Alan Dershowitz, Won’t You Please Come Home?


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Dershowitz’s indifference to the blatantly obvious is something of a conundrum. He is far too astute not to see that Obama has no love for the tiny country he has spent much of his career defending. Dershowitz has long been among the most eloquent and erudite supporters of the Jewish state. His opposition to the “settlements” may or may not be misguided but, in book after book, he has consolidated the “case for Israel” about as well as anyone can be expected to. At the same time, despite his transient critique of Obama’s position on the Middle East, he remains staunchly in the president’s camp, a strong liberal and a voting Democrat. I frankly cannot see how one can have it both ways, since Barack Obama is manifestly no friend of Israel and liberal Democrats are far less likely to promote Israel’s welfare than are conservative Republicans. Something does not compute

What is Dershowitz’s problem? Is it the liberal cocktail circuit’s come-hither? Is it the Lucullan mindscape of Harvard University—where, interestingly enough, Islamic facilitators and academic revelers like Roy Mottahedeh (Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program) and Noah Feldman (Bemis Professor of International Law) prance about, without Dershowitz’s pushback? Is it the inability to reverse a lifelong commitment to an ideological cause? Is it Obama’s liberal-left agenda that attracts socialists and socialites alike, irrespective of massive failure? (American Jews are especially prone to this aberration.)

Maybe Dershowitz sees himself as a gentle mentor to the president, coddling him toward a more profound grasp of Middle East complexities? Are we dealing with what Czeslaw Milosz in The Captive Mind, borrowing from the Arabic, called “ketman,” the false stance adopted by a person “in order to find himself at one with others, in order not to be alone”? Or adherence to a social convention that issues in the evasion of unpalatable truths which are not in themselves that obscure, in other words, the usual politically correct response to the problems of the age? Or perhaps a cognitive scotoma, a blind spot that blots out an emotionally unacceptable part of reality? “I know Obama’s views on Israel,” says Dershowitz, “I don’t agree with all of them, but he is definitely not anti-Israel.”

Earth to Dershowitz: It’s time to recalibrate your coordinates. Obama is never where one thinks he is—except far to the left of one’s rehabilitating gaze. Why would any intelligent person side with an administration that is visibly committed, to quote the excellent Pamela Geller, “to weakening American power and collaborating with the ascension of the Muslim world,” the latter to Israel’s undeniable detriment? Or perhaps the issue should be framed differently. As star journalist and political author Mark Steyn suggests, “I suppose it’s conceivable that there are a few remaining suckers out there who still believe Barack Obama is the great post-partisan, fiscally responsible, pragmatic centrist he played so beguilingly just a year ago.”

Barack Obama is the litmus test for all conscientious citizens—blue state or red state, so to speak. For devoted liberals with brains, the question remains: Will they eventually contrive to disenchant themselves and emerge from the political hallucination to which they have so readily succumbed? And for advocates of the Jewish state, Obama should provoke a crisis of conviction, one which should not be allowed to go to waste.

Whatever the reason for Dershowitz’s sinuous temporizing and defection from the obvious, it would be a day of jubilation were the prodigal son to return home, that is, to a clear-sighted apprehension of the real relation between Washington and Jerusalem as it is currently being played out. For he has spent far too long sojourning in alien lands where deceit and stupefaction reign. There might be something, after all, to the apothegm from Ecclesiastes 10:2: “A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left.”

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  • Robert Laity

    Dershowitz is anti-semetic.

  • Alex Kovnat

    I'm not surprized A.D. likes Obama. You have to remember that he supported Jimmy in 1977.

    But there's hope. Alan Dershwitz later turned against Jimmy Carter when he found out Jimmy was taking money from, and just generally being a mouthpiece for, the Saudis.

    Maybe A.D. will eventually turn against BO too.

    • yrd4soundingoff

      Maybe A.D. will eventually turn against BO too.

      I hope you are right. However, in BO, the left has their superstar representative of everything they could ever hope for. Jimmy Carter is just a po' white peanut farmer. Nothing new and exciting there. But BO, he's every race, he's every man, woman and child wrapped up into one. He's rich but for the poor, he's a relgious man but for the non-religous. Etc.. He is ying and yang, he is everything and anythiing. What more could the left want? That is too powerful to give up just because he is against something you have fought for your entire career.

      • WildJew

        I think there is a certain bloodless, cerebral / "rationalist" quality about Obama that appeals to many on the irreligious far-left.

  • jbtrevor

    Melanie Phillips describes the phenomenon AD is suffering from quite well (video link below). Despite overwhelming evidence indicating Obama is anti-Israel (or insert whatever Leftist ideology you wish), his 'believers' either can't or won't grasp it – to do so would unravel their entire 'religious' doctirne

    At least AD isn't a complete Leftist idealogue – he does support Israel = there's hope
    http://www.davidhorowitztv.com/wednesday-morning-

    • WildJew

      Thanks for the video link. I got to it in a roundabout way by doing a Google search on davidhorowtztv.com/wednesday-morning. I must however take issue with the author's characterization of Professor Dershowitz a strong supporter of Israel. I've got Dershowitz's book "The Case For Peace." Professor Dershowitz, like Obama, has deep-seated antipathy for "pro-Israel extremists." The distance between Obama's anti-Semitism and Dershowitz's loathing toward fellow Jews like me who disagree with him is only a matter of degree. To be fair here, though Obama is much worse than Bush, conservatives circled the wagons around Bush – even as he lied about Israel and Islam – much as leftists like Professor Dershowitz are doing with/for Obama.

      • jbtrevor

        Despite the poor choice of words, the author's intent is to point out AD isn't as pro-Israel as people might think because of his being so ardent a supporter of dear leader Obama-not sure I agree with that. I think however that Dershowitz is simply a Leftist Ideologue (except for his support of Israel, regardless to what degree) who either can't or won't see the evidence that Obama is anti-Israel.
        As Ms. Phillips points out, "facts don't matter" to these people.

        • WildJew

          I'm sorry, I question Allen's ethics and his morals. Has he ever expressed any qualms or regret for working on O. J. Simpson's defense team? Why does he demonize fellow Jews in his book, "The Case For Peace," because we fear that a Muslim state in Israel's heartland will be an existential threat to Israel? Sure he defends Israel. He points to the hypocrisy on the part of those who unfairly criticize Israel – who hold Israel to a different standard than any other nation – but then he engages in his own hypocrisy by demonizing those of us who believe with good reason, the "peace" process is a sham.

          • jbtrevor

            I AGREE,,, no need to be sorry for your comments…like I said we can disagree or agree on the degree to which he defends Israel or not – but I think we are on the same page in calling out his Leftist ideology & at least the potential for disingenuous support for Israel by the company he keeps and the defense of their statements.

  • awesomelawrence

    Dershowitz's books on Israel have been a big boost to the world in terms of pointing out why the Jews are entitled to Israel. But after all is said and done, Dershowitz can't get out of his academic addiction to leftism. He is saturated with Ivy League cliches and would of course defend girly Obama, a member of the good old Harvard boy's club. As long as Dershowitz keeps pmping out good books on Israel I can forgive him for his upbringing and his silly yearning for elitists like Obama. He is essentially a weakling with a screaming mouth.

    • 2maxpower

      ..there are many good authors and good books written by people who don't muddy the water and give aid to the enemy.

  • NJK

    Barack Obama is the new Jim Jones It is Barack Obama and The Peoples Temple America
    We are in the middle of a cult and can't get out. He is taking America on a suicide mission. Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler
    http://www.patriotactionnetwork.com/profiles/blog

  • ziontruth

    In case I have multiple-posted (due to a perceived rejection of my single post on this thread), could the powers that be on FPM please delete the excess? My apologies in advance.

  • http://www.scaramouchee.blogspot.com Scaramouche

    Thank you, David Solway, for pointing out Dershowitz's incoherence. For your next analysis, how about taking on the cockamamie assertions of Daniel Pipes? http://www.danielpipes.org/9252/remaking-a-religi

  • 080

    What is remarkable is that Alan Dershowitz can argue himself into or out of anything. He makes the standard mistake that his cerebrations coincide with reality. This enables him to construct second realities. So he supports Obama and the state of Israel. No problemo.

    • h budd

      Orwellian doublethink.
      However, AD is not the enemy. Let us make common cause with him where we agree and hope that he comes around to our way of thinking in those areas where we disagree. Supporters of Israel oughtn't help her enemies by squabbling among ourselves, especially to little avail. AD is a liberal Dem and isn't likely to change his mind anytime soon.

  • ziontruth

    From July 9, 2009:

    "The major difference between Melanie Phillips and me is that I want Jews to remain Democrats–if they support, as I do, liberal principles such as a women's right to choose abortion, the rights of gays and lesbians to equal justice, and other progressive policies."

    There you have it. That's it in a nutshell.

    Liberal principles and progressive policies, meaning the staples of Marxism both political and cultural, are not Jewish values.

    Regarding abortion, Jewish law decrees that it is murder except in the case of saving the mother's life.

    (contd.)

  • ziontruth

    (contd.)

    I suspect that, for Dersh as for most pro-Israel Jewish Dems, Obama is the embodiment of those values they mistakenly believe to be Jewish ones, and therefore, to condemn Obama is to betray those values in their eyes. They can't bring themselves to do it, even when discomfort with the bitter truth of Obama's anti-Israel position begins to mount.

    May HaShem bless Dershowitz for his good fight for Israel; may He also show all American Jews the way back to true Jewish values.

  • Albert I Berkowitz

    I believe that Alan Dershowitz is devoted to the existance of Israel. He is also devoted to his liberal ideas on social issues. Being brilliant, (and with Obama being half black)somehow, he can hold these ideas at the same time, even when they seem to diverge.
    Sometimes, simplicity is dangerous when we make it too simple….but the same holds true for the complex, when we make it so complex that it becomes opaque. AD deserves are thanks for explaining to the world the justification not only for its existance, but for its right to protect itself. His attributes far outweigh his mistaken support for the President.

  • Suzanne

    It's not too complicated. Anyone that supports the creation of a "Palestinian" state is, whether they are aware of it or not, anti-Israel.

  • DalRan

    It's not too complicated. Anyone that supports the creation of a "Palestinian" state is, whether they are aware of it or not, anti-Israel. That says it all Suzanne.

  • 2maxpower

    Dershowitz is a leftist appeaser. don't expect too much from him David.

  • gnbryan

    Hey, thanks all who gave me better insight into Allen Dershowitz – I've read some of his books, but couldn't understand the pro-Israel / leftist position he holds. I'm ignorant, but I've wondered if his views are common among Jews in America.

  • Lonnie Cleaver

    I never quite figured out what "leftist" means anyway. A.D can be smart in some ways, and a fool in others. Is he for trillions of dollars in spending and debt? Is he for a man (Obama) who was called "comrade" by Mr. Putin? Is he for a man who a former Marxist, Dr. John C Drew, who knew Barack Obama in his younger days at Occidental College, says was also a Marxist at the time? Is he for big, intrusive government? Is he for forced equality and endless lawsuits against any company that discriminates (such as the lawsuit against Home Depot for having more men in some departments than women?). Is he for Carbon taxes that drive whats left of our manufacturing to China or Mexico? I guess these goals are so great that Obama can't be anti-Israel. How could Obama be so right on so many things, and yet anti-Israel?

  • http://www.thepoisonersagenda.com Olivia Rodan Jacobs

    I applaud both David Solway and George Jonas of the National Post for their insight and courage!

  • Jack Ajzenberg

    Dershowitz abides by two state solution, yesterday. He calls Judea and Samaria, the West bank. He opposes any degree of Halacha in Israeli law. For decades, he argued on behalf of land for peace. He counts internationalists and human rights activists as his friends. He is a fair weather Jew, fully committed to his star status and networking, to the elites that accept him as the good Jew Dershowitz, liberal enough although not yet progressive. He is a 'beinkel Yid', of the first order, a Jew for all seasons, for all the cocktail circuit, the world over.

  • geoplaten

    Dershowitz reminds me of the old Golda Meir saying, with a slight twist:

    He hates conservatism more than he loves Israel.

    If he turns against BO, it will only be to favor the newest liberal messiah.

  • sydchaden

    Dershowitz, after all, is Jewish, and like the majority of American Jews, he undoubtedly considers it his religious duty to vote Democratic. He apparently is not a One-Worlder, like so many liberal Jews, who criticize or oppose Israel in hopes that the anti-Israel world will, in turn, love them. Sad to say, the anti-Israel world is also anti-Semitic, and American Jews will ultimately find that their status as Jews and infidels will overshadow their One-World activities. To give credit where credit is due, Dershowitz has, of late, taken a stance against those who would destroy Israel. He has not yet, however, crossed into the camp of those who would prevent Israel from being destroyed. That would be tantamount to resigning from the OJ Simpson legal team, and joining the prosecution. Dershowitz is a lawyer, and as such, his convictions still depend upon who his client is.

  • Randall Reed

    But, David Solway, are you saying that Jews should value America essentially for its power to be of value to Israel? Isn't there something about America that transcends even that? And secondly, how is Alan Dershowitz really different from his ancient ancestors who pursued, stubbornly and blindly, the idols of Gentiles?