Professor Alan Dershowitz still does not get it

By Jerome S. Kaufman
January 31, 2013

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=5811

Tuesday we had, in our synagogue, as guest speaker, Alan Dershowitz, renown Professor of Law at Harvard University Law School. Mr. Dershowitz gave an impassioned introduction to an important new educational institution, JerusalemOnlineU.com. It is dedicated to awakening the world to the fantastic achievements of the state of Israel and negating the malicious hatred and propaganda to which it is constantly subjected.

Mr. Dershowitz spoke of a worldwide major campaign to delegitimize Israel. The primary point of attack is in the field of academia on college and even high school campuses. Educators have been carefully selected by those in power to perpetuate the present far Left point of view with the demonization of Israel as its primary goal. Mr. Dershowitz pointed out that their students will be the leaders of tomorrow in positions of political power and professors themselves in educational institutions. They will also continue to control the media as replicas of the same clique that controls the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, PBS and a limitless number of other media institutions. JerusalemOnlineU.com addresses this problem head on.

The JerusalemOnlineU.com website describes itself as follows:

It is a leading online portal for Jewish distance learning with a vision to transform Jewish and Israel education for the 21st century, and to inspire, unify, and activate people of all ages as passionate supporters of Israel and the Jewish people.
Founded in 2009 by Rabbi Raphael Shore, JerusalemOnlineU.com is breaking new ground in outreach by creating original feature films, engaging film classes and courses, and experiential and interactive learning, all distributed via the internet, social media, television, grass roots campaigns and partnerships with mainstream pro-Israel and outreach organizations.

JerusalemOnlineU.com is a tax exempt organization. It has produced four 10-hour, online multimedia courses, has graduated more than 4,500 students, and is responsible for over 100,000 hours of Jewish and Israel learning by students worldwide. JerusalemOnlineU.com’s film education courses are currently available for College Students, High Schools, Adult Education and Organizations.

A superlative film, Israel Inside was shown after the introduction. The entire film is available online at www.israelinsidethemovie.com and viewing it is highly recommended.

After the film Mr. Dershowitz continued with his presentation:

He said, “We need strength. We need power to fight anti-Israel lies. I wish we did control the media, the Congress and the world as dedicated anti-Semites declare. But, obviously, we don’t.”

There are those that believe Jews and Israel will prevail because of some vague superior morality. Hardly. World events have proven that false. The Holocaust, the slaughters in Russia, China, Darfur, Cambodia, Rwanda and now Syria have proven that morality has no standing without the power to protect it.

Dershowitz continued that the Hebrew bible advises, time and again, that only when God has given the people strength will they obtain power. There is no question Israel must use its military strength and thank G-d for that strength. The truism continues, “If the Palestinians gave up their arms in the current conflict, there would be peace and if the Israelis gave up theirs there would be genocide.”

The session was then opened to written questions. The first question asked Professor Dershowitz to comment on the recent Israeli election?

Dershowitz said he was happy to see the electorate shift from the extremes more toward the center. Now Netanyahu has freer hands and could move more toward the center and perhaps bring the Palestinian Arabs back to the “peace process.” I personally was puzzled as to which “peace process” he was referring.

He went into his projection of what a peace process could look like. He would demand Israel security be guaranteed. In return, Dershowitz would expect Israel to stop building and expanding settlements in areas many consider part of an eventual PA State. He would arrange land swaps that would give Arab areas to the PA State and Jewish lands to Israel. He would also demand a demilitarized PA State. If Israel’s security were to be viable, Israel would of course, have to control the Jordan Valley and the Golan Hts. In any case, Dershowitz believes that Israel should persist in offering peace at every opportunity in order to curry favor with the nations of the world.

Terrific, but please don’t confuse me with the facts.

The Palestinians have not agreed to even one requirement of the infamous Oslo Accords or any other of the many peace offers made to them. They continue to demand the return of so-called refugees that now number in the millions and consist of three generations of people that have never had any connection to Israel.

The PA continues to educate its children to total rejection of any Israeli existence. Their maps do not have Israel included but rather an area consisting only of Palestine. The frequent costume of newly born babies has them outfitted in a suicide belt! Their athletic teams and town squares are named after terrorists. And, does Dershowitz truly believe the PA would ever agree to exist as a demilitarized nation?

Why does he persist in this nonsense? Does he really believe it will curry favor with the international community? Where has the “favor” been accumulated from 20 years of Shimon Pere’s pipe dream Oslo Accords and all the other peace proposals and Arab/Jewish co-existence over the last 150 years?

Has Dershowitz not learned anything at all from Israel’s suicidal concessions of Gaza and the Lebanese security zone? Have they not become entrenched areas of Arab terrorism? Is there any doubt any other territory relinquished would become exactly the same?

But, what was the worst part of Dershowitz’s lecture? He ignores his own quotations and admonitions from the Hebrew Bible, that morality only follows the possession of power. Furthermore there are severe consequences to Jews being naively mesmerized into the possibility that a peace process is possible when of course it is not. Jews are thus disarmed mentally and psychologically from the constant power, vigilance and preparedness that is desperately required.

Dershowitz and others with the same benighted mentality, make Jews suckers to a belief that can only result, G-d forbid, in another Holocaust but, this time, most likely the last one and occurring in G-d’s given homeland. That is the Arab ultimate and only understanding of peace.

The Death Throes of Israel’s self-hating Left

The B’Tselem Witch Trial

Redaction of the article, “The B’tselem Witch Trials”
By Noah Pollak
Commentary, May 2011

When the United Nations released the so-called Goldstone Report in September 2009, Israelis and their supporters around the world were astonished by the blunt words near its conclusion: “There is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.”

The report declared that virtually everything Israel had done during Operation Cast Lead—Israel’s attempt in late 2008 and early 2009 to stop Hamas’s rocket war on Israeli civilians—had been a crime. No single written attack on the Jewish state has been as damning, as prominent, or as influential. And yet the South African jurist Richard Goldstone and his team had only a few months to compile a report that runs to nearly 600 pages and makes hundreds of detailed accusations about the Israel Defense Force’s conduct of the war, and Goldstone himself made only a single four-day visit to Gaza.

Where did they secure the evidentiary rope with which to hang Israel? The report was largely compiled from material provided by what is often referred to as Israel’s “human rights community.” This vague euphemism refers to a coterie of groups and individuals that has evolved over the past decade into a highly politicized movement of dozens of nongovernmental organizations that operate in Israel and subject its government, military, laws, and people to relentless scrutiny and accusation.

And, as first pointed out by NGO Monitor, the Goldstone Report relied most heavily on the largest and most prominent among them: the group known as B’Tselem. More footnotes in the report, 56 in all, cite B’Tselem as a source than any other. Indeed, as Jessica Montell, B’Tselem’s executive director, has said, B’Tselem “provided extensive assistance to the UN fact-finding mission headed by Justice Goldstone—escorting them to meet victims in Gaza, providing all of our documentation and correspondence, and meeting the mission in Jordan.”

…The tactics of the ideological war this “human rights community” is waging are unmistakable. The groups relentlessly accuse Israel of committing war crimes, human-rights offenses, and violations of international law. They champion the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian narrative of victimhood and Israeli oppression. They supply the highly massaged “facts” and claims that animate journalistic, diplomatic, and political actmsm against Israel, such as the Goldstone Report.

They advocate for “lawfare” against Israeli officials—that is, prosecuting them for war crimes in European courts. And they argue either openly or by implication that Zionism itself—the existence of a Jewish state—is undemocratic, oppressive and racist.

This war of delegitimization is so dangerous because it is targeted precisely at the heart of Western support for Israel – the belief in Europe and especially in America that Israel is not only a legitimate nation/state but also an exemplar of Western liberal values, deserving of the free world’s support and its protection in the face of constant attacks.

The genius of the NGO movement is its promotion of Israelis themselves to make the case against Israel. Who better to convince Westerners that they are wrong to admire Israel than Jews feigning concern over Israel’s moral standing? The story of those Israeli Jews who have made careers out of attacking Israel’s right to exist, such as Biletzky and Yutachel, illustrates the degradation of the once mighty Israeli peace movement.

Originally the movement sought legitimacy and prominence in Israeli politics, and received it for a time—and because it was part of the political process, it was constrained by the need for electoral support and popular legitimacy. Yet the collapse of the Oslo Accords in 2000 and the Palestinian terror war that followed presented the peace movement with an existential crisis: With whom, exactly, were Israelis supposed to make peace?

The withdrawals from Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza five years later, and the entrenchment in the vacated territories of Iranian-backed terrorist groups further disillusioned Israelis and called into question central proposition of tile peace movement: That is, if Israel makes the right concessions, peace will follow. And so, over the past l5 years, the peace movement has fallen from a position of influence in Israeli politics to one, today, of irrelevance, an anachronism that no longer has realistic answers to Israel’s problems.

What remains of the (so-called) peace movement is a white-hot core of activists who refuse to acknowledge their failure and yet refuse to gracefully recede from the political stage. They have discovered an innovative formula for rebuilding their political relevance completely outside the democratic political arena; reconstitute themselves as NGOs and conceal their political agenda in the apolitical rhetoric of human rights and international law.

In this guise, the peace movement no longer has any need to win elections or offer a serious platform for governance. The NGOs instead position themselves as a blunt opposition force working against mainstream Israeli society, which is viewed as unsophisticated, provincial, racist, and stricken with “security hysteria”

This “human-rights community” has thus not only opposed every consensus Israeli security measure—Operation Defensive Shield during the intifada, the security fence to stop suicide bombers, the targeted killings of terror-group leaders, the Lebanon War, and the Gaza War—but has branded them war crimes and human-rights violations for which Israel should be punished.

In these circumstances, where there is no point in trying to succeed at the ballot box, leftist Israeli activism now directs itself internationally in the hopes that fomenting a narrative of Israeli criminality will invite enough sanction and condemnation from Europe, the United Nations, and America to force Israel to accede to the demands of these other wise powerless radicals.The policies they support would constitute nothing less than Zionism’s destruction. And they apparently have no compunction about seeking its destruction from without, since they have learned to their disappointment and rage that Israel is too strong a nation to allow itself to be destroyed from within.

Noah Pollak is the executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel. His piece “They’re Doing the J Street Jive” appeared in the April 2009 issue of COMMENTARY.