So successful was the campaign against his nemesis, Norman G Finkelstein, that it snared yet another junior member of DeP
And now, flushed with triumph, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Alan Dershowitz has l
We all agree that singling out Israelis for an academic boycott is wrong. To show our solidarity with our Israeli academics in this matter, we, the undersigned, hereby declare ourselves to be Israeli academics for purposes of any academic boycott. We will regard ourselves as Israeli academics and decline to participate in any activity from which Israeli academics are excluded.
It was certainly no surprise when Dershowitz made his ‘Gam ani yisra’eli’ declaration in the immediate aftermath of the UCU conference resolution. But since the petition was l
This is the man one of whose claims to fame is that in his 2002 book, Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age, he proposed that judges be empowered to issue a "torture warrant".
An application for a torture warrant would have to be based on the absolute need to obtain immediate information in order to save lives coupled with probable c
By expressly limiting the use of torture only to the ticking bomb case and by requiring a highly visible judge to approve, limit and monitor the torture, it will be far more difficult to justify its extension to other institutions.
So either he doesn’t know or doesn’t care that information extracted by torture is notoriously unreliable and unlikely to save any lives from a ‘ticking bomb’. Furthermore, he acknowledges
Every democracy, including our own, has employed torture outside of the law.
Throughout the years, police officers have tortured murder and rape suspects into confessing -- sometimes truthfully, sometimes not truthfully.
The "third degree" is all too common, not only on TV shows such as "NYPD Blue," but in the back rooms of real police station houses.
So it can only be wilful naivete or downright stupidity that makes him think that legalising torture under specific circumstances will have any effect whatsoever on the torture that’s been going on all along anyway, apart from providing subtle reassurance that it’s a good idea. In any case,
Until quite recently,
And if Israeli did it, it must be ok.
Writing in The Times yesterday in collaboration with Anthony Julius, another lawyer, he enunciates this strange opinion.
the boycotters have aligned themselves with Hamas, a frankly anti-Semitic party, Hezbollah, another frankly anti-Semitic party, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a frankly anti-Semitic politician. All are unreconciled to
I can’t imagine who they hope to hoodwink with allegations of this kind. Among those advocating a boycott, most are concerned exclusively with
Furthermore, the boycotters have most assuredly not aligned themselves with Hamas, Hizb’allah, or the Iranian president. Some might be more sympathetic to Hamas than to Fateh. Some might have supported
In reality, the “one-state solution” is not ‘favoured by most boycotters’. The vast majority support
After blathering on about ‘the two academic principles’, Universality of science and learning and Freedom of expression, Dershowitz and Julius conclude that an academic boycott would only be justified when, in their view, ‘the person or institution to be boycotted does not meet the criterion of being a scholar or place of learning’ or
When the person or institution to be boycotted violates either or both of the two principles: For example, where freedom of research is denied to the employees of the institution. Another application of this exception is the counter-boycott. It meets the boycotter with a reciprocal gesture of rejection. A counter-boycott is justified in the face of a boycott. It is not open to the same objections as the boycott itself. [my emphasis]
They argue that ‘the boycotters rarely offer a rational account of why it is right to shun
The razor sharp legal minds have the
…the utter irrationality of the boycotters’ position, its disconnectedness from the ordinary canons of argument – the marshalling of evidence, the advancing of coherent theses, the acknowledging of objections, and so on…
They never even trouble to mention the principal justification for an academic boycott in particular – that it in fact meets their second criterion. It is effectively a counter-boycott of precisely the kind they just endorsed. Palestinian universities are routinely closed by the Israeli
This kind of unscrupulous ‘argumentation’ cloaked in self righteous indignation and presumptuous slurs on his adversary’s reasoning is absolutely characteristic of Dershowitz, the Likudniks’ toothless Rottweiler.
They conclude their diatribe by constructing what passes for a rigorous argument among Harvard Law Professors that the boycott is not just unjustified and counterproductive, but anti-Semitic, to boot.
‘There are two reasons for regarding the boycotters’ position as an anti-Semitic one’, they aver. ‘First, the academic boycott resonates with earlier boycotts of Jews. The history of anti-Semitism is in part the history of boycotts of Jews.’ Talk about red herrings! But they have the unmitigated chutzpah to raise the 1945 Arab boycott of Jewish Palestinian businesses, as if the Zionists had never boycotted Arab businesses, right down to market stalls and even victimised Jews with the temerity to employ Arab workers.
‘Second’, they reckon, ‘it is predicated on the defamation of Jews’ and proceed to recite a litany of caricatures of the positions they don’t possess the vertebrae, knowledge, or nous to refute.
The Jewish State, in pursuance of its racist ideology, is perceived as pure aggressor, and the Palestinians are perceived as pure victims. The PACBI boycotters and their UCU fellow travellers would deny to Jews the rights that they upholds [sic] for other, comparable peoples. They adhere to the principle of national self-determination, except in the Jews’ case. They affirm international law, except in
They go on to presume to ‘rewrite’ the definition of anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism consists, first, of beliefs about Jews or the Jewish State that are both false and hostile, and second, of injurious things said to or about Jews or the Jewish State, or done to them, in consequence of those beliefs. Anti-Semites wrong Jews and the Jewish State, and they are wrong about Jews and the Jewish State. Many anti-Semites also want to hurt Jews and the Jewish State or deny to them freedoms or rights enjoyed by non-Jews or the generality of States.
The fight against the boycott is one aspect, perhaps the most urgent aspect, of the contemporary fight against anti-Semitism.
By bracketing Jews and the Jewish State, by treating them as inseparable, by claiming above all that a slight on the Jewish State is a slight on Jews, Julius and Dershowitz reveal themselves as the true anti-Semites.
Since I started writing this, the signatory count has risen to 4591. Some actually are Israeli academics, so their gesture is irrelevant, and others don’t provide an academic affiliation, so probably don’t have one and can’t actually implement any meaningful acts of solidarity. But they are only a few.
What’s worrisome is that this swollen overpaid buffoon talks out the wrong orifice and Nobel L