Jewish Law School Alumni Furious Over Jimmy Carter Being Presented School Group's Peace Award

Joe Schoffstall
By Joe Schoffstall | April 9, 2013 | 4:33 PM EDT

On April 10, a group at Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law will present former President Jimmy Carter with the International Advocate for Peace Award, and alumni of the Jewish school are furious over this decision and have set out to stop it.

Alumni are especially disturbed that this is happening on the heels of Holocaust Remembrance Day, citing Carter's "Anti-Israel beliefs." The award will be given by the Journal of Conflict Resolution.

"I am absolutely disgusted by this action, especially coming from a Jewish school," Ida Zaghi, an alumnus, told of the school's move. "As an Orthodox Iranian Jew and a Cardozo Law Graduate, I am deeply disappointed at Cardozo, a Jewish school, for honoring a man with clear Anti-Israel beliefs. What is more disturbing is that this event is taking place just a couple days after Holocaust Remembrance Day."

Zaghi is part of "The Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni" that has started the website, The site includes a section titled: "Jimmy Carter- Defamer of Israel." In this section, 13 events are chronicled including: "Carter intervened to help a Nazi war criminal," "Carter quotes a fake Nelson Mandela letter to 'prove' Israel is an 'apartheid state,'" and "Carter blames the Jews for the Christian exodus from Palestine," among others.

Richard Joel, President of Yeshiva University, responded to an email in which alumni voiced their outrage by saying the student-run Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution has invited Carter to receive its award and that it represents solely the student journal, not Yeshiva University.

"The student-run Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution has invited former United States President Jimmy Carter to receive its Advocate for Peace Award.  President Carter's invitation to Cardozo represents solely the initiative of this student journal, not of Yeshiva University or the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School. The university recognizes the breadth of impassioned feelings engendered by this appearance, and is mindful of the diversity of expressed opinions on the matter," says Joel in an email given to

Later it continues, "While he has been properly lauded for his role in the Camp David Accords of 1978, I strongly disagree with many of President Carter's statements and actions in recent years which have mischaracterized the Middle East conflict and have served to alienate those of us who care about Israel. President Carter's presence at Cardozo in no way represents a university position on his views, nor does it indicate the slightest change in our steadfastly pro-Israel stance."

However, Zaghi isn't buying his response. She believes it's a tactic to shift blame away from the university.

"Cardozo is allowing it because it's claiming that it's the student based organization that is honoring Carter- a pure shift blaming tactic. It is one thing for a secular school to use this excuse but not Cardozo, a Jewish school under the wings of Yeshiva University.

"I am afraid of what is next to come. Will Cardozo stop observing Jewish holidays and providing kosher food on its campus because it's the "students" that decide how to run the school?"

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