Thursday, January 25, 2007


Jimmy Carter: Too many Jews on Holocaust council (WND)
TEL AVIV – Former President Jimmy Carter once complained there were "too many Jews" on the government's Holocaust Memorial Council, Monroe Freedman, the council's former executive director, told WND in an exclusive interview.

Freedman, who served on the council during Carter's term as president, also revealed a noted Holocaust scholar who was a Presbyterian Christian was rejected from the council's board by Carter's office because the scholar's name "sounded too Jewish."

Freedman, now a professor of law at Hofstra University, was picked by the council's chairman, author Elie Weisel, to serve as executive director in 1980. The council, created by the Carter White House, went on to establish the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Freedman says he was tasked with creating a board for the council and with making recommendations to the White House on how best to memorialize the Holocaust.

He told WND he sent a memo to Carter's office containing recommendations for council board members.

He said his memo was returned with a note on the upper right hand corner that stated, "Too many Jews." The note, Freedman said, was written in Carter's handwriting and was initialed by Carter. Freedman said at the time the board he constructed was about 80-perent Jewish, including many Holocaust survivors.

He said at the behest of the White House he composed another board consisting of more non-Jews. But he said he was "stunned" when Carter's office objected to a non-Jew whose name sounded Jewish.

Freedman said he could not provide the historians name to WND because he did not have the man's permission.

"I got a phone call from our liaison at the White House saying this particular historian whose name sounded Jewish would not do. The liaison said he would not even take the time to present Carter with the possibility of including the historian on the board because he knew Carter would think the name sounded too Jewish. I explained the historian is Presbyterian, but the liaison said it wouldn't matter to Carter."

Freedman said he was "outraged by this absurdity."

"If I was memorializing Martin Luther King, I would expect a significant number of board members to be African American. If I was memorializing Native American figures I'd expect a lot of Native Americans to be on the board.

"I do not for a moment consider it inappropriate to build a Holocaust council with a significant majority of the board being Jewish," Freedman stated.

Freedman describes himself as "self-proclaimed liberal." He said he decided to speak out after the release of Carter's latest book, "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid," which some have accused of being biased against Israel.


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