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Is The Dersh the last courageous liberal?

Is The Dersh the last courageous liberal?

One of my big regrets is not making more of a connection with Alan Dershowitz while in law school.

I didn’t take any of his classes, but I did have some interaction with him since he was the faculty advisor to the Jewish Law Students Association.  We called him “The Dersh.”

In the early 1980s the hot issue was the same hot issue on campuses now, the attempt to delegitimize Israel.

Surprisingly, the leading faces have not changed much.  We still have agitators like George Bisharat (then Harvard Law student, now law professor at Hastings School of Law in California) making false claims that Zionism is racism and inventing facts to support the narrative.

And we still have The Dersh refusing to be bullied.  The Dersh led the fight against the now disgraced Goldstone Report about the Hamas-Israel fighting in Gaza.  Most recently the Dersh spoke out against the BDS conference at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Dersh is an unapologetic liberal.  But as his recent comments (h/t Instapundit) about Media Matters make clear, he’s not going to be silent as American and European liberals join with anti-Semites in the demonization of Israel:

Liberal Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz says Media  Matters could become the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of 2012 for the Obama campaign  if the White House and the Democratic Party don’t clearly distance themselves  from the organization.

“Well I think if swing voters in the pro-Israel community had any idea how  extreme Media Matters was on issues of Israel and supporters of Israel, they  would regard Media Matters as another, you know, Rev. Wright,” Dershowitz told  The Daily Caller.

“And for many, many in the pro-Israel community, it would be a game  changer.”

Dershowitz went so far as to suggest that Media Matters’s rhetoric on Israel,  particularly from Media Matters Action Network senior fellow M.J. Rosenberg, is  similar to what one would find on a neo-Nazi website.

“When I started reading their stuff it sounded like the kind of stuff you see  on neo-Nazi websites,” Dershowitz said. “Or on Hezbollah-supporter websites. It  is so extremist. The thing that shocked me is that anybody regarded it as  mainstream.”

The Dersh was interviewed recently by Larry O’Connor of Breitbart Media (h/t Instapundit).  It was classic Dershowitz.  Listen to it here.

The Dersh also does not confuse liberalism with Democratic Party orthodoxy.  You may recall my post Alan Dershowitz, Praised, regarding Dershowitz’s defense of Sarah Palin over the use of the term “Blood libel.”

While the entire media and Democratic political universe (along with some Republicans like David Frum) lashed out at Palin, The Dersh defended her.  Now Palin is defending The Dersh against attacks on him over his comments about Media Matters.

There are few if any others with solid liberal credentials who speak out against the Islamist-Leftist Anti-Israel Coalition which manifests itself in the BDS movement, on boats heading to Gaza to help Iran’s proxy army, in protests at the Israeli anti-suicide bomber barrier, and in use of terms like “Israel Firsters” by a senior employee of Media Matters.

I don’t believe leading liberals fail to recognize the destructive path liberalism is on by cozying up to anti-Semites, it’s just that they lack the courage of The Dersh.

Update: I can’t believe I found in my files this original paper issue of The Harvard Crimson from April 21, 1984, with the front page article “Dershowitz, Law Students Condemn PLO Panel Talk.”  Enlarge it and read it carefully, and you may see another name you know.


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Not only is he the last courageous liberal, he is the last honest one.

    Hey, just noted your login name. I love it! More people need to be shown the difference between classical liberalism, which has more in common with libertarianism than this awful communist-totalitarianism we get from the Dems these days…

    Actually, I wrote here that there’s another honest liberal, especially as it pertains to Israel:

    His name is Ed Koch. I applauded him for statements about GWB.

    Admittedly, the list honest liberals gets pretty short pretty quickly, with Joe Lieberman’s name being about the only other one that comes to mind.

“I don’t believe leading liberals fail to recognize the destructive path liberalism is on by cozying up to anti-Semites…”

Oh, I think it is darker than that, Prof. I think they APPROVE and find common cause (at least).

Generally, Mr. Lieberman is in the small cadre of “libs with guts”. It is a small group.

Sad to say Mr. Dershowitz your comments will probably fall on deaf leftist ears. But I do hope you’ll keep speaking out and they listen before it is too late.

For some reason this reminds me of a line from Edgar Allen Poe’s “A Dream Within A Dream”; “O God! Can I not save One from the pitiless wave?”

Mickey Kaus. Larry Lessig.

StrangernFiction | February 15, 2012 at 10:24 am

Well I think if swing voters in the pro-Israel community had any idea how extreme Media Matters President Obama was on issues of Israel and supporters of Israel, they would regard Media Matters President Obama as another, you know, Rev. Wright

Very good article – I wanted to continue reading it! 😉

Too bad you weren’t there during Obama’s Harvard Law days…… To know more about how he fit into such a cadre that was obviously growing in the mid-80s would be most enlightening!

If only. Funny how NO ONE has anything to say about Obama’s school past. No recollection of his achievements, discussions, activities, group associations.

Maybe this year Obama WILL be vetted, as Andrew Breitbart promised at CPAC. That would too wonderful for words! 😀

    Uncle Samuel in reply to DINORightMarie. | February 15, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Here’s one story of how Obama got into Harvard:
    “There was his journey to the third-world, to Pakistan and East Africa, after his first year at Columbia. But things really got strange with the revelation that Khalid al-Mansour, close adviser to a Saudi billionaire and the Saudi royal family, was instrumental in helping Obama get into Harvard Law School (and reportedly Columbia before that), financing his education and advancement.

    It was al-Mansour who asked Percy Sutton, a prominent black lawyer active in the civil rights movement and defending radicals in the 1950s and 1960s, to help Obama get into Harvard. In the interview with a New York news station (see video at left), Sutton described al-Mansour as “the principal adviser to one of the world’s richest men. He told me about Obama and asked him to “write a letter in support of Obama’s application to Harvard Law School, Sutton recalled.”

    NOTE there is also a man named Mansour mentioned in Professor Jacobson’s clipping.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to DINORightMarie. | February 15, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Here’s a little preview of Obama’s college days, by one who was there then:

      Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | February 15, 2012 at 11:42 am

      A little more from the comments section of this American Thinker post investigating the likelihood that BHO, Sr. is only a name on a piece of paper:

      BHOjr’s entanglements with the big names in US Islamist and Communist circles brings to mind the old saying, ‘thick as thieves.’

      The more I investigate, the more I shudder for America.

      Will an election ever rid the US of this scourge?

      Will the American people wake up in time to think, vote and stand for ‘truth, freedom, justice and the American way’?

      That’s why Newt Gingrich’s candidacy and voice have been so valuable. He has given us permission to think and tell the truth again…when we had almost forgotten it.

      He has challenged and blown down every one of the myths and card-houses the PC crowd has laboriously constructed over the last decades to fool us.
      From the Palestinians to global warming and the other assaults on reason, logic, statistics, evidence and science we have been forced to swallow and pretend to believe.

      It’s like we have been given a chance to breathe fresh pure air after holding our breath for way too long in toxic liberal exhaust.

“The Dersh,” as you say, is a classical liberal, not one of these “progressive” totalitarian types (i.e. socialist, communist, etc;). There is a BIG difference. Most people think the democrats of today are classically liberal, but they are way off. The modern democratic party would lose all but a fraction of public support if the media would only shine a light on how far gone they are… which is why they corrupted the media second, right after they destroyed our ability to critically think by infesting the education system.

So “The Dersh” refered to this as similar to Rev. Wright, have they started crying rascism yet for that or will we have to wait a few days? I’d be curious to see how that plays out.

I like how the other article in the paper is about the gov’t raising the drinking age to 21. Sadly one of the Reagan adminidtrations bigger mistakes…

I know for a fact at least some of Obama’s earliest supporters got jobs at Media Matters after the election.

for a second i thought that was the professor with the mic and fantastic tux.

was kind of dissapointed.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | February 15, 2012 at 11:30 am

It’s unfortunate The Dersch only criticizes Media Matters for it’s radical stand on Israel.

As a constitutional scholar, isn’t he also worried that Media Matters is abusing its tax exempt status as a media watchdog to effectively attempt to silence speech it doesn’t like? Isn’t that at least part of what the Daily Caller exposed? I mean, why would Media Matters publicly “declare war” on Fox and hire private investigators to snoop around the private lives of News Corp and Fox executives if the mission is simply to correct “media bias”? It seems clear the goal is to find stuff that will embarrass them and get them fired.

Why would Media Matters run extensive campaigns to get advertisers to boycott certain Fox broadcasts if the goal is not to silence speech? It’s absued to suggest they are simply a media watchdog organzation.

I know The Dersch is strongly pro-Israel, but Media Matters is a sham organization and there is alot more about Media Matters that he could be talking about than simply its anti-Israel stance.

Commenters at American Thinker and The Right Scoop are concerned for Dershowitz’s intellectual honesty and integrity/sanity/credibility…feeling he will have to separate from his prior support for Obama, the Democratic party and the evolved liberalism to maintain any connection to reality and truth.

Comes a time when even a defense lawyer must weigh the evidence and come out of denial, delusion, deception and face the overwhelming facts.

His man, Obama no longer has any credible defense. That is if you love truth, America and Israel.

Leave the dark side and come to the light, Professor Dershowitz.

One of the best articles that I have read regarding Obama and his plan for Israel is located here:

Obama’s Plan to Destroy Israel

Raquel Pinkbullet | February 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm

How about David Horowitz? He was a Marxist in the 1960s and has come around is now a conservative who is using his knowledge of the LEFT to expose them and the anti-Semites in the RAT party.

Dershowitz is a nice guy, but until he wakes up and leaves the Democrat party, I will question his sanity.

A liberal Democrat calling out Media Mutters for its anti-Israel insanity … the cartoon image that pops into my head (if only I could draw!) is of a crossing guard holding up a hand-held stop sign, trying to lead the Daily Kos Kidz across the dangerous, busy street to school and they’re not paying any attention whatsoever, running straight into traffic.

Might as well just sit on the corner playing solitaire … those kids are going to dash across the street and get hit by reality some day. They are intent on it.

LukeHandCool (who has no personal anecdotes involving crossing guards, whatsoever).

Raquel Pinkbullet | February 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Professor, I think Ed Koch should also be mentioned in your post. He however endorsed Bush in 2004, and plenty of Republicans.

Raquel Pinkbullet | February 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I was 10 days old when this article was written. lol

Raquel Pinkbullet | February 15, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Is that you in the sunglasses Professor?

I get what you say about Dersh. Oddly enough Im reminded of Senator Lieberman. Liberal? Sure. But for alot of folks…were able to see the lines he wont cross…like his position on the military and his having called out Clinton years ago.

The liberals/Democrats of the 1960s/70s would be the RINOs of today.

[…] Self Hatred Posted on February 15, 2012 1:30 pm by Bill Quick » Is The Dersh the last courageous liberal? – Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion The Dersh is an unapologetic liberal.  But as his recent comments (h/t Instapundit) about […]