"If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin."
- Charles Darwin

Mar 14, 2009

Dershowitz Responds

I received two rather interesting e-mails this morning in response to my post Bodyguard of Lies. In this post I critiqued Alan Dershowitz (left), professor of law at Harvard, for claiming that former Chief National Intelligence Council nominee Chas Freeman "was a 'zealot' and an 'ideologue' whose 'extremist views' can only be explained by claiming that he 'has been bought and paid for by lobbies that he does not wish to alienate.'" It's my view that this is a gross mischaracterization of Freeman's position and is little more than slander.

This morning I received two responses. The first was from Norman Finkelstein (right), a previous target of Dershowitz, who wrote simply:

The second e-mail was from Alan Dershowitz himself who was kind enough to let me know the following:

Which should I heed? While Finkelstein's note was sent thirteen minutes earlier (and would clearly preempt the second) Dershowitz sent his response via BlackBerry, a fitting coincidence considering his opinion is so deliciously ripe with irony.

Alan Dershowitz is the same person who took this:
As well as voicing our opposition to the illegal occupation and the consistent human rights violations of the Palestinian people, we as members of an institute of higher education see it as our moral responsibility to express our solidarity with Palestinian students whose access to education is severely inhibited by the Israeli occupation.
And characterized it as this:
Several months ago, a rabidly anti-Israel group on the Hampshire College campus began a campaign to try to get the college to divest from six companies that they claim helped "the Israeli occupation of Palestine." Those who came up with this formulation regard all of Israel, including Tel Aviv, Haifa and Ben Gurion Airport, as "occupied Palestine." In other words, their goal is to end the existence of Israel.

I now call on all decent people - supporters and critics of Israel alike - to make no further contributions to a school that now promotes discrimination and is complicit in evil. There must be a price paid for bigotry, and the actions of Hampshire College in singling out only Israel for divestiture is bigotry plain and simple. Silence is not an option. Inaction is not an option. Fighting back against the likes of Cynthia McKinney is mandatory for all people of good will.

Yep, I think I'll go with Finkelstein on this one.

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