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Carter contraversial book supports palestinians { December 26 2006 }

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Students push to bring President Carter to Brandeis
By Associated Press
Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - Updated: 01:43 PM EST

WALTHAM - About 100 students, faculty and alumni of Brandeis University have signed an online petition to push the administration to bring former President Carter to campus to discuss his new book on Palestine, without being required to debate it.
Carter said earlier this month that he turned down an invitation from a university trustee to speak at Brandeis because it came with the condition that he debate Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, a harsh critic of Carter’s book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”
But Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz said Carter is welcome on campus at any time and a debate was never a condition of a visit. Rather, Reinharz said Carter’s request that the university send a plane to pick him up in Georgia was unreasonable.
“The university does not contract private planes to bring speakers to campus for a book tour,” Reinharz wrote in an e-mail to Kevin Montgomery, the student who started the petition.
Montgomery, a senior politics major, told The Boston Globe he has received about $1,000 in pledges from faculty to help sponsor the visit. They plan to invite Carter by the end of the week.
“I think there’s a basic lack of debate here about Israel and Palestine,” Montgomery said.
Carter’s use of the word “apartheid,” the term for South Africa’s former system of state-sanctioned racial segregation, has angered many in the Jewish community because it appears to equate that system with the treatment of Palestinians.
University spokeswoman Lorna Miles said Reinharz does not object to efforts to bring Carter to Brandeis, which was founded by U.S. Jews in 1948 as a nonsectarian school. About half its 3,200 undergraduates are Jewish.
Carter’s spokeswoman, Deanna Congileo, said the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner has not received a formal invitation from the university.

© Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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