Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Alan Dershowitz Leaves Harvard for Hasbara

(Photo Credit: Sun Sentinel)

Often times, when powerful and public figures – from government officials and politicians, community leaders, high-powered corporate CEOs, NFL coaches, and countless local TV news anchors - leave their longtime positions, they say their decision was influenced by wanting “to spend more time” with their families and loved ones.

Such a stated reason is often a tried and true euphemism for either being forced to resign or trading an official post for a better paying lobbying gig. Those employing the excuse are usually being disingenuous.

Well, after a half century at Harvard Law School, Alan Dershowitz has finally stepped down from his post (where he presumably teaches young, malleable law students how to defend celebrity murderers, justify war crimes, and advocate for torture and extrajudicial killings). So why is he doing it? He certainly wasn’t pushed out. And he already has the money.

According to an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Dershowitz genuinely wants to spend more time with that which he loves most of all: the State of Israel.

Unlike many similar high-profile retirements, however, the shameless self-promoter isn’t keen to leave the public eye. Rather than leaving academia to live a life of septuagenarian relaxation, Dershowitz is “reinventing myself” so that, in his words, “I can spend more time in Israel and fight against its delegitimization.”

Spending his first eight days after leaving Harvard in Israel, Dershowitz delivered propaganda speeches and met with government officials. He’s even “giving thought” to becoming an Israeli citizen. Doing so, according to the Jerusalem Post, “would let him send the message to those boycotting Israel that ‘if you’re boycotting Israel, you’re boycotting me.’”

Never before has a clearer, more compelling rationale for supporting the human rights and international law based BDS movement been articulated.

While in Israel, Dershowitz’s “schedule varied from a speech to American Latinos on a trip to learn more about Israel; to tea with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara; to a hyped slot at the huge Globes conference of businesspeople; to meeting with virtually every major political party leader.”

The entire interview is full of Dershie gems, from insisting Iran is “moving ahead with nuclear weapons” to declaring that the International Criminal Court “should be Africa-centric… because that is where the genocides are. African countries don’t have the internal systems where citizens can seek remedies.” (Remember all those Palestinians successfully seeking remedies?)

On Yasser Arafat, Dershowitz lamented, “If only he had died earlier. I would not shake his hand, he was a mass murderer and a terrorist.”

Meanwhile, he said, “[Former President Jimmy] Carter is a bad person, he has gone to the dark side and is bought and paid for by Arab lobbies.” He further condemned Carter for , what he called, “loving Yasser Arafat and having contempt for every Israeli prime minister.”

Dershowitz had slightly kinder words to say about Judge Richard Goldstone, however, whom he said had “made a mistake and lacked the courage to stand up to the others appointed to look into the Gaza War,” but had “shown a willingness to reconsider his views.”

While Dershowitz may no longer spend his days warping the minds of college kids, he will now be able to make propagandizing and promoting war on behalf of his favorite occupying apartheid state his full time job.


Originally posted at Mondoweiss.



January 9, 2014 - Political science professor Corey Robin has (with the help of Freddie deBoer) elevated Dershowitz's latest declaration (noted above) into what will surely be the best pro-BDS campaign and recruitment tool the movement has seen to date:


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