Trainwreck in Boston: Dershowitz calls a Palestinian novelist a bigot and a Holocaust-denier

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(Video: Pulse)

Here is further evidence that the collapse of the two-state solution is creating despair and anxiety inside the Israel lobby: Alan Dershowitz going ballistic as a young Palestinian novelist with whom he is sharing a stage calls for one democratic state in Israel and Palestine.

At the Boston Book Festival yesterday, the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston (to its credit) sponsored a panel featuring Dershowitz and Palestinian novelist Susan Abulhawa, a daughter of 1967 refugees. The panel becomes excruciating in a hurry. Abulhawa is cool; in fact Dershowitz rails at her once for maintaining such a “calm” demeanor. And meantime he goes a little haywire, calling Abulhawa a liar, an “extremist,” a “zealot,” a “bigot” and a Holocaust denier– all because she insists on Palestinian political freedom in a secular state, and calls for boycott to get there. 

I don’t think Dershowitz ever uses Abulhawa’s name. She is “this woman.” You can watch it here at Pulse. At the end Abulhawa says that Dershowitz’s conduct is “unseemly.. and unbecoming of a Harvard professor.”

Some snips from Dershowitz:

“You are extremist, you are a zealot… She is an extremist and a barrier to peace….

“Listen to that nonsense… There’s only one person on this stage who rejects the two state solution and that is this woman… I will not sit silently in the face of this bigotry….

“For her there is no Holocaust.”

To someone demanding an answer in the audience: “Hey buddy– you don’t like my answer but I gave you an answer!”

Turning a literary event into a political event, and a call for boycott, was all her responsibility. “Shame on you!”

Repeatedly likening Palestinian nationalists to Nazis, Dershowitz says: “The only way the occupation is going to end is the way that the occupation of Germany ended, the way that the occupation of Japan ended…”

Abulhawa: Supporters of BDS “are not bigots.”

Dershowitz: “Yes they are. Anyone who calls for boycott or divestment against Israel and doesn’t say a word about Darfur or Rwanda is a bigot!”

And notice this contradiction in Dershowitz’s statements:

43:50 or so: “Israel is the most secular country in the Middle East… Nobody has ever said Israel is a Jewish nation, it is the nation of the Jewish people in the same way that France is the nation of the French people…”

46:00: “If you think that Israel is going to commit politicide, is going to give up its right to be a Jewish nation, you’re living in an unreal world.”

P.S. Robin Yassin-Kassab reviewed Abulhawa’s book here.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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