Former President Jimmy Carter will visit Brandeis University to discuss his book on Palestine but will not debate academic Alan Dershowitz as originally proposed, a Carter spokeswoman and officials at the Jewish-sponsored university said. Carter will speak for about 15 minutes and then answer questions for 45 minutes during the visit, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 23.
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Some students and faculty had objected when the speaking invitation to Carter, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, suggested the debate with Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor who has disparaged the book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." They said Carter should be invited to campus without conditions.
"We're pleased that this has all worked out," Carter spokeswoman Deanna Congileo said. "President Carter looks forward to the opportunity to having a dialogue with everyone at Brandeis."
She said Carter has set no conditions and would answer as many questions as possible.
Congileo said the visit will be Carter's first to a university to discuss the book, which some have called one-sided and erroneous. The book was published in the fall.
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 American Jewish community who say it equates that system with Israeli treatment of Palestinians.
The university said the event would be private and limited to "members of the university community," but Dershowitz said he will attend and question Carter.
"I will be the first person to have my hand up to ask him a question," he said. "I guarantee that they won't stop me from attending."
Brandeis is a nonsectarian university founded by the American Jewish community. About half its students are Jewish.