Brandeis Koshers Carter

Of all the universities, in all the towns, in all the states, it had to be Brandeis that chose to make itself a patsy by providing a protected platform  for Jimmy Carter to spout his anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian propaganda -- in effect placing a  "kosher" seal of approval on the former president's scurrilous book about Israel and his constant railing against the so-called "Jewish lobby."

Saint Somebody Catholic University could never get away with such a ploy; not could Anyplace Methodist U or Artexas Christian -- they'd be accused of bigotry and Israel-bashing in a minute. But not so Brandeis, which the real anti-Semites and anti-Zionists will herald as another case of liberal Jews lending support to something that, therefore, couldn't be as bad as it really is.

The university, founded in the 1940s by the American Jewish community to provide educational opportunities to Jews beyond what were available on the often heavily "restricted" campuses elsewhere, has in recent decades suffered the trauma of a distinct identity crisis, often supporting students and causes who were distinctly anti-Jewish, such as Black Panther Angela Davis and some of her fellow Jew-hating radicals.

It clearly appears that the university in Waltham, named after America's first Jewish Supreme Court Justice, has lost so much sense of both justice and Yiddishkeit that it no longer understands the word shonda [shame]. It's no longer a school I'd recommend my grandchildren even consider, let alone put on their college application A-list.

Now, Carter will be hosted this afternoon and sheltered from criticism and hard questioning by the banning of all outsiders from even attending the speech -- including Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, whose request to debate Carter on his controversial anti-Israel book was turned down by the former president. Similarly, Stephen Flatow, whose daughter, Alisa, was a Brandeis student when she was killed by an Islamic Jihad bomb attack, says he's been "privately discouraged" from attending, although he has questions he'd like to put to the former president.

As AP reports,

Filmmaker Jonathan Demme [who is making a documentary, "He Comes in Peace," about Carter and wanted to film the former president's speech and question-and-answer session] is unhappy that Brandeis will not allow him to film Carter's talk. And others say discussion may be stifled because organizers are allowing only pre-selected questions for Carter after his speech Tuesday afternoon to Brandeis students and faculty.
There'll be no embarrassing or difficult questions, either. As AP notes,
members of the committee that invited and supports Carter chose the 15 questions that will be directed at him.
Given Brandeis' founding mission of being Jewish yet not Jewish," writes Seth Gitell, whose grandfather was a Brandeis founder, "it is hardly surprising that such a day would occur when a president who equates Israel with the racist South African apartheid regime and rails against the 'Jewish lobby' receives a marquee opportunity to buff his legacy and promote his cause. Prominent Jews in America founded Brandeis in the year of Israel's creation as a 'nonsectarian university under the sponsorship of the American Jewish community.' Over time Brandeis has strayed from its Jewish foundation, which has caused the university to develop an identity crisis."
Mr. Carter will certainly benefit from speaking at such a venue. To the world at large it is a Jewish institution. But Brandeis also has reflected the unique American Jewish penchant for being do-gooders that borders upon being self-destructive," points out Gitell.
Concludes Mr. Gitell: "But instead of having people ask Mr. Carter hard questions, Brandeis will make Mr. Carter kosher. Brandeis will once again live up to its controversial history by giving Mr. Carter the opportunity of seeming to have faced his most ardent critics.
"Today's circumstance is a far cry from what people like my grandfather envisioned for Brandeis. This is a tragedy that goes beyond Brandeis and American Jews to America at large."
Of all the universities, in all the towns, in all the states, it had to be Brandeis that chose to make itself a patsy by providing a protected platform  for Jimmy Carter to spout his anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian propaganda -- in effect placing a  "kosher" seal of approval on the former president's scurrilous book about Israel and his constant railing against the so-called "Jewish lobby."

Saint Somebody Catholic University could never get away with such a ploy; not could Anyplace Methodist U or Artexas Christian -- they'd be accused of bigotry and Israel-bashing in a minute. But not so Brandeis, which the real anti-Semites and anti-Zionists will herald as another case of liberal Jews lending support to something that, therefore, couldn't be as bad as it really is.

The university, founded in the 1940s by the American Jewish community to provide educational opportunities to Jews beyond what were available on the often heavily "restricted" campuses elsewhere, has in recent decades suffered the trauma of a distinct identity crisis, often supporting students and causes who were distinctly anti-Jewish, such as Black Panther Angela Davis and some of her fellow Jew-hating radicals.

It clearly appears that the university in Waltham, named after America's first Jewish Supreme Court Justice, has lost so much sense of both justice and Yiddishkeit that it no longer understands the word shonda [shame]. It's no longer a school I'd recommend my grandchildren even consider, let alone put on their college application A-list.

Now, Carter will be hosted this afternoon and sheltered from criticism and hard questioning by the banning of all outsiders from even attending the speech -- including Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, whose request to debate Carter on his controversial anti-Israel book was turned down by the former president. Similarly, Stephen Flatow, whose daughter, Alisa, was a Brandeis student when she was killed by an Islamic Jihad bomb attack, says he's been "privately discouraged" from attending, although he has questions he'd like to put to the former president.

As AP reports,

Filmmaker Jonathan Demme [who is making a documentary, "He Comes in Peace," about Carter and wanted to film the former president's speech and question-and-answer session] is unhappy that Brandeis will not allow him to film Carter's talk. And others say discussion may be stifled because organizers are allowing only pre-selected questions for Carter after his speech Tuesday afternoon to Brandeis students and faculty.
There'll be no embarrassing or difficult questions, either. As AP notes,
members of the committee that invited and supports Carter chose the 15 questions that will be directed at him.
Given Brandeis' founding mission of being Jewish yet not Jewish," writes Seth Gitell, whose grandfather was a Brandeis founder, "it is hardly surprising that such a day would occur when a president who equates Israel with the racist South African apartheid regime and rails against the 'Jewish lobby' receives a marquee opportunity to buff his legacy and promote his cause. Prominent Jews in America founded Brandeis in the year of Israel's creation as a 'nonsectarian university under the sponsorship of the American Jewish community.' Over time Brandeis has strayed from its Jewish foundation, which has caused the university to develop an identity crisis."
Mr. Carter will certainly benefit from speaking at such a venue. To the world at large it is a Jewish institution. But Brandeis also has reflected the unique American Jewish penchant for being do-gooders that borders upon being self-destructive," points out Gitell.
Concludes Mr. Gitell: "But instead of having people ask Mr. Carter hard questions, Brandeis will make Mr. Carter kosher. Brandeis will once again live up to its controversial history by giving Mr. Carter the opportunity of seeming to have faced his most ardent critics.
"Today's circumstance is a far cry from what people like my grandfather envisioned for Brandeis. This is a tragedy that goes beyond Brandeis and American Jews to America at large."