Brandeis: Jimmy Carter Can Come, If He Does a Dog-and-Pony With Dershowitz

M.J. Rosenberg has a terrific piece on TPM about his alma mater Brandeis saying that Jimmy Carter can only speak there if he’s balanced by Alan Dershowitz.

It is with real pain that I note that Brandeis is yielding to what amounts to an academic boycott of a former President for criticizing Israel…. We look like mini-Joe McCarthys and we are all being hurt by this…

Israelis themselves just laugh. How is it, they ask, that they can debate Israel-Palestine with absolute freedom but we Americans are afraid to…

Invite Carter to speak. Alone. Like any other speaker. Your students can handle it. Trust me. Trust them.

The Boston Herald reports that the Dershowitz act was dreamed up by Brandeis trustee Stuart Eizenstat, a former Carter adviser, along with Brandeis Prez Jehuda Reinharz. Just like when the New York Theatre Workshop decided it could only put on Rachel Corrie’s show last spring if it was suitably “contextualized,” with pro-Israel voices. These paroxysms speak to the same lesson: the Israel lobby isn’t a control room in Washington, it’s a general climate of fear about Israel’s future that clouds the minds of goodthinking liberals who are empowered—with the ability to shut off debate. Even a former president lacks standing.

But watch out. The success of Carter’s book, the contract to Walt/Mearsheimer, the Corrie run at the Minetta Lane, the Iraq Study Group’s hail Mary to Syria—the world is changing.