By Ahmed Amr
As cheerleaders for Israel go, it is hard to beat Alan Dershowitz. If ever there was a coward and a hypocrite – it has to be this Likudnik operator who postures as a ‘liberal’ in search of an ‘honest debate’ on the merits of tormenting the Palestinians.
Debate this, Alan. On March 28, 1988 – you published an article in the Seattle Times titled “Israel is still a genuine democracy.” I recall the article because I responded to it with an editorial of my own. I challenge you to defend that article in a public forum.
In that particular work of fiction, you characterized the repression of the Palestinians as “occasional overreactions.” Dr Jennifer Leaning of the Harvard Medical School had a different take. Commenting on the behavior of the Israeli troops during the first Intifada, she reported that “they do not appear to be out of control. That is one of the darker things we saw. These are not aberrations. The pattern is controlled, a systematic pattern over a wide geographical area. It’s as if they’ve been instructed.”
In a contemporary Haaretz article, Doctor Charles Greenbaum, a psychologist at Hebrew University, revealed that Israeli officers had been given orders “to break property, break legs and arms, hit people even while not dispersing a demonstration.” He continued: “soldiers will laugh at an incident when they beat people up or imitate a woman who was screaming because they took away her child.”
Who would have expected any other results from an official policy of “force, might and beatings” intended to “put the fear of death into Arabs?” Dershowitz might recall that the authors of these words were Prime Minister Shamir and Defense Minister Rabin.
Surly, a Harvard professor of law realized before writing his discredited apologia that the Palestinians in the occupied territories lived under military law. He must have read somewhere that collective punishment such as curfews; house demolition and arbitrary land confiscation are part and parcel of Israel’s “Iron fist” policies. Again, the “iron fist” label came from Rabin himself.
So much for “occasional overreactions.”
Now lets look at the Apartheid charges that get Dershowitz bent out of shape. I’ll again quote what Martin Gurbus wrote at the time in a New York Times article dated Jan.26, 1988.
“Palestinians in those occupied territories are tried in military courts without enjoying fundamental legal rights. But Israelis who commit crimes against Palestinians are tried in nonmilitary courts and given the full protection of a fine legal system.”
“Palestinian young men facing up to 10 years for rock throwing are routinely denied pretrial release, while Jewish settlers and soldiers accused of seriously injuring Palestinians may not even be charged with crimes, and, if they are, they are routinely given bail.” Two people, two sets of law books depending on one’s ethnicity. They have a word for that – Apartheid.
Always the con artist, Dershowitz hailed the fact that Palestinians had “access” to petition the Israeli Supreme Court. But he failed to mention that Palestinian lawyers from the West Bank and Gaza were not allowed to appear before that court. If an Israeli lawyer chose to take the occasional case, success was unlikely, due to the deference shown by that court to the military’s “security” argument.
As a Palestinian put it “they take our land for security reasons. They take our jobs for security reasons. And when we ask them how it happens that our lands and our jobs threaten the security of Israel – they do not tell us. Why not? For security reasons.”
Now, Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza can’t marry Israeli Arabs – not if they want to live together. Why? Security reasons. The Apartheid wall. Security reasons. Blanketing Lebanon with a million cluster bombs. Security reasons.
In his article Dershowitz made a ‘generous’ offer to the Palestinians “Any Arab who dislikes life in Israel is, of course, entirely free to leave.” That’s classical Zionism. Make the indigenous Palestinians miserable enough to abandon their native lands.
So, what exactly qualifies Dershowitz to do review Carter’s book? Is this not the same Harvard Law professor who was an avid supporter of Joan Peter’s historical hoax “From Time Immemorial.” Dershowitz liked Joan Peter’s canards enough to plagiarize them. Want to see the evidence? Read “Alan Dershowitz Exposed” by Norman Finkelstien. (www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=1)
This scam artist from Harvard stands accused of writing dozens of apologias to defend the deplorable treatment of the Palestinians. Dershowitz is the kind of ‘liberal’ who supports torture. He lies and plagiarizes other people’s lies. If Dershowitz had an ounce of integrity, he would have registered as an Israeli lobbyist long ago. And if Harvard Law School had an ounce of courage, they would have sent him to the back of the unemployment line after the plagiarism scam.
The only reason anybody takes this fanatical Likudnik seriously is because of his friends in high media places – the kind of friends that routinely feign ignorance of this Harvard professor’s track record. Dershowitz is the type of lawyer who defends OJ Samson in the morning and Ariel Sharon’s war crimes during his lunch break. The fact that he still passes for an ‘intellectual’ is an indictment of a cowardly American ‘Ivy League’ establishment that trembles in fear of being labeled anti-Semitic. In the process these ‘academics’ have become silent conspirators in the systematic repression of the Palestinian people.
If there is one thing that should recommend Carter’s book – it has to be a Dershowitz book review.
For more dirt on both Dershowitz and Brandies – read “the Dershowitz treatment” – also by Norman Finkelstien. (www.counterpunch.org/finkelstein12292006.html)
So, don’t forget to pick up your copy of Carter’s "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.” It’s the best way to instruct Dershowitz on the value of personal integrity.
-Ahmed Amr is the editor of NileMedia.com. He is a regular contributor to the PalestineChronicle.com