Alan Dershowitz — Point Man
I’ve written about Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz before, Alan Dershowitz, Praised:
Charles C. Johnson (no, not that that CJ) has a post at Big Government, In Praise of Alan Dershowitz. It’s worth the read, but hardly does justice to someone who for generations has fought for civil rights and the survival of western democracy even when it meant bucking the liberal establishment. Dershowitz’s website details his many accomplishments.
Most recently, Dershowitz earned the scorn of the left for his defense of Sarah Palin’s use of the term “blood libel.”
I first met Dershowitz when I was in law school. I didn’t have him for a professor, but he was the advisor to the Harvard Jewish Law Students Association, in which I was active. At the time, the fight on campus was the attempt by supporters of the PLO and “indigenous people’s” movements (including students Glenn Morris, who later worked closely with Ward Churchill, and George Bisharat, now an anti-Israel law professor) to delegitimize Israel.
My how times have not changed. We still are fighting that fight. And Dershowitz is at the forefront of fighting the academic establishment which has turned on Israel, and people like Richard Goldstone who seek to deny Israel the right of self defense by holding Israel to standards no one reasonably could meet in the face of Hamas and other Islamists.
Dershowitz’s report, The Case Against The Goldstone Report, is a primer on how the international human rights movement is used to support the worst abusers of human rights against a pro-western democracy.
You don’t have to agree with Dershowitz on every or even most domestic issues to realize that he is a liberal lion among progressive hyenas.
In a recent column at The Guardian, Dershowitz describes what it is like to be the point man in defending Israel against the academic and political mob:
Whenever I speak in support of Israel or in criticism of its enemies, the dogs of defamation are unleashed against me. The attacks, all from the hard left, seemed coordinated, focusing on common ad hominem themes. They accuse me of being a plagiarist, a supporter of torture, a rightwing “Zio-fascist”, a hypocrite, an opponent of the two-state solution and a supporter of Israel’s settlement policies. All these allegations are demonstrably false, but this does not seem to matter to those whose job it is to try to discredit me….
The most recent unleashing of the dogs of defamation was stimulated by the position I took on a BDS conference at Brooklyn College. Although I support the conference going forward, and oppose any attempt to censor it, I raise troubling questions about whether the Brooklyn College political science department should be sponsoring and endorsing that advocacy event, if they would not be willing to sponsor and endorse an anti-BDS event by an equally radical anti-Palestinian rightwing group….
Why, then, is there such a concerted effort to attack me personally and to question my integrity every time I speak about Israel?
It has little to do with me, because my attackers know that I can fight back and that my academic standing will not in any way be influenced by their attacks. The attacks are directed at young academics, without tenure who would dare to speak up on behalf of Israel.
The message is clear: if you support Israel, we will attack you like we attack Dershowitz, but you will be hurt much more that Dershowitz would. We will damage your reputation, hurt your student evaluations and decrease your chances for tenure.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that so many pro-Israel young academics refuse to speak up. I know because they call and discreetly tell me about the fear they have that they will be subjected to the same kind of McCarthyite tactics that I am subjected to.
That is why I will continue to fight back and respond every time the dogs of defamation are unleashed against me.
I wonder who the next Dershowitz will be in defending Israel against the academic dogs of defamation, someone with the academic pedigree in international law and history, the will to fight, and who is beyond intimidation.
It will not be me. I do what I can, but it requires, frankly, someone of greater stature. There must be someone out there.
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Professor Dershowitz is a classic “liberal”, as it was defined back before the name became a pejorative. The essence of true liberalism is to pursue truth and honesty, regardless of where it takes you. My mother was one such person, in the classic New Deal sense. Even she, before she died, became very disenchanted with the Democratic Party and actually voted Libertarian at the end of her life.
Such a man is Alan Dershowitz. His intellectual honesty and search for the truth is greater than his ideological loyalties.
It really is that bad, isn’t it. People are judged by the “color of their skin” (or credentials), rather than the “content of their character” (or argument).
Thanks to the majors, including Dershowitz, the minors, including Jacobson, and others who never set foot on stage, including me.
I’m not sure why I never stood in front. I am not an activist by my nature. Perhaps that may yet change.
hehe. The above is almost exactly what I posted during The Blood Libel Wars over at the Guardian.
I am thankful that Dershowitz has backed me up!
Dershowitz ‘s biggest problem is that he is NY centric. His relationship with Israel is still very much that of someone who lives in NY.
Israel is another land entirely.
I guess all those millions and millions of supporters if Israel growing up in Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Dallas, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, Denver, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Virginia Beach, St. Louis, Corpus Christi,Boise et al are all ‘NY centric.”
What supporters. ? Most American Jews vote Democrat at national level where the FP is.
The overwhelming majority of those cities vote Democrat also . Not sure of Boise & Corpus Christi & Virginia Beach is split into different districts. but yes to all the others.
Besides , the thread is about Dershowitz .
There exist many other millions of Jews outside of not just NY but America. Dershowitz is himself not Jewry International.
Da Dersh is one of those living proofs that nobody is perfect.
Not perfectly good. Not perfectly bad.
When you look at Lindsey Graham, and his Benghazi work and Hagel hold, you have to come to the same conclusion…albeit with reluctance…
Everybody has got to do their part, and in doing so, they will bolster Dershowitz ( — who I still can’t fathom why he supports Obama; the cognitive disconnect of liberalism rides on…)
I don’t always agree with him, but Dershowitz is a mensch. Pure and simple. How many classical liberals are left that stick to their principles?
An interesting point overlooked in the recent ‘There no future for Jews in England thread is …..
Besides the Irish who are largely unorganised even with bombs , there has been a large Catholic influx to England over the last decade. Poles are the largest immigrant group bringing with them their historical enmities & customs.
Read a n t I s e m I t I s m. On steroids.
Since Henry 8 tore down catholic infrastructure & they finally got rid of The French Scottish Stuarts , Catholics in England have been thin on the ground.
I bet you my 5 € note that Dershowitz would receive an ice cold reception in any of the nice country villages the Poles have taken over. The intellectuals he meets in London do not have the CV of the Polish common folk.
How many Jews are there in Poland. About none.
The ‘antisemitism’ of the radical Islamists who have flocked to Britain and procreated heavily dwarfs that of modern Poles.
Catholics vs Muslims – now that would be interesting. A crusade without leaving home.
Is the much exalted and more overhyped Prof. Dershowitz recognizing that the tactics of the left are invalid and morally bankrupt? Or is he just saying that applied to him, they are invalid?
Me thinks the latter.
Let change a few words about Dershowitz (imagine he was a conservative) to see if the general proposition works (of course not!) Censorship is ok, if you disagree with someone else!
Why, then, is there such a concerted effort to attack me personally and to question my integrity every time I speak about Conservative Values ?
It has little to do with me, because my attackers know that I can fight back and that my academic standing will not in any way be influenced by their attacks. The attacks are directed at young academics, without tenure, and young journo-lists without stature who would dare to speak up on behalf of Conservative values.
The message is clear: if you support Conservative values , we will attack you like we attack Dershowitz, but you will be hurt much more that Dershowitz would. We will damage your reputation, hurt your student evaluations and decrease your chances for tenure or hurt your ability to be a MSM journo-list.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that so many pro-Conservative values young academics and young reporters who refuse to speak up. I know because they call and discreetly tell me about the fear they have that they will be subjected to the same kind of McCarthyite tactics that I am subjected to.
“A liberal lion among progressive hyenas.”
Wow. What an analogy! This sums it up perfectly.
“I wonder who the next Dershowitz will be in defending Israel…”
It’d be nice if the next US President were such a bold person to fill those shoes.
I was just going to write something to that effect.
Where have all the protege’s gone?
Note: all humans are….human. Nobody get’s it right all of the time. Dersh didn’t, Reagan didn’t, George Washington didn’t.
My mind harkens back to the Senate, where the most stalwart defender of the Constitution, and process, and rules, and decorum, was Sen. Robert Byrd–former Klansman.
In his later years, who did he teach? To whom was the torch passed? Sessions? Hatch?
Thinking about who’s leaving, and who/what is replacing them.
Thinking about Patty Murry and Al Franken giving Constitutional speeches on the floor, influencing their new, impressionable protege’s.
Byrd’s defense of the Constitution was shallow and hypocritical. He was all for defending processes, rules and (sometimes) decorum, but the level of unconstitutional pork he tried and largely succeeded in diverting to WVA was breathtaking.
Never trust a person who fights to have monuments and buildings named after themselves while they are still in office, no matter the lip service they may give to the Constitution.
Oh: and he remained a racist his entire life.
Who did Dershowitz back in the last two presidential elections?
“It will not be me. I do what I can, but it requires, frankly, someone of greater stature. There must be someone out there.”
Don’t sell yourself short, Professor. Don’t sell yourself short.
LukeHandCool (who would only add, in “Get Smart,” Don Adams had to outwit Kaos’s “League of Bald Headed Men.” Nobody will outsmart the LI “League of Reticent Activists.”)
This is why an effort like College Insurrection is so important: unless the battle is carried to the progressives at every level of education, they will win. They will shape the education, by shaping the views of educators. “Political Correctness” will take on vicious qualities, ending the ability of people with “unacceptable” views to get jobs and universities seeking out the most aggressive among the rabble. As an example, I remember Peter LePage, Dean of the Arts College at Cornell, defended Cornell’s recruitment of the excreable Grant Farred away from Duke, as “in context” (ie, politically correct) for the department.
Thank you Professor Jacobson for your ongoing struggles against these close-minded, ill-educated jackels in academia.