Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Long Overdue Shunning of Alan Dershowitz

Here is a column of mine that was published in the August 9, 2018, issue of the Marblehead Reporter.

The Long Overdue Shunning of Alan Dershowitz

Shunning is quite a valuable tool and, of course, is being quite effectively used against Donald Trump. The shunning of Alan Dershowitz by summer residents of Martha’s Vineyard, however, is long overdue. He reacted to this by saying “I stand by my principles”. By that, I think he means fighting for civil rights.

That might sound good to some in the United States. But if you are a Palestinian, you might shun him because of his decades long opposition to their civil and human rights.  

Dershowitz seems to be quite selective in which US presidents he supports. While Donald Trump is his new BFF, he has constantly attacked Jimmy Carter. Ten years ago, on May 1, 2008, I posted on my blog “Dershowitz’s Despicable Smear of Jimmy Carter” in response to an article by Dershowitz “Jimmy Carter for Sale” which would have made Joseph McCarthy proud. He begins by alleging “recent disclosures of Carter’s …. connections to Arab oil money” and says that one of these connections is an “unredeemable anti-Semite” who funds a think tank which hosted a speaker that called Jews “the enemies of all nations”. He then connects Carter to receiving funds from an anti-Israel bank. With that he then attacks Carter as having “dirty money”, being “complicit in evil”, “dependent on Arab oil money” having “deception bordering on corruption” and concludes that ”His real integrity is extraordinarily low”.

Below are excerpts from Dershowitz's Despicable Smear of Jimmy Carter dated May 1, 2008

Alan Dershowitz is, by all accounts, a brilliant lawyer and an extraordinarily effective advocate for many individuals, organizations and causes – one of them being the Government of Israel.
CURRENT NOTE – another is Donald Trump – “Alan Dershowitz picked a bad week to defend President Trump. Nonetheless there was the famed former Harvard Law professor Wednesday night, sitting on the stage at the Katharine Cornell Theater on Martha’s Vineyard, arguing that a special counsel should not have been appointed to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia. A polite, somewhat subdued, crowd turned out to hear Dershowitz, who is a longtime summer resident, tell the gathering why he defends the man so despised by many on the island.” Boston Globe July 19, 2018
Here is his conclusion about Jimmy Carter, “He is no better than so many former American politicians who, after leaving public life, sell themselves to the highest bidder and become lobbyists for despicable causes.”

What would justify Alan Dershowitz devoting such time and effort to personally attacking Jimmy Carter? What “despicable cause” has Jimmy Carter been lobbying for?

Not his work in … “Havana so that I could speak directly to the Cuban people about democracy and human rights.” Page 250, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”. 
Here’s a clue “Three of the most honest, fair and peaceful of our elections have been in Palestine.” Page 250

Jimmy Carter has become the most respected prominent individual openly critical of the policies of the Government of Israel vis-à-vis the Palestinians. He has put in decades working for a “just” peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. He has even been talking to everyone about “the terrible plight of the Palestinians” Page 251;

He talks about three options available to the Government of Israel – one of them being “A system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights. This is the policy now being followed.” Page 215;

CURRENT NOTE - “now” includes July 19, 2018 – “Israel passed early Thursday a controversial bill that officially defines Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and asserts that "the realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people," sparking outrage from Israel's Arab community and provoking concern from the international community.” Ha’aretz July 19, 2018

Alan Dershowitz is a symbol of those who support peace, justice, love, fairness, human rights, and dignity and equality for all unless they are Palestinians.  Herre’s a few values of Judaism embodied by the work of Jimmy Carter and opposed by Alan Dershowitz when the subject is the Palestinians: Exodus 22:20-21 - You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt;”  Deuteronomy XVI, 18:20 – “Justice, Justice shalt thou follow.” 
But I do think that his article is symbolic of what is happening in what is fortunately an increasing smaller segment of the Jewish community - those who agree with any action taken by the Government of Israel. As more and more people in this country and around the world become aware of the injustices and human rights violations being carried out by that government, these tribal nationalistic oriented individuals and their organizations are likely to ramp up the volume and intensity of their personal attacks on, and verbal persecution of, those who criticize the Government of Israel.

Dershowitz ..  hopes to divert our attention from any recommendations Jimmy Carter proposes that might bring appropriate pressure on the Government of Israel to negotiate in good faith for a “just” peace.

… while Alan Dershowitz is not a public official who, after leaving public life, sold himself to the highest bidder, he is, in my opinion, actually the one who is a “lobbyist for a despicable cause” – support for the Government of Israel as it continues the occupation and deprives millions of Palestinians of their basic rights and freedoms.

The shunning of Alan Dershowitz, as I said, is long overdue.

To read the entire post and the attack article by Dershowitz on Jimmy Carter, go to

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