A top Jewish adviser in two Democratic administrations and the Anti-Defamation League’s national director sparred Thursday over Jimmy Carter.
Stuart Eizensat, a top adviser to Carter and President Clinton, and Abrahmam Foxman, the ADL leader, appeared together for a panel discussion on anti-Semitism moderated by author and professor Thane Rosenbaum at Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y.
The conversation turned testy when, in response to a question, Foxman offered an explanation for what he described as Carter’s anti-Semitic claim that the media is controlled by pro-Israel forces that keep Americans from hearing the Palestinian side of the Middle East debate. Foxman argued that Carter adheres to a strain of Southern Baptism that has not forgiven the Jews for rejecting Jesus.
Visibly frustrated, Eizenstat responded: “Stick to running the ADL – don’t try being a psychologist.”
Eizenstat, who has strongly criticized the title and content of Carter’s book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” insisted that Carter was not an anti-Semite and praised the former president for several steps he took on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.