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Posted by on Jan 26, 2007 in Religion | 16 comments

More Trouble For Jimmy Carter’s Relations With Jews

Former President Jimmy Carter’s people better be in spin control mode today once this report from World Net Daily’s Jerusalem Bureau gets greater circulation:

Former President Jimmy Carter once complained there were “too many Jews” on the government’s Holocaust Memorial Council, Monroe Freedman, the council’s former executive director, told WND in an exclusive interview.

Freedman, who served on the council during Carter’s term as president, also revealed a noted Holocaust scholar who was a Presbyterian Christian was rejected from the council’s board by Carter’s office because the scholar’s name “sounded too Jewish.”

(I could submit my name, since the name “Gandelman” sounds Italian..). AND further down:

“If I was memorializing Martin Luther King, I would expect a significant number of board members to be African American. If I was memorializing Native American figures I’d expect a lot of Native Americans to be on the board.

“I do not for a moment consider it inappropriate to build a Holocaust council with a significant majority of the board being Jewish,” Freedman stated.

This kind of news report is sort of like “when did you stop beating your wife.” Carter can (and most likely will) deny it but the fact it’s out there means it automatically sticks, no matter what his spokespeople say. Could there be another explanation? Perhaps the idea was that it should have a broader representation. Etc…

No matter what, though, Carter is not going to win a B’nai Brith Leader of the Year Award due to the controversies over his book, his stance on the Palestinians, and the accuracy of some things in the book. This report will likely generate more talk-show buzz…and be further confirmation to some (even when he denies it) that the Carter smile masked some clear biases.

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  • “I do not for a moment consider it inappropriate to build a Holocaust council with a significant majority of the board being Jewish,â€?

    Of course not. But there is a trend amoong Jews to monopolize the Holocaust. It shouldn’t be forgotten that regime critics like unionists, socialists and communists plus gypsys and gays vanished in the concentration camps, too. Much too often those victims aren’t even mentioned in speeches, publications and exhibitions on the Holocaust.

  • Spam filter strices again?

  • Wtf. This f***ing filter is a mayor annoyance. Never experienced so much trouble in posting copmments as on your site. Get rid of that crap!!!

  • Joe Gandelman

    I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I really know nothing about the technical end. I’ll pass this along to our technical person.

  • DBK

    Sounds like a hatchet job and spin to me. Carter said some things that were pretty damned stupid, but I don’t think he is anti-Semitic or in any way opposed to the continuing existence of Israel. Speaking as a Jew, I think Carter is just suffering from excessive nuance. That is, if he writes something subtle instead of “Israel is great and we must always support Israel”, it get staken apart by the noise machine. I didn’t read his book or the statements that got him in hot water with the Jewish community, but I have spent much time considering the Carter presidency and what he has done since then. He is simply a man who doesn’t like to see people inflict suffering on other people. That’s all it comes down to. To paint it in other terms is to paint it falsely.

  • Considering the source, World Net Daily, I seriously doubt it will stick.

  • CStanley

    I think Carter is just suffering from excessive nuance.

    That’s a great way to put it, and as a conservative this is exactly what we dislike about Carter and his brand of liberalism- except we call it moral relativism.

  • Actually, Jimmy Carter suffers from ignorance and bias.

  • Rudi

    Insight and World Net Daily – Love the sources that TMV is digging up. he odor on the shovel smells……

  • Kim Ritter

    DBK = 100% correct. What is wrong with a nuanced viewpoint? Most thinking beings are capable of them, though they don’t make great soundbites. Carter’s willingness to go to Brandeis (he received 2 standing ovations) and face Jewish students, even apologizing for a badly-worded passage in his book, should silence those critics who are intent on demonizing a man who cares mostly about human rights. He doesn’t care whether those being abused are Jews or Palestinians, so his criticisms are difficult for pro-Israeli agents to swallow.

    Is it any better to laud our present-day worldview which divides the world into good and evil nations and only play nice with those on “our” side? Especially when you consider that many of the countries on our side are guilty of stifling the freedoms we are so intent on spreading to the world’s oppressed.

  • CStanley

    Is it any better to laud our present-day worldview which divides the world into good and evil nations and only play nice with those on “our� side? Especially when you consider that many of the countries on our side are guilty of stifling the freedoms we are so intent on spreading to the world’s oppressed.

    If there really were an equivalency between oppression by the US or other modern liberal democracies and that which occurs at the hand of Ahmadinejhad, Kim Jong-il, etc, then you’d have a point. I’m not in favor of pure black and white, good vs. evil either, but there does come a point when people muddy the paint so much that it’s all solid gray and then they can’t appropriately see that there really is some black in there.

  • Kim Ritter

    CS- I’m referring to the repression by some of our “friends” in the ME- Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan etc, whom we have supported (as we did the ill-fated Shah) because it was in our strategic interest to do so. I am not talking about the US or Europe. Terrorism is the natural outgrowth of the policies of those repressive governments. We love to blame the Islamic Revolution in Iran on Jimmy Carter, but wasn’t it really an oppressed peoples’ revolt?

    We love to think that the natural result of democracy in the ME will be a pro-Western government. But those mostly exist in countries that repress their population. Where there have been fair elections, we have seen the rise of elected members of Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. My point is that a true democracy will produce the opposite of what would be in our national interest.

  • CStanley

    OK, I see what you were saying and I somewhat agree. The problem is though, Bush’s policies represent a departure from the way that the US has maintained balance of power in the world, and as such it is a positive development. But the (so far) failure to achieve stability means that we’re likely to go back to propping up dicatorships that are friendly to our interests.

    And of course, there’s also the issue that Bush hasn’t been able to go far enough, ie, breaking ties with Saudi Arabia and other Middle East regimes, so there’s little reason for anyone to believe that this practice would really stop.

    And then too, without modernization, people in democracies are prone to choosing a govt which will provide for their needs rather than one that guarantees their freedoms.

  • Kim Ritter

    Yes, I agree, they were a departure, but too radical of a departure. Its like a thousand years of rage boiled to the surface, and most of it isn’t even about us. There’s no doubt that those regimes (including Iraq) should have been reformed- but not the way we did it. All we succeeded in doing was destabilizing the entire region. The best we can hope for is a Shiite-dominated Islamic state like Iran.

    The other problem is that we are dealing with a radicalized group of individuals who would probably use any moderation to solidify their power base. That is why countries like Egypt and S.A. are so repressive. Many people there don’t want our way of life or democracy or moderation. They want the type of government installed by Khomeni in Iran or the Taliban in Afghanistan, and would foment endlessly to achieve that result. Of course, I don’t defend Saddam or repressive leaders, but what’s in our national interest?

  • pacatrue

    I’m guessing that Carter was making some comment about making sure the Holocaust Memorial Council had relatively broad membership on its council. As Jews were the overwhelming victims, they should have a primary role in guiding the organization. At the same time, if the Holocaust Council were to become exclusively an organization devoted to Jewish concerns and memorials, then there is a potential for losing broad support. I’m just thinking along the lines of social security. There are a number of people who receive social security who don’t need it. However, the fact that it’s a program for everyone gives it huge political support. If it had been targeted exclusively to those most at need, such as medicaid is, then it’s easy for others to start cutting it, since it’s not their benefits being cut. While I wouldn’t ever want to rule out wonderful people from the council because of their religion, the organizers probably do need to keep issues of inclusiveness in mind.

    As for the too Jewish-sounding name thing, that is just weird / silly / scary. At the same time, a rather dubious news source reporting single source news about someone, we don’t know who and in what context, at Carter’s office saying something weird…. it’s really hard to say what that means about Carter.

    I think there are a lot of people who need Carter to be an idiot, stupid, going senile, deluded, or straight-out anti-semitic so that his book carries less weight. These stories are going to keep cropping up until that need dies down.

  • m

    Amazing. Always attack anyone who for one moment might state in public, that Israel has given a terrible shaft to those whose land they took in the formation. And you can’t escape what happened in those years. The terrorism used by the founders, and the fact that there WERE people living there who were moved out so another person of a different religon could be moved in. When you start your country with that kind of terrorism, what can you expect? (sort of like having lega lslavery into the 19th century, you think America paid a price for that?) If we could only have a balanced discission and find a solution to the issue instead of attacking anyone who speaks up on behalf of the Palestinains. OBVIOUSLY there is a problem there. When people are willing to blow themselves up, there are some …hurt feelings to say the least. So how do you solve them? By taking more land, killing more kids, taking more water rights, building bigger walls, buying more tanks, arming more young men, building more bombs…it all sounds like there is only one ending for this, and it isn’t pretty. And the blame will be shared by all involved.

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