It was widely reported in the press, that Carter asked for forgiveness from the Jews, and I don’t forgive him. The former president, and master of distortions, wrote to JTA: “As I would have noted at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but which is appropriate at any time of the year, I offer an Al Het for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so.”

In order to seek forgiveness, one has to acknowledge the mistakes that one made and resolve to repair the damage caused. If we Jews don’t forgive Carter, God certainly never will. As our tradition teaches — God will only forgive one who has made peace with those that they wronged. And Jimmy, you have a long, long way to go.

Carter’s admission that he has caused the Jewish community harm might work in confession, but doesn’t work with on Yom Kippur, and it doesn’t work with me.

Carter admitted no specific mistakes. He offered no way of repairing the damage caused by his irresponsible accusations.

I personally heard Carter tell an audience of 3k students at UC Irvine, to the applause of the administration and students, that the US Congress was “in the pocket” of the Jews.

How many other college student audiences around the country heard the same accusations? How many books did he publish accusing Israel of things that have no basis in fact? How many times has he appeared on TV demonizing Israel and backing Hamas?

In order for me to forgive Carter he has to admit to his distortions and lies and publicly renounce his books and speeches. Carter needs to return money to anti-Semitic Middle Eastern countries that back his center. He needs to replace Habitat for Humanity with Hadassah. He needs to go on Birthright Israel. He needs to listen to Matisyahu. He needs to watch G-d Cast, read The Forward, spend the winter in Miami. He needs to study Judaism with Rabbi Telushkin, and volunteer for Challah for Hunger. We need to see Jimmy Carter crusading against the humanitarian track record of Hizbollah, Hamas, and Fatah, and doing brunch at Jeff’s Gourmet Sausage on Pico. While he is on this apology tour, he needs to appear at every campus where he defamed Israel, and give speeches urging that Muslim extremist recruiting groups like the MSU and MSA be banned permanently. He needs to learn Hebrew, spend Shabbat at Beit Jewlicious, and sit at David Abitbol’s feet and learn about the expulsion of North African Jews, Sephardic Jewish culture, and eat chumous. And that is just for starters.

There is a perfect venue for this rapprochement to begin with the Jewish community; the perfect place for Carter to ask forgiveness, renounce his former ways, and promise to live a life free from anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel — Jewlicious Festival 6.0.

Friday Night at Jewlicious Jimmy, stand up in front of a hundreds of young Jews, ask forgiveness, break bread with us, and tell us how you will attempt to undo the vast damage you have wrought.

About the author

Rabbi Yonah


  • He also went on television and in at least one interview that I watched in absolute amazement, he hinted strongly to the host interviewing him – I believe this was MSNBC – that what could be said on the air was obviously restricted by some hidden powers. Since the conversation was focused on Jewish influence, the unspoken claim was clearly indicating that Jewish power was proscribing even a prominent talk show host on a national cable network from being able to tell the “truth.”

    An article in Ha’aretz suggested the Carter “apology” stems from a desire to support his grandson’s political campaign in Georgia. It seems the young Carter is seeking to win a seat held by a retiring Jewish House member in a heavily Jewish district.

  • I agree with Rabbi Yonah. President Carter has done a great deal of damage to the Jews. A simple apology won’t erase the memory of millions of people who believed his words due to his “credibility.” He needs to aggressively speak out about what his fabrications were, over and over again so that people notice it.

  • I would like to give the benefit of the doubt to Carter but it’s hard. We all have our opinions of this issue and there is no easy answer. For me, if giving land for peace would truly resolve this issue it makes sense to do so. However, we know this is not the case. The idea of a terrorist group in charge of a people is insane. Using people as human shields is the work of psychopaths.

    Maybe carter could mention the 100 Million $ that Araft gave his wife instead his people. How about the times before Arafat in which Palestine and Israel traded with each other. In Palestine there were markets, casino’s and open borders. Many people were not aware that Araft gave money to local political parties in Italy and France. This money was to be used for Palestinian propaganda and given to left party members. Most of these people were from the communist and socialist groups. I know for a fact that most of this money was never spent on what it was meant for. I will bet that Carter knows nothing of this. I can name…names. One is from a city in Italy, San Donato Val Camino (mayor: Antonello Antonellis) many other European politicians took this money. Such actions did work a little since left parties in Europe still tend to be pro-Palestinian but after 9/11 it is truly less.

    There were those in Palestine that were displaced 60 years ago and this issue should be resolved. It can. No side no matter how just is 100% in the right. I wish people such as Carter had the ability to look at the issue with better information before they place such information on paper.

    Rabbi Yonah’s concerns are righteous and I hope that when Jews read Carters book we will take a tempered mentality and use words to fight his words. Lets all remember that even though he was elected president of the US does not make him a Tzaddak and thus his views are that of one ignorant man.

  • Perhaps it is a vain attempt to take heat away from Obama, who has shown himself to be far worse. In Carter’s defense, he waited until he was out of the White House to show his true colors. The present POTUS did not wait more than a month.

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