How many lies can Alan Dershowitz tell in 60 seconds? There have been several posts concerning the recent debate between Dershowitz and Susan Abulhawa at the recent Boston Book Festival. Many have noted the dramatic contrast between the calm Abulhawa and the manic Dershowitz. A full dissection of Dershowitz’s falsehoods over the full hour of video would be too time-consuming, but let’s take a look at a single minute of his rantings, from about 34:15 to 35:15.
Denouncing the allegation of a massacre in Jenin, the Dersh lectured:
The massacre was the massacre of 55 Jewish people sitting at a Seder in the Park Hotel just before [the Israeli incursion into Jenin], and Palestinian terrorists from Jenin went in and murdered 55 Israeli family members having a seder. Israelis responded not from the air which they had the right to do but from the ground. . . There was no massacre in Jenin,. . it didn’t happen. There was a battle in Jenin in which fewer people died than were killed at the Park Hotel. This is total fiction, total false fiction. You must learn the facts.
Let’s leave aside the bigger picture of whether Israel’s actions constituted a “massacre,” “human rights violations,” or “war crimes” under various definitions of those terms. UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen called the destruction “horrific beyond belief” and said it was “morally repugnant” that Israel denied access by emergency workers in for 11 days. Let’s just focus on Dershowitz’s smaller lies:
1) The Park Hotel suicide bombing claimed 30 lives, not 55.
2) The bombing was carried out by a single terrorist, not multiple terrorists.
3) The single bomber was from Tulkarem, not Jenin.
4) The victims were not all members of one family.
5) The Palestinian death count in Jenin was 52, greater than the number actually killed at the Park Hotel, but less than the number Dershowitz falsely claimed were killed.
6) Israel had no “right” to respond to the bombing by bombing Tulkarem or Jenin from the air, at least not under international law or under any widely accepted moral or ethical code. (Israel’s “right” to indiscriminately bomb any Palestinians for the actions of some does have many precedents, however. For example, in the aftermath of the Munich Olympic deaths of 11 Israelis, Israel bombed refugee camps in southern Lebanon and Syria, killing anywhere from 60 to hundreds of people unconnected with the Munich operation but guilty of the crime of being Palestinian.)
Not bad for one minute. Not a Dersh personal record, but not bad. I do love the end of this monologue, when Dershowitz says, with complete conviction and passion: “You must learn the facts.”