Canadian college alums angry over honorary degree for Jimmy Carter

Queen’s University in Canada is facing a backlash from some Jewish alumni over its decision to confer an honorary degree on former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, a strong critic of Israel.

Shimon Fogel, head of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, told the National Post newspaper that his organization has received about 50 “angry and frustrated inquiries” from Queen’s graduates concerned that the university in Kingston, Ontario, will confer the degree on Carter, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who has described Israel as an apartheid state.

It will be Carter’s first honorary degree from a Canadian university.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs pointed to Carter’s 2006 book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” in which the former president characterized Israel as an apartheid state and questioned its commitment to a two-state solution. Three years later Carter apologized to the American Jewish community for “stigmatizing Israel” and asked for forgiveness. — jta