When former president Jimmy Carter took the stage for a brief appearance at the Democratic National Convention, most delegates leapt to their feet and cheered.
Noticeably silent and still were a few Jewish delegates from New Jersey, who stayed in their seats.
Although at least two of them have a reputation as being quite liberal, they had a problem with Carter’s views on Israel, and most notably the book he penned on the subject: Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.
Essex County Freehold Patricia Sebold was offended by the book, but was never a fan of Carter. She was hoping and waiting with baited breath that Sen. Ted Kennedy would make an appearance tonight.
“In 1980, Carter was running for his second term. I didn’t like him then and I knew he was going to lose, so I supported Ted Kennedy. History has proven that I was correct.”
State Sen. Loretta Weinberg was actually busy talking to a reporter when Carter came on stage, but said she wouldn’t have stood up anyway.
“I’m disappointed on his stand on Palestine, and he doesn’t really see the picture for what it is,” she said.
But the most harsh condemnation of Carter came from gay rights leader Steven Goldstein, who wore a yarmulke with “Garden State Equality” – the organization he chairs – embroidered on top.
Hours before he attended the convention, Goldstein said he planned to sit the Carter appearance out.
“In the party that I love so much, in the convention that will no doubt be the greatest our party has ever had, to many Jewish voters like myself Jimmy Carter is a blight,” he said.