An official with Yeshiva University told Arutz Sheva’s New York correspondent on Thursday that the university disagrees with the decision of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law to honor former U.S. President Jimmy Carter with the International Advocate for Peace Award.
The official told Arutz Sheva that faculty at the university expressed discontent by the decision to give an award to Carter. "The decision has caused an uproar, and rightly so, but it is a decision by students and the administration cannot interfere with such decisions nor can it cancel them,” he said.
Students who opposed the decision to honor Carter called it “a disgraceful decision” that hurts Jews in the United States. “Carter hates Israel," they said.
An official spokesman for Yeshiva University would not speak to Arutz Sheva on the matter but forwarded a disclaimer statement by President Richard M. Joel on the issue.
“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,” noted Joel. “The university recognizes the breadth of impassioned feelings engendered by this appearance, and is mindful of the diversity of expressed opinions on the matter.”
“At the core of Yeshiva University’s expressed mission and sacred mandate stands an unwavering and unapologetic commitment to the legitimacy, safety, and security of the State of Israel,” he noted. “Israel remains not just a critical, but an essential pillar of our institutional and communal ethos. We’ve built a campus in Israel; our students study there in droves; our alumni make aliyah by the thousands; all of our schools engage in collaborative programs with Israeli institutions. Both literally and emblematically, Yeshiva University proudly flies the degel Yisrael, the Flag of the State of Israel, both on our campuses and in our hearts.”
Joel noted that “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.”
Earlier this week, enraged alumni of Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law threatened to physically block Carter from entering the school when he arrived to receive a peace award.
The National Council of Young Israel called on Yeshiva University and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law to withdraw the invitation to Carter.
"Mr. Carter's well-known animus and bias towards the State of Israel has earned him widespread condemnation from Jews and non-Jews alike, and he is certainly not deserving to have any honor bestowed upon by him by an entity that has ties to the Jewish community and the Jewish State," said Farley Weiss, the president of the National Council of Young Israel.
"We hope that Yeshiva University and Cardozo will do the right thing and reconsider its decision to permit Mr. Carter on campus and not allow its students to pay honor to someone who has done much to hurt the honor of the State of Israel."
Despite the criticism, however, the New York Times reported that the ceremony honoring Carter took place without incident on Wednesday.
Reporters were not allowed into the event, which took place before an audience of about 250 in the law school’s mock courtroom, the report said.