Menu JTA Search

RJC: Don’t let Carter speak in Denver (UPDATED)

A day after the Democrats announced that former President Jimmy Carter would be speaking next Monday at their convention, the Republican Jewish Coalition is demanding his removal from the schedule because of his “troubling anti-Israel bias.” Carter spoke at the convention four years ago, but that was before the 2006 release of his controversial book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”

A top Jewish leader, though, believes a Carter speech in Denver is unavoidable. Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman said in a phone interview that he wished Carter wasn’t speaking, but “I don’t think there’s an option not to provide a platform for a former president.” He hoped the “Democratic leadership would use the opportunity [of Carter's appearance] to distance themselves” from the former president’s “biased view of the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

Here’s the full RJC release:

RJC: Remove Carter From Democratic Convention Program

Washington, D.C. (August 20, 2008) – The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) today
called on Sen. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party leadership to remove former
President Jimmy Carter from the program at the Democratic National Convention. Yesterday it was announced that Carter is scheduled to speak at the Convention in Denver on Monday, August 25, 2008.

Through the years, President Carter has consistently demonstrated by his statements
and actions a troubling anti-Israel bias. In April 2008, despite strong protests by Israeli leaders, the U.S. State Department and several Democratic leaders, Carter met with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Syria. In an August 2006 interview with Der Spiegel, Carter ignored Israel’s right to defend its citizens and borders. Instead, Carter claimed Israel’s attack was “unjustified” and that “Israel looks upon this as a justification for an attack on the civilian population of Lebanon and Gaza.” In 2006, Carter also published an error-filled, egregiously biased book entitled Palestine: Peace not Apartheid. Carter said publicly that Israeli treatment of Palestinians is “one of the greatest human rights crimes
on earth.”

“Jimmy Carter’s long history of anti-Israel bias has rendered him unfit to address
the Democratic Convention. It is incumbent upon the Democratic Party leadership
and Senator Obama to remove Carter from the program in Denver. The Democratic
Party and Senator Obama’s continued embrace of Carter and his anti-Israel bias sends
a troubling message to the Jewish community. It stands in stark contrast to the
GOP and John McCain’s pro-Israel stance,” said RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks.
“Additionally, Senator Obama should reject Carter’s superdelegate vote. The hand
that shook Khaled Meshal’s should not be allowed to rise in support of Senator Obama’s
candidacy for president.”

NEXT STORY