web analytics
August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Alan Dershowitz’

Alan Dershowitz: Edwards’ Jury Couldn’t Decide and For Good Reason

Friday, June 1st, 2012

It is a wise person who knows when not to decide. The jury in the John Edwards case rendered exactly the right verdict. Of course they couldn’t make up their mind on most of the charges. No rational person could. The judge essentially instructed them to get into John Edward’s mind (as well as into the minds of several other actors in this political soap opera) and to determine precisely what his intention was in receiving money from friends. If his intention was primarily personal (to try to save his marriage and not humiliate his wife any further), then there was no crime. But if his intent was primarily political (to help him get elected president), then there may have been a crime. Precisely how many angels were dancing on the head of that pin! No one, not even Edward’s himself, could calculate the precise quantification of his complex and multiple intentions. This kind of decision should never be the subject of a criminal case, and the jury was right to find a reasonable doubt as to one of the charges and to throw its hands up as to the others. All reasonable people should now hope that the Justice Department sees the light of day and does not seek a retrial. The jury has spoken, though ambiguously, and there is no reason to believe that another fairly picked jury will be able to discern the precise intentions of the actors with any greater certainty or precision.

This entire farce of a trial is part of a larger problem that infects not only America but other Western countries as well: the criminalization of policy differences and of personal sin. No one can justify what John Edwards did to his family, to American politics and to himself. He will forever pay a steep price for his selfishness and arrogance. But it is not a price that all Americans should have to pay by the distortion of the criminal justice system into a Rorschach test, in which the jury is asked to interpret vague action and attribute precise intentions to actions done with mixed motives.

The criminal law should be limited to what I call “Hamlet decisions.” Before a person is charged with a serious crime, the government should have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant actually engaged in a “to be or not to be” decision—to be a felon or not to be a felon, to step over a clear line that separates criminality from sin! There is no reason to believe that John Edwards ever made that decision, because the law governing his conduct is vague, subjective and unclear in the extreme.

At the time of the founding of our Republic, there was a common expression that said that a criminal law must be so clear that a potential defendant “can read it while running and still understand it.” The law under which Edwards was tried was so unclear that a bevy of lawyers could not understand it while sitting and studying it for hours.

So let the remaining charges be dropped against John Edwards. Let him be relegated for his deserved place in history and let us reserve the criminal law for real felons who knowingly violate clear criminal statutes. If Congress wants to criminalize what Edwards was accused of doing, let it enact a clear law that gives fair warning to all politicians that they may not accept any gifts, regardless of intent. I doubt Congress will pass such a law. In the absence of clear guidance, the Edwards jury showed wisdom and common sense. Let’s hope the Justice Department now does the same.

Originally published by Gatestone Institute  http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

Alan Dershowitz: Suppressing Ugly Truth for Beautiful Art

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

The Metropolitan Museum in New York, in its current exhibit on the collection of Gertrude Stein and her family, has made a decision to suppress the ugly truth about her collaboration with Nazism during the German occupation of France. Anyone walking through this beautiful exhibit of the Stein family’s exquisite tastes in art would learn nothing about Gertrude’s horrendous taste in politics and friends. Stein, a “racial” Jew according to Nazi ideology, managed to survive the Holocaust, while the vast majority of her co-religionists were deported and slaughtered. The exhibit says “remarkably, the two women [Stein and her companion Alice Toklas] survived the war with their possessions intact.” It adds that “Bernard Fay, a close friend…and influential Vichy collaborator is thought to have protected them.” That is an incomplete and distorted account of what actually happened. Stein and Toklas survived the Holocaust for one simple reason: Gertrude Stein was herself a major collaborator with the Vichy regime and a supporter of its pro-Nazi leadership.

According to a new book entitled Unlikely Collaboration: Gertrude Stein, Bernard Fay and the Vichy Dilemma, by Barbara Will, Stein publicly proclaimed her admiration for Hitler during the 1930s, proposing him for a Nobel Peace Prize. In the worst days of the Vichy regime, she volunteered to write an introduction to the speeches of General Phillipe Petain, the Nazi puppet leader who deported thousands of Jews, but who she regarded as a great French hero. She wanted his speeches translated into English, with her introduction, so that Americans would see the virtues of the Vichy regime. In that respect she was like other modernist writers, such as Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot who proudly proclaimed their pro-Fascist ideology, but Stein’s support for Fascism was more bizarre because she was Jewish.

Stein’s closest friend, and a man who greatly influenced her turn toward fascism was Bernard Fay, who the Vichy government put in charge of hunting down Masons, Jews and other perceived enemies of the State. Fay was more than a mere collaborator as suggested by the Met exhibit. He was a full blown Nazi operative, responsible for the deaths of many people. After the war, when the horrendous results were known to all, Gertrude wrote in support of Fay when he was placed on trial for his Nazi war crimes. Perhaps an artist should be judged without regard to his or her political affiliations or actions, but the Met exhibit purports to present the story of the Stein collection and of Gertrude’s life in France. It ends with a misleading description of her activities during the war years. It would perhaps be different if this were only an exhibition of the Steins’ art collection rather than a biographical account of her family’s life in France. By withholding from the viewers an important part of the truth, the Met is engaging in a falsification of history.

Why would the Met do that? Presenting a complete picture—large warts and all—and allowing viewers to judge for themselves as to what to make of her collaborations, would be far more interesting and educational.

When museums put on exhibitions, they often tend to glorify those whose work they are exhibiting. Sometimes they fail to convey an accurate historical picture. What the Met is doing is different. By offering a false explanation of how Stein and Toklas “remarkably” survived the Holocaust, while living in a town from which dozens of Jewish children were deported to death camps, the Met has distorted the history of the Holocaust and failed to point a finger of blame at collaborators, such as Stein, who made it possible.

The Met is a great museum. I love to go there. But when I visited the Stein exhibit, I was disappointed. There is still time for the Met to make it right. It should have a statement describing, fully and accurately, Stein’s collaboration. And it should offer for sale at the exhibition shop Barbara Will’s book, exposing Gertrude’s pernicious collaboration, alongside the books currently on sale, all which glorify the Steins.

Before publishing this article, I wrote to the museum inquiring about the omission and proposing some changes. They justified the omission by arguing that the exhibit was primarily about the Steins’ art and not about Gertrude’s politics, but they agreed to sell Barbara Will’s book. They have not yet responded to my request to include in the exhibit itself some information about Gertrude Stein’s ignoble role in the Nazi occupation of France. Unless they do, those who see the exhibit will continue to be misinformed about the ugly truth of a woman with beautiful art.

Alan Dershowitz: The Case Against the Left and Right One-State Solution

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Both the extreme left and the extreme right are now calling for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Of course, the one-state solution each seeks is completely different: the left wants yet another Arab state in place of Israel; the right wants a Jewish state that encompasses what is now the West Bank, in place of any Palestinian state. Both are prescriptions for undemocratic disasters and for the ultimate delegitimation of Israel as the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people.

I have advocated a two-state solution, based on secure borders for Israel, since the early 1970s, when I debated Noam Chomsky, who was then an advocate of a secular bi-national state. I advocated a version of what was then known as “the Alon Plan,” which, in effect, would have annexed portions of the captured territories that were necessary for Israel’s security but would have precluded Israeli civilian settlements in other captured areas. This plan was consistent with Security Council Resolution 242, which allowed for some territorial annexation by Israel to achieve secure borders. I did not, and do not now, advocate a return to the indefensible 1967 lines, which reflected nothing more than temporary truce lines following the attack on Israel by the surrounding Arab states in 1948.

Now the hard left wants to eliminate these borders and create one state which would soon become another Arab Muslim state in which Jews would be a minority, while the soft left wants Israel to return all the territory captured in the defensive war of 1967, with mutually agreed acre-for-acre land swaps (to which the Palestinians now seem unwilling to agree).

The hard right, on the other hand, wants Israel to annex and settle the entire West Bank, make it part of Israel, but deny its Arab residents the right to vote and become citizens (If the hard right position were to grant voting and citizenship to the Arab residents of the West Bank, they would be agreeing with the hard left’s position on a “democratic” one-state solution that would quickly turn into an undemocratic Muslim state based on Sharia law, as specified in the Palestinian Constitution).

Both one-state solutions would end in Israel’s delegitimation as the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people. That’s why the vast majority of Israelis, as well as every centrist Israeli leader, rejects both the left and right wing versions of the one-state solution.

An Israel that would permanently deny millions of Arab residents the rights of citizenship would become illegitimate not only in the eyes of the international community, but even more important, in the eyes of most Israelis and Israeli supporters around the world. Israel would cease to be a democracy if nearly half of its residents could not vote. Some on the hard right would “solve” this problem by expelling the Arab residents of the West Bank. That too is not a solution that is consistent with democratic values.

In a recent article entitled “Disputing Dershowitz,” Martin Sherman tries to make the hard right case against the two state solution. In doing so, he never even addresses the issue of democracy. This is perhaps because he doesn’t care whether his “one state” is or is not democratic. But the vast majority of Israelis, and their leaders and supporters, do. But because Sherman doesn’t value democracy, he seems willing to impose his undemocratic solution in an undemocratic manner on unwilling Israelis and Palestinians.

He makes the absurd argument that the Palestinians are not a people based on the fact that they don’t have a unique language, script, religion, heritage or history. By that standard, the United States should still be part of Great Britain, because the American Colonists, who were being denied full citizenship, also lacked those characteristics. The Palestinians are a people because they regard themselves as such and seek to govern themselves. They will secure self-government, however, only if they come to the bargaining table, with no preconditions, and with the realization that they must accept borders and other conditions that assure Israel’s security. They must also realize that they are not coming to the negotiating table in the same bargaining position as the Israelis. The Israelis secured the West Bank after winning a defensive war started by Jordan, in whose place the Palestinians now stand. By demanding preconditions from the Israelis to receive what they claim is their land, the Palestinians remind us what Abba Eban said in 1967 when the Arabs rejected Security Council Resolution 242:

“This was the first war in history which has ended with the victors suing for peace and the vanquished calling for unconditional surrender.”

The major reason there is still no two-state solution is the Palestinian unwillingness to accept Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, to acknowledge the need for border adjustments necessary for Israel’s security, and to renounce the phony “Right of Return,” which is simply another ploy to secure a one-state solution.

Alan Dershowitz: Why Deterrence Won’t Work Against Iran

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Following President Obama’s strong renunciation of “containment” and his expression of willingness to use military force as a last resort to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, some on the left continue to oppose any threat to use the military option. Leading this approach is Fareed Zakaria, who recently on his CNN program, characterized the Obama policy as “a serious error,” and called instead for a “robust policy of containment and deterrence.”

But the policy that Zakaria is proposing is anything but robust. To the contrary, it is a call for inaction. It presumed that Iran will be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, but that they will be deterred from actually using them by the threat of nuclear retaliation. Zakaria points to the fact that deterrence succeeded in preventing war between the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as between India and Pakistan. He claims that each side was effectively deterred by the threat of mutually assured destruction. He says it will work equally well with Iran.

Let us pause for a moment to understand precisely what a policy of deterrence entails. Any such policy is based on the promise that if one side launches a nuclear attack, the other side will retaliate with an equally devastating nuclear attack, thus assuring the destruction of both societies and the deaths of millions of innocent civilians. The first question therefore is whether the United States would actually be willing to retaliate against a nuclear attack on Israel by dropping nuclear bombs on Tehran, killing millions of its civilian inhabitants. The second question is whether any civilized country—the United States or Israel—should be willing to kill millions of Iranian civilians because their leaders made a decision to use nuclear weapons against Israel or the United States. The third question—and the one never asked by advocates of deterrence—is whether it would be legal, under the laws of war, to target millions of civilians in a retaliatory nuclear attack. These are the kinds of questions that Fareed Zakaria and his dovish colleagues refuse to ask. And the reason they refuse to ask these hard questions is precisely because we know the answers they would give: They would be categorically opposed to any retaliatory attack that targeted civilians in a tit-for-tat implementation of a mutually assured destruction policy of deterrence. If you don’t believe me, ask him!

As to the legality of nuclear deterrence, the International Court of Justice issued a decision in 1996, in a case challenging the lawfulness of using, or threatening to use, nuclear weapons. The majority decision declined “to pronounce…on the practice known as ‘the policy of deterrence’.” It did rule unanimously, however, that any “threat or use of nuclear weapons” must “be compatible with the requirements of the international law applicable in armed conflict, particularly those of the principles and rules of international humanitarian law…” These rules, of course, generally forbid the targeting of civilian population centers and require proportionality even in the bombing of military targets. Since nuclear weapons are, by their nature, virtually incapable of destroying military targets without also inflicting countless civilian casualties, it would seem to follow that they could not be used except against remote military targets, such as ships and submarines on the high seas, or armies in isolated deserts or mountains. In a divided vote, the court ruled that:

“the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict…”

“However, in view of the current state of international law, and of the elements of fact at its disposal, the Court cannot conclude definitively whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be lawful or unlawful in an extreme circumstance of self-defence in which the very survival of a State would be at stake.”

In other words, it would be unlawful for the United States to threaten or use nuclear weapons as a deterrent, since its “very survival” would not be at stake, but it might be lawful for Israel to do so because it is a small state whose very survival would, in fact, be at stake were it to be attacked by nuclear weapons.

Menachem Begin, the Israeli Prime Minister who ordered the preventive attack on Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981, expressly renounced mutually assured destruction as a policy. He said that Israeli “morality” would never permit a retaliatory attack against an Iraqi city: “The children of Baghdad are not our enemy.”

A preventive attack, on the other hand, is always directed against a military target. Only one person—a nuclear technician—was killed in the attack Begin authorized.

It would appear to be ironic that Zakaria, and others who purport to be “doves”, would favor a mutually assured destruction policy that threatens the deaths of millions, over a preventive policy that targets military nuclear facilities. But it is not at all ironic, since such doves would be against actually carrying out the threat that is central to any credible policy of deterrence. For them, deterrence is a bluff—a hollow threat and the Iranians would see right through it.

That’s why President Obama is correct in renouncing containment and insisting that he isn’t bluffing when he says Iran will not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, even if it takes a surgical military strike to stop them. I am not here arguing in favor of a preventive attack on Iran at this time. I am arguing against reliance on a policy of deterrence and containment, because I don’t believe it will work in relation to Iran, Israel and the United States.

What if deterrence and containment didn’t work, and Iran were to fire nuclear rockets at Israeli cities? Those who now advocate robust deterrence—instead of surgical prevention—would simply say to the remaining Israelis: “Woops. We were wrong. Sorry. We’ll build you a new Holocaust Museum.”

Originally published by Stonegate Institute www.stonegateinstitute.org

Alan Dershowitz: President Obama Turns a Corner on Iran

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

President Obama has turned an important corner in his efforts to persuade Iran not to try to develop nuclear weapons, and in his efforts to persuade Israel to allow his combination of punishing sanctions and tough talk to work.  In his recent interview with  Jeffrey Goldberg in Atlantic Magazine, President Obama sent a clear message to the Iranians that he is not bluffing, that he means it when he says that American policy is not to accept a nuclear Iran, and that no option, including a military one, is off the table if sanctions and threats appear not to be working. I was not surprised by President Obama’s strong words, because he said similar things to me in private conversation.  But now he has said them in public, and with words that are unequivocal and put his credibility, and the credibility of our country, on the line.  (I will not repeat the President’s words here because they can be found in the Goldberg article that appears http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/obama-to-iran-and-israel-as-president-of-the-united-states-i-dont-bluff/253875/).

For those who have claimed that Obama is anti-Israel and/or weak on Iran, these forceful statements should make them reconsider.  I, for one, am satisfied with the President’s words.  Now I want to hear them repeated by Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, by Joint Chief of Staff Martin Dempsey and by others in the Obama Administration.  For me the problem has never been President Obama.  His voice has generally been strong and clear in support of Israel’s security and his determination to prevent Iran from securing nuclear weapons.  The same cannot be said for other members of his administration.  The resulting mixed message has been viewed as a green light, or at the very least a yellow light, by the Iranian mullahs.  Now they have been given a clear red light, and if they try to speed past that red light, they should understand the grave consequences.

Having said all this, there still is some distance between the United States and Israel when it comes to timing and red lines.  Israel has a closer red line, because it may soon lack the military capacity to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program, if that program succeeds in going underground to bunkers that are impenetrable to Israeli bombs.  The United States has more time, and a further red line, because it has far greater capacity to destroy even a deeply buried Iranian nuclear weapons program.  This difference requires the Israelis to place great trust in President Obama’s promises.

As a nation built on the ashes of the Holocaust, Israel must always heed the lesson Elie Wiesel learned from his horrendous experiences during the Second World War:  “Always believe the threats of your enemies, more than the promises of your friends.”

Israel may feel the need to take its own military action, even if it believes—as it should—that Obama is now expressing his true views and policies regarding a nuclear Iran.  Things change.  People, even presidents, change their minds.  Public attitudes change.  Promises are fragile reeds on which to rest life and death decisions about one’s own population.  It is fair to ask the question whether if the shoe were on the other foot, the United States would be willing to put the safety of its citizens in the hands of a close and trusted ally rather than in its own hands.  Because the United States has the strongest military in the history of the world, that particular shoe is never on the other foot, yet it is an interesting thought experiment.

I hope, with all my heart, that military action will not be necessary against Iran.  As George Washington cautioned in his second inaugural address, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”  A credible threat, backed by extensive military preparation, may be the most effectual means of eliminating the need for a military option.

This is the first time I’ve been at all optimistic about the possibility that Iran may be frightened into giving up its nuclear weapons program.  I never believed that sanctions, regardless of how punishing, would alone work on the Iranian mullahs, as they have apparently worked on North Korea’s new leader.  But a combination of punishing sanctions and credible threats might just do the job.  If not, the military option may become necessary, but it now looks like that option will be held as a sword of Damocles over the heads of the mullahs, rather than being dropped on their heads now.  For the sword to work, it must not only hang above their heads, it must be seen by them, and they must believe that we are prepared to have it drop.

 

Originally published by Stonegate Institute www.stonegateinstitute.org

Alan Dershowitz: Media Matters Hurts Obama

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

It’s the kind of anti-Jewish hate speech you’d expect to find on a neo Nazi website or in a Patrick Buchanan column: American Jews who support current Israeli policies are accused of dual loyalty and called “Israel Firsters” because they place their loyalty to Israel above their loyalty to the United States.

AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) fares even worse:

“saying AIPAC is guilty of dual loyalty is giving it credit for one more loyalty that it holds.”

In other words, this widely respected American organization, and the hundreds of thousands of Jews (and Christians) who support it, including senators, congressmen and other elected officials, have absolutely no loyalty to our nation; their sole loyalty is to the foreign nation of Israel.

This false accusation of disloyalty to their own country finds its roots in the Biblical villains Pharaoh and Hamen who accused the Jews of Egypt and Persia of disloyalty. It was a central tenet of Nazism, Stalinism and other anti-Semitic regimes that made the Jews pay lethal consequences for their alleged dual loyalty. Today, it is the mantra of David Duke, Patrick Buchanan, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and Jew haters of every race, religion, and national origin.

In fact I first came across some of these hateful quotes about “Israel firsters” and “dual loyalty” on an actual neo-Nazi website called Reporters Notebook, which features Holocaust denial claptrap and anything that demonizes Israel and those who support the Jewish state.  Surprisingly, however, the quotes were attributed, not to the usual suspects, but to a spokesman for Media Matters, a hard left Democratic media attack and watchdog group, with close connections to the Obama White House, that started out as an antidote to Fox News, but has now turned much of its attention to Israel.  The author of these hateful quotes is MJ Rosenberg, who is the Senior Foreign Policy Fellow of Media Matters and its official voice on issues relating to the Middle East and Israel.  Speaking at a symposium (with Stephen Walt, the author of The Israel Lobby), Rosenberg explained why Media Matters hired him:

“Until I got there [Media Matters] had nothing on foreign policy. They hired me specifically to be involved with this issue, with the Palestinian issue, with [the issue of] stopping the war with Iran.”

And Rosenberg has become involved with a vengeance, using as his primary weapon the poisonous charge of “Israel firsters” and dual loyalty.

Let there be no doubt that Rosenberg’s accusation of dual or singular loyalty to a foreign country is an anti-Semitic canard historically reserved for Jews. Rosenberg doesn’t accuse Arab Americans who support Hamas and Hezbollah—America’s sworn enemies– of being “Palestinian Firsters”.  Nor did he accuse Irish Americans who supported the Sinn Fein of being “Irish Firsters”. And the bad old days when observant Catholics were accused of dual loyalty with regard to the Vatican are, thankfully, long past. But Rosenberg defends his charges of disloyalty to America against those who sincerely believe that it is in America’s interest to support Israel against threats from Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and other enemies of both nations.  Indeed, he boasts of having “popularized” the term “Israel Firsters.”

In addition to demonizing supporter’s of Israeli policies as Israel Firsters, Rosenberg has espoused numerous hateful positions regarding Israel that are in direct conflict with the way President Obama presents himself and his administration to the pro-Israel community.  He has called Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, whose brother was killed by terrorists, a “terrorist,” and Israel’s peace-loving President Shimon Peres, an “uberhawk on Iran” who has “undermined” President Obama.  He has denied that Ahmadinejad has ever threatened to wipe Israel off the map, suggesting it was a mistranslation, despite Iranian Revolutionary Guard posters in English demanding “Israel should be wiped out of the face of the world.”  He had criticized those who call for punishing sanctions against Iran and has claimed that “if Iran gets the bomb, we are fully capable of containing a nuclear Iran…”

Rosenberg has compared the violence of weapons wielding anti-Israel activists on the Gaza flotilla with “civil rights demonstrators who sat down at segregated lunch counters through the south” and the blockade of Gaza with Jim Crow segregation.  (I don’t recall any rockets being fired at schools from Birmingham.)

And he defended Helen Thomas against charges of anti-Semitism  for saying the Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and criticized President Obama for “diss[ing] her,” calling instead for her to be “salute[d].”

It should come as no surprise therefore that Rosenberg’s hateful remarks are featured on neo-Nazi hate sites, along with those of David Duke and Patrick Buchanan.

Media Matters is currently associated with the White House, where it has met with officials close to the president and with which it has frequent strategy calls. It is well funded by many Democratic contributors, including several prominent Jewish supporters of Israel, who are apparently unaware of Rosenberg’s rants.

Alan Dershowitz: Friends Seminary Plays Bait and Switch on Anti-Semitism

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

The Friends Seminary of New York, which invited the notorious anti-Semite, Gilad Atzmon, to one of its classes, and assigned its students to read his hate-filled writings, has now backed out of an agreement to invite me to the school to talk to the students about the evils of anti-Semitism. The Headmaster of the Friends Seminary, a school which is supposed to be committed to honesty and integrity, has broken his solemn promise to me, and to members of its own community, to allow its students to hear both sides of an issue which really has only one side – namely, the illegitimacy of bringing hate-mongers into high school classrooms.

After I exposed the original invitations to Gilad Atzmon—who justifies the burning down of synagogues as “reasonable” response to Jewish efforts to “control the world”—the Headmaster of the school agreed to several things. First, he would speak at an assembly to the students about the evils of anti-Semitism; second, he would assign my essay to the students who were assigned Atzmon’s essay; and third, he would invite me to address the students. He has now broken each of these promises.

Students who were at the assembly have confirmed that the speakers only made things worse. The teacher who invited Atzmon talked about what a great musician he was. The Headmaster was defensive about how his words were manipulated and justified bringing Atzmon based on Quaker principles. Apparently the word anti-Semitism was never once mentioned during this meeting. My article was not assigned to the students; a citation was sent to them saying that I wanted students to read its content.

When I wrote to the Headmaster complaining about these breaches, they used my letter as an excuse for canceling my appearance. The real reason was almost certainly pressure from hard-left members of his faculty and others.

Let’s be clear what this means. The school was unwilling to cancel Atzmon’s appearance, even after learning that he was a virulent anti-Semite who questions the Holocaust but believes that it may be true that Jews kill Christians to use their blood for religious purposes. But they have canceled my appearance because they didn’t like the tone of a private letter that I wrote to them that was critical of the Headmaster’s failure to comply with his promises. I ended my letter with the following words: “Please assure me that I am wrong about my judgment about you. I really would like to see this move forward in a positive direction, but you are not helping. The ultimate sufferers are your students, who are being taught the wrong values that will serve them poorly in college and in life.”

The values that Headmaster Bo Lauder is imbuing to his students are deception, breach of promise, toleration of anti-Semitism and an unwillingness to present all sides of an issue. In the end, the Headmaster is showing tremendous distrust of his students by refusing to allow them to hear another side of the issue, by canceling my promised appearance, by not assigning my essay and by continuing to react defensively regarding the dreadful mistake of judgment he made in allowing Atzmon to teach his students.

The Headmaster may believe that by breaking his promises, he has ended this issue. Let him be absolute certain, that, as I wrote in my letter to him: “This issue will not go away, and nor will I. Misled once, shame on you. Misled twice, shame on me.” Unless I am invited to address the students inside of the school, I will appear outside of the school, where I will hand out my essays to those students who are willing to read them and will address those students who have an interest in hearing a response to anti-Semitism. I am also considering inviting parents, students, and other members of the Friends Seminary community to an event, in a venue outside of the school, where these issues can be discussed openly and candidly. Headmaster Lauder may be able to keep me physically outside of his school, but he will not be able to stop my ideas from reaching his community. The truth does not respect artificial boundaries.

The Friends Seminary, like other elite schools around the country, teaches our future leaders. Many Friends Schools around the country have espoused strongly anti-Israel policies for years. The Friends Seminary in New York itself has a rabidly anti-Israel history teacher on its faculty, who propagandizes his students against Israel in the classroom, and who has a picture of Anne Frank wearing a Palestinian headdress on his website. The school has and is again planning to take its students on trips to the Middle East that present a one-sided perspective. Now they have crossed the line from preaching anti-Zionism to tolerating anti-Semitism. I will not remain silent in the face of the Friends Seminary’s double standard and neither should you.

 

Originally published by Stonegate Institute www.stonegateinstitute.org

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/alan-dershowitz-friends-seminary-plays-bait-and-switch-on-anti-semitism/2012/02/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: