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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Emory professor urges Carter Center to cut ties with Carter

An Emory University professor has urged the university's Carter Center to cut its ties with former President Dhimmi Carter if it wants to survive:
A noted Emory University anthropologist is calling for the Carter Center to distance itself from its namesake in the wake of the former president's latest book and recent comments about Israel.

Writing to Carter Center Executive Director John Hardman to decline a position on an advisory panel, Melvin Konner also offered a piece of advice.

"If you want The Carter Center to survive and thrive independently in the future, you must take prompt and decisive steps to separate the center from President Carter's now irrevocably tarnished legacy," wrote Konner, adding that the center has to make it clear that, on matters of the Middle East and the Jewish community, Carter does not speak for the institution.

"If you do not do this, then President Carter's damage to his own effectiveness as a mediator, not to mention to his reputation and legacy, will extend, far more tragically in my view, to The Carter Center and all its activities," wrote Konner, the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Anthropology at Emory and the author of "Unsettled: An Anthropology of the Jews."

Hardman said he has not received a copy of Konner's letter, which was dated Dec. 17, and would not comment.


"It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel," Carter wrote in a passage near the end of the book.

Konner said that sentence condones "the murder of Jews until such time as Israel unilaterally follows President Carter's prescription for peace."

"This sentence, simply put, makes President Carter an apologist for terrorists and places my children, along with all Jews everywhere, in greater danger," he said.

In the wake of all of the criticism, Konner — who is Jewish — said he was asked by Hardman to join an advisory panel that would begin advising Carter in January on issues. He initially thought he would join the panel, but changed his mind after watching Carter's reaction to the controversy and his failure on several occasions to address any of the criticisms.

"This rigidity of thought and complete failure to engage criticisms from much greater experts than me about his numerous and serious errors of commission and omission make it clear to me that an attempt by me to advise him would be pointless and counterproductive," Konner said.

Late Thursday, Congileo said she was not aware of the "advisory committee to which Mr. Konner refers."
Right.... They're not aware of a letter dated five days before the article and they're not aware of the advisory committee.... Sounds positively Clintonesque to me....

Picture by: David A. Lunde (must check this site - he has some great stuff!)

Hat Tip for the picture: Little Green Footballs


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