New Carter Controversy

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," January 30, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Former president Jimmy Carter is being accused of making some anti-Semitic remarks, already embroiled in controversy over his new book, "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid" and allegations he signed for the extradition of a known Nazi.

Carter is now facing criticism from the former executive director of the Holocaust Memorial Council. The former director says Carter sent him a note in which he said, quote, "Too many Jews are on the Council." He even alleges that Carter rejected a nominee because his name sounded too Jewish.

Joining us now is, in an exclusive interview, former executive director of the National Holocaust Memorial at Hofstra University, law professor Monroe Freedman. My alma mater.

Good to have you here.


COLMES: Is Jimmy Carter an anti-Semite? Could you make that statement?

FREEDMAN: Well, anti-Semite is a range of things. You go from, say, Nazi is a 10. Country club discreet anti-Semite's at one. I'd put Carter at three.


FREEDMAN: Because, first of all, Israel is the Jewish national liberation movement. He used the worst kind of word to characterize it, "apartheid."

COLMES: He was talking about Palestine, he says, in that book, not Israel, when he was using that word. That applied to Palestine, not Israel.

FREEDMAN: Well, it is very clear in context, I think, and is taken by everybody to refer not to what is happening in Palestine but what Jewish policy is and what he sees it as doing.

And apartheid is the worst form of racism that we have in modern times. And to characterize Israel like that is, among other things, false. And, yet, another indication. I think there are any number of them. He uses code expressions that are anti-Semitic.

COLMES: Like "too many Jews"?

FREEDMAN: Well, that -- I don't think that's the worst.

COLMES: He was talking about diversity on the council. That's what he was meaning to imply in that particular case?

FREEDMAN: Yes. I understand that, but he also said, referring to the 1976 election, that it was predicated greatly on Jewish money. He said that -- he referred to the leadership of Jewish organizations, using the word "alien." These are familiar code words of anti-Semitism.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Professor, thank you for being with us. He seems to advocate the use of terrorist tactics.

FREEDMAN: Yes, exactly.

HANNITY: For the Palestinians.

FREEDMAN: He does.

HANNITY: He -- you know, "too many Jews," that's the phrase he used --

FREEDMAN: Yes. And you know, I don't -- I don't rest my accusation on that alone.

HANNITY: Too many Jews? Who says that?

FREEDMAN: Well, in the context of the Holocaust, it's particularly unfortunate phrasing. I think it's crude, and it's insensitive.

But it's not the worst. His condemnation of terrorism, of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.

HANNITY: Seems to justify it.

FREEDMAN: Yes, he does. He does.

HANNITY: What about his special consideration for a former Nazi officer?

FREEDMAN: That, too.

HANNITY: That, too.

FREEDMAN: I don't -- I cannot comprehend that. And he has justified the firing of missiles into civilian areas of Israel. He denies that Hamas rejects a two-state solution, despite everything that they have always said from the beginning until current times. It's clear enough to me.

HANNITY: We now have all the members of the Carter Center continue to resign. I think the number now has leveled off at, what, 15.

FREEDMAN: Fourteen, 15.

HANNITY: Fourteen or 15 or so. You know, I've got to wonder in the political framework here if this were a Republican, it seems to me his Democratic roots, his criticism of President Bush, it seems to have inoculated him from a more objective discerning analysis of an abysmal record of anti-Semitism.

I think, you know, this is getting to be a very strong case now, and nobody seems to have the willingness to confront him.

FREEDMAN: Well, I'm also a critic of President Bush. I don't think...

HANNITY: I'm sorry to hear that. You were doing great up to this point. No, I'm kidding!

COLMES: Now you're coming around!

HANNITY: Now, putting -- putting the politics aside, this is too serious.

FREEDMAN: Yes, that's right. And I don't think it insulates him from anything. I think people are understandably hesitant to use a word like anti-Semite.

And as I say, one reason is that it describes a range. And you use the word, and it's not clear whether you are favoring concentration camps or you're just the discreet country club kind of anti-Semitism.

But I think if you specify what it is that the man has said and done, and where you put him in that range, that's a legitimate charge.

HANNITY: Do you think he's about to be confronted by more people such as yourself? Do you think more people will come out and say this record is abysmal and there's now a growing track record?

FREEDMAN: Oh, do think so, yes.

HANNITY: And so you think this is just the beginning?

FREEDMAN: I think so.

COLMES: By the way, for the record, he did correct what he said in his book. He said it was poorly worded and does not represent his point of view and he does not favor terrorism...

HANNITY: Little late.

COLMES: ... in any way, shape or form.

FREEDMAN: Alan, you step on somebody's foot in the subway, you apologize. You justify suicide bombing and terrorism...

COLMES: But he didn't. He said that's not what he meant to say.

HANNITY: It's what he said. That's what he wrote.

FREEDMAN: This is a man who is very careful...

COLMES: Should he have gotten the Nobel Peace Prize?

FREEDMAN: ... about language.


FREEDMAN: Look, if Henry Kissinger could get it, anybody can get it.

COLMES: All right. Thank you very much, Professor. Thank you. Coming up...

HANNITY: Henry deserved it.

COLMES: What was that?

HANNITY: Henry deserves his.

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