Eleven faculty members at Emory University have written a letter to the campus newspaper to protest an appearance next week by former President Jimmy Carter, who is scheduled to speak about his controversial book on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
The nine professors and two professors emeriti say the university should have made the Thursday appearance a debate, not a speech, and speculate that Carter might be afraid of having somebody authoritative tell him he is "simply wrong" when he "blames Israel for everything," according to the letter published Friday in The Emory Wheel.
"Jimmy Carter is a big boy," said Deborah Lipstadt, a professor in Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies who wrote the letter and collected the signatures from other faculty. "I would like to see Jimmy Carter saying he's willing to discuss it."
Lipstadt said a group of professors advised the administration that the best format for Carter's appearance on campus would be a debate because his latest, best-selling book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," has created a storm of criticism.