Alan Dershowitz, writing in Front Page Magazine:
Recent disclosures of Carter’s extensive financial connections to Arab oil money, particularly from Saudi Arabia, had deeply shaken my belief in his integrity. When I was first told that he received a monetary reward in the name of Shiekh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, and kept the money, even after Harvard returned money from the same source because of its anti-Semitic history, I simply did not believe it. How could a man of such apparent integrity enrich himself with dirty money from so dirty a source?
And let there be no mistake about how dirty the Zayed Foundation is. I know because I was involved, in a small way, in helping to persuade Harvard University to return more than $2 million that the financially strapped Divinity School received from this source. Initially, I was reluctant to put pressure on Harvard to turn back money for the Divinity School, but then a student at the Divinity School, Rachael Lea Fish showed me the facts.
They were staggering. I was amazed that in the twenty-first century there were still foundations that espoused these views. The Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-up, a think-tank funded by the Shiekh and run by his son, hosted speakers who called Jews “the enemies of all nations,” attributed the assassination of John Kennedy to Israel and the Mossad and the 9/11 attacks to the United States’ own military, and stated that the Holocaust was a “fable.” (They also hosted a speech by Jimmy Carter.) To its credit, Harvard turned the money back. To his discredit, Carter did not.
Jimmy Carter was, of course, aware of Harvard’s decision, since it was highly publicized. Yet he kept the money. Indeed, this is what he said in accepting the funds: “This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.” Carter’s personal friend, it turns out, was an unredeemable anti-Semite and all-around bigot.
In reading Carter’s statements, I was reminded of the bad old Harvard of the nineteen thirties, which continued to honor Nazi academics after the anti-Semitic policies of Hitler’s government became clear. Harvard of the nineteen thirties was complicit in evil. I sadly concluded that Jimmy Carter of the twenty-first century has become complicit in evil.
The extent of Carter’s financial support from, and even dependence on, dirty money is still not fully known. What we do know is deeply troubling. Carter and his Center have accepted millions of dollars from suspect sources, beginning with the bail-out of the Carter family peanut business in the late 1970s by BCCI, a now-defunct and virulently anti-Israeli bank indirectly controlled by the Saudi Royal family, and among whose principal investors is Carter’s friend, Sheikh Zayed. Agha Hasan Abedi, the founder of the bank, gave Carter “$500,000 to help the former president establish his center…[and] more than $10 million to Mr. Carter’s different projects.”
Carter gladly accepted the money, though Abedi had called his bank, ostensibly the source of his funding, “the best way to fight the evil influence of the Zionists.” BCCI isn’t the only source: Saudi King Fahd contributed millions to the Carter Center “in 1993 alone…$7.6 million” as have other members of the Saudi Royal Family. Carter also received a million dollar pledge from the Saudi-based bin Laden family, as well as a personal $500,000 environmental award named for Sheikh Zayed, and paid for by the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. It’s worth noting that, despite the influx of Saudi money funding the Carter Center, and despite the Saudi Arabian government’s myriad human rights abuses, the Carter Center’s Human Rights program has no activity whatever in Saudi Arabia.
Beyond the antisemitism and general bigotry of Carter’s benefactors is the fact that they’re 9/11 conspiracy theorists, blaming our own military for the attacks on the twin towers instead of the radical Islamic zealots who really crashed the planes into the buildings. Carter knows that these contributions come from people who feel that way. He knows they’re coming from people who feel that the Jews are all members of some sort of global cabal and should be wiped off the face of the earth. Yet he takes them anyway, so one has to conclude that Jimmy Carter feels the same way.
And make no mistake about it, this money from the Arabs has strongly influenced both Carter and his foundation’s political views: