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Posts Tagged ‘Alan Dershowitz’

“Hate Spaces”: American Colleges and Their Jewish Students

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

There is a brand-new documentary that focuses on the relationship between American universities and their Jewish students, particularly those who support Israel. The movie is called “Hate Spaces” and that gives you an idea of how those Jewish students are treated.

Of course the name is a play on the current ridiculous yet widespread notion that American college students need “safe spaces”  – sometimes equipped with crayons or puppies or soft pillows – from any ideas that might make them even a teensy bit uncomfortable.

This film is a must-see. “Hate Spaces” is so chock-full of important facts, details and examples that it could easily provide the basis for a full semester course, yet it has been masterfully edited down to a mere 110 minutes long.

Another reason why this film is so useful is that it interweaves current examples and interviews with a historic progression of the problem on American campuses.

Writer, producer and director Avi Goldwasser discussed the film with the JewishPress.com on Monday evening. He explained that he and his colleagues at Americans for Peace and Tolerance have “been observing the increased hostility toward Jewish students on campus for the past decade.” Goldwasser and his colleague Charles Jacobs produced the 2004 film “Columbia Unbecoming,” which they thought “would be a wake up call for the Jewish community and the people of New York,” Goldwasser continued.

Although the 2004 film was shocking in terms of how blatant was the animus towards Israel, it did not bring the hoped-for change. Even sadder is that things have only gotten much worse since then.

“Most people do not realize how the hostility is being institutionalized, made fashionable by a combination of forces including radical faculty, radical student organizations, and an enabling university administration. While many anti-Jewish incidents and the BDS campaign are reported by the media, few are willing to connect the dots and report on the underlying ideology and extremist organizations that are inciting the hostility.”

And connect the dots is exactly what “Hate Spaces” does. Awareness slowly dawns on the viewer as what appeared to be merely a series of ugly campus incidents is woven together. That weave reveals the comprehensive pathology undergirding the movement which is ultimately seeking to completely delegitimize Jewish identification with American Jews and the Jewish State, and which gets a pass from most university administrators.

A quote in the film from the Facebook page of Marissa Rubin, a Temple University student, pretty much sums it up: “I am tired of anti-Semitism being a completely normal occurrence, and people standing idly by because, as long as they are only going after Jews, nobody cares.”

“Hate Spaces” very effectively breaks down the issue of gross indifference towards American Jews on campus into manageable segments, such as “Tenured Hatred,” “Intersectionality,” “Privileged Hatred,” and “Failed Leadership.” There is plenty of blame to be apportioned and Goldwasser and his colleagues make strong cases for each portion.

The film also plumbs the progressive elitist drive which is married to the more raw Jew-hatred that melds to marginalize Jews on campuses. It uncovers the funding sources, the historical backgrounds and the interconnectedness of the villains.

Perhaps most pointed is the film’s criticism of the faculty and college administrators who, to be charitable, are manipulated by the dark forces in ways similar – although a billion dollars of donations does thicken the plot – to the impressionable students. The weak-kneed prog-elites are exposed as seeking acceptance and accolades for their progressive values which are completely inverted when it comes to the Jewish minority and the tiny Jewish State.

Many of those who have been diligently slogging away against the world of campus anti-Semitism are used to great effect in “Hate Spaces.” There are informed and enlightening snippets of interviews with such luminaries as the journalists and authors Melanie Phillips and Caroline Glick, along with Cornell University professor and founding blogger at Legal Insurrection William Jacobson, the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens, Alan Dershowitz, the Brandeis Center’s Kenneth Marcus, ZOA’s Sue Tuchman, Jonathan Schanzer, Richard Landes and the ubiquitous Chloé Simone Valdary. Strong, important, concise points are made by each of them.

When he spoke to the Jewish Press, Goldwasser echoed a leitmotif of the film, one pressed especially by Melanie Phillips on camera. Truth has been distorted or even abandoned on college campuses, where “ideology and narrative trump truth.”  For that reason Goldwasser is hoping that the film will “energize the public to demand that our leaders in the community and on campus live up to their stated values. What is happening on campus is contrary to American values, to values of decency.”

And every reader of this review will have the chance to be energized. You need to see the film, then you need to act. For those in the New York area, the premiere will take place this Wednesday, Nov. 30, at Symphonyspace.

hatespacesad

For other screenings, check out the APT website. Watch the trailer.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Bannon Skips ZOA Event to Avoid Protesters

Monday, November 21st, 2016

President-Elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon did not attend the Zionist Organization of America annual gala Sunday, where he had been scheduled to speak, blaming the hundreds of protesters who had gathered outside the NY Grand Hyatt hotel event, CBS News reported.

ZOA President Mort Klein told JTA that Bannon had initiated the appearance. “He asked us to come, we never invited him,” Klein stated, adding, “Of course, an important guy like him says he wants to come, I say yes.”

Last week, Klein rebuked ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt for his attack on Bannon that accused him of racism and anti-Semitism. “The ZOA welcomes the appointment of Stephen Bannon as chief strategist to the incoming Trump/Pence administration,” Klein wrote on his organization’s website. “We wish Mr. Bannon every success in his new position.” Klein then urged Greenblatt and the ADL “to withdraw and apologize for their inappropriate character assassination of Mr. Bannon and Breitbart Media.”

The protest outside the Grand Hyatt was organized by leftwing extremist Jewish group IfNotNow, which promises on its website: “We will be the generation that ends our community’s support for the occupation.” By “occupation,” they mean, of course, Jewish life east of the 1949 armistice border, which was liberated by Israel in 1967. Police removed  the protesters, who continued their protest in a local park.

Incidentally, the IfNotNow website declares: “We are grounded in the values of the Jewish tradition,” but mentions not once a reference to Jewish practice, God, or even Jewish solidarity. The values it appears to espouse are political action against fellow Jews. But then the same website also states: “We participate in the Jewish practice of teshuva (repentance). We value intention and action more than we do correct language. We will make mistakes. We will reflect. We will ask for forgiveness and offer it as we build deep trusting relationships.” So there’s still hope.

Meanwhile, according to the Jerusalem Post, Professor Alan Dershowitz, who had defended Bannon against accusations of anti-Semitism, was booed during his ZOA speech, for reminding the audience that Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote, and that therefore the US presidential contest “was a tie election, that one person won the electoral and one person won the popular vote.”

So there’s room for a lot of tshuva to go around.

JNi.Media

Rejuvenation: Eve and the Big Apple [audio]

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Eve is in NYC at the start of her speaking tour. She shares thoughts on talks she heard by Alan Dershowitz, Bret Stephens, and Bruce Feiler, as well as her walk in the Park- Central, that is. Perceptions, narratives and understanding. Do Americans love America enough to save her?

The Land of Israel

Dershowitz to Play Trump in Hillary’s Debate Prep

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

As the Trump campaign is surrounding itself with strong, anti-Hillary voices from well established conservative media — Stephen Bannon and Roger Ailes, to name but two, WNYC’s All Things Considered host Richard Hake last week said that “the Clinton campaign has been looking for a surrogate to play Trump so she can practice and they are bringing in the well-known criminal and constitutional law attorney Alan Dershowitz.”

Hake was interviewing former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green, who said that of the two components required to win a presidential debate, knowledge and the ability to react quickly and sharply, Hillary possessed the former to a degree close to her own husband’s and to President Obama. But how should she react to an offensive criticism from her attacker in real-time?

“With Roger Ailes and Stephen Bannon advising Trump, Hillary’s team has to guess at what off-the-wall questions, attacks, about her or Bill are coming her way, and how to response with one phrase, one over-arching ribbon,” Green said.

Green, who used to be a student of Dershowitz’s at Harvard, said “Alan Dershowitz is quick-talking, New Yorkish, loud, of course a liberal, and he can mimic Trump pretty well.”

Green said the Democratic candidate should have one overall debate manager, one surrogate, and a team of ten advisers who would micro-analyze her answers during the practice bouts, and remind her to remain poised and, most important and “cheesy,” as Green put it, smile a lot.

“If you’re ideologically neutral and you see Trump yelling and angry, and self-centered, he never smiles, he never laughs, he’s too self-referential,” Green said, and then you turn to Hillary, and “Hillary is the tough mother you want, and if she smiles periodically and is always poised, she conveys empathy. Remember, Kennedy beat Nixon not on points but on appearance.”

So far, Dershowitz denied the story about his playing Trump, writing “Not that I’ve heard,” in response to a Jewish Insider email asking if he’ll do Trump in Clinton’s debate prep.

The first presidential debate is scheduled for Monday, September 26 at Hofstra University in New York.


Dershowitz Preps Hilllary for Debate

JNi.Media

Dershowitz’s New Book Gets Biblical Abraham Off the Hook

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

(JNi.media) “Abraham, the world’s first Jew, was also the world’s first lawyer, arguing with God on behalf of the doomed sinners of Sodom,” writes attorney Alan Dershowitz in his latest book, “Abraham: The World’s First (But Certainly Not Last) Jewish Lawyer.” Others followed, Dershowitz contends, “but Abraham was the first, and this book is about him and his progeny: the numerous Jewish lawyers who—for better or worse, but in my view mostly better—have changed the world by challenging the status quo, defending the unpopular, contributing to the rule of law, and following the biblical command to pursue justice.”

Indeed, there was a long list of biblical Jewish lawyers, according to Dershowitz: “Joseph soon followed, serving as a counsel to the powerful, as many Jewish lawyers have done since. Then came Moses, who was not only a lawgiver but also an advocate on behalf of Jews who had rejected him, his laws, and his God. Daniel, who in the Apocrypha serves as a defense lawyer to Susanna, perfected a technique of cross-examination that is still effectively used today. And Deborah the judge dispensed justice under a palm tree.”

Last November, a crowd of 1,500 ticket-holders from all over the greater New York City metropolitan area lined up down the street and around the corner outside Temple Emanu-El synagogue on the Upper East Side, starting at 8 AM, to watch Alan Dershowitz and Eliot Spitzer, who argued The People Vs. Abraham before United States District Judge, the honorable Alison Nathan. Needless to say, the Harvard maverick whose clients included O.J. Simpson, Michael Milken and Claus von Bulow, won the case, successfully arguing that the biblical Abraham was not guilty of the attempted murder of his son, Isaac. “It got Abraham off,” Dershowitz told The Wall Street Journal.

His new book, coming out on Oct. 6, is a survey of the history of Jewish lawyers. He started with Abraham, because Abraham started his career arguing with God, according to Dershowitz. “What could be more appropriate for a criminal lawyer?” he said, noting: “I argue with federal judges all the time who think they’re God.” Dershowitz profiles both well-known and unheralded Jewish lawyers, admired and excoriated, victorious and defeated—and of course offers glimpses into his own practice. Louis Brandeis, Theodor Herzl, Judah Benjamin, Max Hirschberg, Rene Cassin, Bruno Kreisky, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Elena Kagan—”idol-smashers, advocates, collaborators, rescuers, and deal-makers” who helped change history.

Finally, Woody Allen once asked Dershowitz which historic figure he would have liked to defend, to which he answered: Jesus. “He would be the perfect defendant for me because he was exercising his free speech, preaching religion and expressing his own views,” Dershowitz explained to the WSJ, noting: “Think of how much better the world could be if no one could blame the Jews!”

JNi.Media

Alan Dershowitz Says Obama Checkmated by Iran Deal

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

(JNi.media) Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz in a recent book claims that President Obama changed the focus of the Iran nuclear deal after he was re-elected and allowed himself to be “checkmated,” because he gave Iran hope of developing a nuclear weapon and took the US military option off the table.

In an exclusive interview with the Observer, Dershowitz, a lifelong Democrat, staunch supporter of Israel and author of “The Case for Israel” and “Chutzpah,” spent a sleepless night after the Iran deal was announced. He emailed his eBook publisher and asked if it was possible to have a book written about the Iran deal in time for the Congressional debate. His publisher gave Dershowitz two weeks, but it was finished in eleven days. A day after it was released, “The Case Against the Iran Deal: How Can We Now Stop Iran From Getting Nukes” was rated the number one Kindle international best seller just a day after it was released.

If President Obama seems to be saying something different about Iran as a potential nuclear power than what he said in previous years, it isn’t just memory playing its tricks. Dershowitz points out that the President’s statements about the Iran deal changed dramatically after his re-election. Previously, Obama was emphatic that Iran would not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, calling the move a “game changer” and promised to do “whatever it takes” to prevent Iran, which has stated its desire to destroy Israel, from becoming a nuclear power.

There is a cynical explanation, and a more straightforward one, as to why the President changed his mind, Dershowitz suggests. He could have sincerely reconsidered his position in the process of negotiating with Iran. The other explanation that includes certain suspicions, but which “seems to be supported by the data,” is that once Obama was re-elected for a second term and the Republicans dominated the Senate “he was going to do what he always wanted to do and was less completely candid with those of us whom he told that the military option was on the table and Iran would never be able to develop nuclear weapons.”

Obama’s main mistake, explains Dershowitz, was dealing with Iran as an equal, which was the result of his taking the military option off the table.

“That was an extraordinarily naive and wrong thing to do,” said Dershowitz, who insists that position is supported not just by Obama’s political opponents, but other liberal Democrats.

Supporters of the deal say it prevents war and they challenge opponents to come up with a better version of a deal. Dershowitz thinks war is a greater possibility now that Iran has been strengthened financially, given credibility and the military avenue has been dispensed with.

He thinks sanctions could have been removed if the US negotiated with Iran from a position of strength, demanded 24/7 inspections capability, the complete scrapping of Iran’s nuclear program, and military consequences if the deal was violated. “Now the problem is we negotiated as equals and are playing checkers against the people who invented chess, and they checkmated our President and our Secretary of State,” he says.

A way out for the next administration is not to acknowledge the Iran deal, which Dershowitz, a constitutional scholar, thinks may not have authority. Dershowitz explains that the Iran deal likely falls under the definition of a treaty the Framers said would need 2/3rds approval in Congress. “It is unlikely that they would have allowed the President alone to make an enduring and international agreement.”

It is possible that, with the next Administration, “the Iran agreement won’t have the force of law,” Dershowitz says.

JNi.Media

Stop Iran Rally Draws 12,000 to Times Square (Photo Essay)

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

People said it was too late. They said it would be embarrassing because few people would show up.

Those people were wrong.

A small section of the overflow crowd at the Stop Iran Now rally in Times Square, west side of 7th Avenue, at 42nd St. July 22, 2015.

A small section of the overflow crowd at the Stop Iran Now rally in Times Square, west side of 7th Avenue, at 42nd St. July 22, 2015.

The Stop Iran Now rally in New York City’s Times Square on Wednesday, late afternoon proved Americans are riled up about the deal made between the United States and the other members of the P5+1 (the U.K., France, Russia, China, plus Germany). Thousands showed up and lined 7th Avenue in Manhattan for blocks and blocks.

Stop Iran Now rally, 7th Ave. between 42nd and 41st St. July 22, 2015.

Stop Iran Now rally, 7th Ave. between 42nd and 41st St. July 22, 2015.

Stop Iran Now rally in NYC Times Square. July 22, 2015.

Stop Iran Now rally in NYC Times Square. July 22, 2015.

Stop Iran Now rally in NYC Times Square. July 22, 2015.

Stop Iran Now rally in NYC Times Square. July 22, 2015. Blow-up mushroom cloud was one of the props people brought to the rally.

Stop Iran Now rally in NYC Times Square. July 22, 2015.

Stop Iran Now rally in NYC Times Square. July 22, 2015.

The total count was 12,000, as Master of Ceremonies Jeff Wiesenfeld told the crowd halfway into the event.

Wiesenfeld also repeatedly called on New York Senator Chuck Schumer to do the right thing and help defeat the Iran deal.

As a former aide to New York Governor George Pataki (R), New York Senator Alfonse D’Amato (R) and New York City Mayor Ed Koch (D), Wiesenfeld told the crowd he had the opportunity to meet and to know former New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Moynihan was revered as a moral hero.  Pausing dramatically, Wiesenfeld addressed Schumer: “You, sir, are no Daniel Patrick Moynihan.”

Stop Iran Now rally co-organizer Jeff Wiesenfeld. July 22, 2015.

Stop Iran Now rally co-organizer Jeff Wiesenfeld. July 22, 2015.

There were dozens of police and other security officers, and although the event was still going strong when it was scheduled to end at 7:30, the crowds remained, waving their flags, chanting “Kill the Deal,” and pressing against the barricades.

Every effort was made to turn the rally into a truly bipartisan event. Few of the speakers were Democrats, but that is, according to Wiesenfeld, because even those New York Democrats who initially signed on to speak were later told by their party’s leadership not to show up.

But despite those efforts, the speakers were relatively diverse, and included such self-proclaimed liberal Democrats as Harvard Law Professor (emeritus) and author Alan Dershowitz, and former United States Attorney and long-time Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morganthau.

The theme of the rally was that the nuclear deal entered into by the U.S. and its partners with Iran is not just bad, it is potentially world-shatteringly awful for the United States and for most of our closest allies both in the Middle East and throughout the world.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/stop-iran-rally-draws-12000-to-times-square-photo-essay/2015/07/23/

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