same Zayed, the long-time ruler of the United Arab Emirates, whose $2.5 million gift to the Harvard Divinity School was returned in 2004 due to Zayed’s rampant Jew-hatred. Zayed’s personal foundation, the Zayed Center, claims that it was Zionists, rather than Nazis, who “were the people who killed the Jews in Europe” during the Holocaust. It has held lectures on the blood libel and conspiracy theories about Jews and America perpetrating Sept. 11. …

Accordingly I now call upon Carter to make full public disclosure of all of his and the Carter Center’s ties to Arab money. If he fails to do so, I challenge the media to probe deeply into his, his family’s, and his Center’s Arab ties so that the public can see precisely the sources and amounts of money he has received and judge whether it has corrupted the process of objective reportage and politics by Carter and others who have received such funds. Finally, I ask the appropriate government agencies to conduct an investigation into whether Carter should be required to register as a lobbyist for foreign interests.

Let’s stop invoking discredited ethnic stereotypes, look at the hard facts, and actually see who’s being bought and sold.

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