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Posts Tagged ‘Harvard Law School’

Alan Dershowitz Retiring from Harvard Law School

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Alan Dershowitz, one of the country’s most prominent lawyers and a passionate advocate for Israel, is retiring from Harvard Law School at the age of 75.

Known for taking on high-profile and often unpopular causes and clients, Dershowitz taught at Harvard Law for half a century. His retirement becomes official at the end of the week. “My retirement consists of reducing my schedule down to only about 10 things at any given time,” he said at a conference in Israel last week.

Dershowitz, a Brooklyn native who has written and spoken often on his Orthodox Jewish upbringing and education, has used his prominence to defend Israel over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Among his harshest critics is Noam Chomsky, the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology linguist with whom he has had a long-running public feud over Israel.

In 2006, Dershowitz publicly challenged former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, for the views he expressed in his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” calling the book biased.

While “proud to be Jewish and engaged with Israel’s future,” Dershowitz also assisted Palestinian students when they sought inclusion of the Palestinian flag in a campus display, Harvard Law School dean Martha Minow told JTA.

Noted Nazi Prosecutor To Speak At St. Thomas University

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Eli Rosenbaum, the longest-serving prosecutor and investigator of Nazi war criminals, will be speak on Thursday, February 16, at 10:30 a.m. at St Thomas University, George & Evelyn Goldbloom Convocation Hall, 16401 NW 37th Avenue, Miami Gardens.

Rosenbaum is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School. He served as director of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI), which investigates and prosecutes WWII-era Nazi criminals and their Axis allies.

Rosenbaum’s published works include Betrayal: The Untold Story of the Kurt Waldheim Investigation and Cover-Up (St. Martin’s Press), which was selected for “Notable Books of 1993” by the New York Times Book Review and “Best Books of 1993” by The San Francisco Chronicle.

J Street’s McCarthyism

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

J Street, the leftist lobbying organization that claims to be pro-Israel, is running a television ad that divides the world into two groups: the good guys who support the two-state solution, the end of the occupation and peace; and the bad guys who oppose these results and instead favor a continuation of violence.

Pictured as representing the pro-peace position are President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Gen. David Petraeus. Pictured as representing the anti-peace, anti-two-state, pro-expansion of settlements and pro-violence position are Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Malcolm Hoenlein (executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations) and, you guessed it, me!

Now Jeremy Ben-Ami, who runs J Street and is responsible for the ad, knows full well that I support the two-state solution and peace, and have opposed Israeli settlements since he was in diapers. (I began publicly supporting the two-state solution in 1970 and opposing settlements in 1973.)

Ben-Ami knows this because we debated each other at the 92nd Street Y in New York City and he publicly acknowledged that I support these positions. He knows I wrote a book, The Case For Peace, advocating precisely these positions and praised by President Clinton (“the blueprint for stability presented in this book is among the best in recent years”), Amos Oz (an “enthusiastic voice for peace”) and other advocates of a peaceful resolution.

Why, then, would he falsely lump me with Limbaugh and Palin when he knows I fundamentally disagree with their positions? Why would Ben-Ami knowingly put out an ad containing such defamatory McCarthyism? (Joe McCarthy infamously lumped together liberals with communists, and progressives with Stalinists.)

There are several possible reasons.

First, it could be that Ben-Ami cannot tolerate the idea that there are liberals, like me and Professor Irwin Cotler of Canada, who support the two-state solution, the end of the occupation and peace while fundamentally disagreeing with J Street’s general negativity toward Israel.

As I argued during the debate and on other occasions, J Street and I tend to agree on many substantive issues. But I publicly focus on the 80 percent of issues on which there is broad consensus within the pro-Israel community, whereas J Street focuses on the 20 percent of issues on which there is disagreement, such as keeping the military option against Iran on the table, condemning the Goldstone report and defending the use of self-defense during the flotilla confrontation.

It would have been fair for J Street to have an ad putting me on the other side of those issues. But for Ben-Ami to try to persuade the public that I oppose the two-state solution (as Limbaugh does), favor expansion of settlements (as Palin does) and oppose peace is simply a lie, and a deliberate one at that. No softer word will suffice.

Another possible reason why J Street decided to include me in its insidious ad is to appeal to hard-left elements such as Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein and others who pay lip service to supporting Israel while condemning everything the Jewish state stands for. Ben-Ami is trying to build a large organization and in order to attract the hard left, he finds it useful to demonize me because the hard left hates my liberal support for Israel.

The J Street ad is fraudulent in yet another way: It suggests I am saying certain words but the voice is not mine. Thousands of my words, in my actual voice, are available on YouTube, but none of them have me opposing the two-state solution or favoring expansion of the settlements or opposing peace. So they just make it up by including a video of me with my lips moving and a dubbed voiceover suggesting that they have me (along with the others) on videotape opposing the two-state solution.

(All the videos have moving lips, but some include words actually spoken by the person in the video – watch it and judge for yourself.)

If this were a political campaign ad, J Street would be in deep trouble. But this is even worse because it is an attempt to deceive the public into thinking that mainstream supporters of Israel all favor the expansion of settlements and oppose the two-state solution and peace.

‘Her Heart And Soul Are Wrapped Up In Love Of Israel’: An Interview with the Founder of Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Perhaps it was inevitable. Ever since her address at the Republican National Convention two years ago, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has been popular among many Orthodox Jews. A month after the convention, a “Sarah Palin Wig” went on sale on Sheitel.com. Now, as worry increases in the Jewish community over President Obama’s Middle East policies, a group of Jews have banded together to create Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin (JewsforSarah.com).

Headed by Benyamin Korn – former national executive director of the Zionist Organization of America and editor of Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent – Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin bills itself as “an independent group of academic, religious and political leaders, dedicated to promoting consideration of Gov. Sarah Palin’s political positions in the wider American Jewish community.”

The Jewish Press: What about Sarah Palin inspired you to found this organization?

Korn: Sarah Palin is a tremendous – perhaps once in a generation – political figure. Despite what her detractors and enemies keep repeating endlessly, she is brilliant, charismatic, on top of the issues, and a leader fully capable of taking her place on the world stage. She is an authentic American and the kind of popular and populist politician who can reach the hearts and minds of the average American voter.

Why, though, start a specifically Jewish organization in support of Sarah Palin?

We wanted to break down barriers to the serious consideration of her ideas within the Jewish community. There is intellectual snobbery reagrading Palin since she’s not Princeton- or Harvard-educated. Some people are also worried about her reputed association with right-wing figures from beyond the pale. These kinds of issues have been raised in order to try alienating Jewish voters from her. We aim to change that.

Also, many Jewish voters are concerned about Obama’s treatment of Israel. One of the key factors in the upcoming elections will be swing and independent voters, and Jews are very heavily swing voters and independent voters. In 1980, 60 percent of Jimmy Carter’s [Jewish supporters from 1976] abandoned him to vote for the most conservative candidate of our era, Ronald Reagan.

So we want to get the message out in the Jewish community that it is time to take the gavel back from [Senate Majority Leader] Harry [Reid] and [House Speaker] Nancy [Pelosi], as Sarah Palin put it recently in a speech in Chicago, and time to ensure that the present occupant of the White House is a one-term president.

Finally, it is time that the Orthodox community be given a voice in national politics by being able to show that we not only support [Palin's political agenda], but we especially connect with her family-values agenda. That part of her social conservatism that may make other Jews skittish is a kind of religious and family outlook on life that we, as Orthodox Jews, share.

But considering the whole saga with Palin’s daughter during the 2008 presidential campaign, can you really say that Orthodox Jews share her family values?

She supported her daughter having the baby even though she conceived the child before she was married. There was the expectation that the daughter was going to marry this guy. It didn’t turn out that way – I’m sure to Governor Palin’s sorrow. I’m not saying she’s perfect. I’m saying that her values are basically our values.

Earlier you referred to Palin as “brilliant.” Is that really a fair description considering her reputation as someone who is out of her league when it comes to national politics?

It’s completely ridiculous. Spend ten minutes listening to the woman give a speech and all of those epithets about her are just demolished.

What about her infamous interview with Katie Couric?

I think it’s true that she’s better as a public speaker than in an interview format. Every politician has things they can improve upon. Obama, who’s a fantastic speaker, is terrible once you get him off the teleprompter.

If Palin is truly brilliant, as you say, why is it that so many think of her as mediocre, at best?

It’s politically motivated. Look, I spent my whole life among highly-educated Jews, and I don’t hear anyone speaking more truth or sense than this woman. Now, there are people who have more academic backgrounds than she does. She’s not Harvard Law School. But you don’t need to be to run a country. You could be Harvard Law School and not understand who this country’s enemies are, or you could be the governor of the great state of Alaska and understand who this country’s enemies are. Who would you rather have leading the country?

Your father, Bertram Korn, was a prominent Reform rabbi and a noted author. And yet, you are Orthodox and a conservative activist. How did that come about?

I wasn’t always right wing. I was raised in the heart of the liberal Jewish community. I went to Quaker school for 12 years. In college I was a left-wing campus activist, and I voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980. But in the 1980s, I had a Jewish and political awakening and became involved with Zionist politics and began to publicly identify as an Orthodox Jew.

What caused the awakening?

I was studying for the State Department examinations to be a Foreign Service officer. And, if you really take it seriously, that kind of studying forces you to ask yourself a different set of questions than you typically ask in college. In college you look at any situation and say, “Okay, what’s wrong with this picture?” But if you take the job of representing this country seriously, then you start thinking about policies that are going to affect the lives of thousands, or even millions, of people.

Instead of asking “What’s wrong with this picture?” you ask a deeper question, which is, “Given the limited number of ways in this real world to do things right, what should I do?” It’s a more mature kind of question. Once I started asking that kind of question, I began to see the hollowness of the left because a lot of what goes on in the left is fashionable political posturing without having any real responsibility to anybody.

And the religious awakening?

I was one of the Jews for whom the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of blessed memory, created a Jewish revolution. I met a Lubavitcher in the film department at Temple University where I was a graduate student in 1985 and [matters developed from there].

Back to Palin: How can you be sure that she won’t modify her views once in office? President George W. Bush, for example, promised to move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem before he was elected. Once in office, though, he changed his mind.

That’s a good question, and you can never say for sure how a politician will respond to the pressures once they achieve a very high office. But what you can say is that Sarah Palin’s heart and soul are wrapped up in love of Israel and the Jewish people.

Earlier this month, Palin went to the Time 100 gala of the most influential people with her husband and three of her kids. It was like a frum family. This is the glittery of the world at Lincoln Center, and Palin shows up with her husband and three kids. You got to love it. But on top of that, she also wore a pin of the American and Israeli flags. Why did she need to do that? The answer, of course, is she did not. But this woman clearly loves Israel, and that’s what’s important.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/her-heart-and-soul-are-wrapped-up-in-love-of-israel-an-interview-with-the-founder-of-jewish-americans-for-sarah-palin/2010/05/26/

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