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 hundreds and 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.