The breathtaking arrogance of Alan Dershowitz’s ‘advice’ to Black Lives Matter

US Politics
on 39 Comments

The Boston Globe recently ran an article by Alan Dershowitz that was full of imperatives for the membership of Black Lives Matter, telling them what they “must” do to make things right with supporters of Israel and to avoid being cast into the “dustbin of history along with other discredited bigoted groups.” Key among his demands is that BLM rescind its characterization of Israel as an apartheid state that subjects Palestinians to an ongoing  act of genocide.  “Until and unless Black Lives Matter removes this blood libel from its platform and renounces it, no decent person — black, white, or of any other racial or ethnic background — should have anything to do with it,” Dershowitz said.

Well I’ve got news for Mr. Dershowitz.

Those of us that support Black Lives Matter are not particularly interested in anything that he—a serial bully, and heedless flinger of hurtful and grotesquely exaggerated epithets, sycophant to the rich and powerful and arch-apologist for Israel’s long and constant history of ethnic cleansing—says to us.

Indeed, many us of find the pose he adopts, the all-too-familiar one of the Zionist—which is to say a person beholden to an ideology that grants civil rights on the basis of a person’s bloodlines—telling us what we can and cannot say about this or that subject, and which terms we can use in what historical contexts,  to be not only offensive, but borderline comical.

The days of profligately abusing loaded terms like “anti-semitism” and “blood libel” to try and control the parameters of thinkable thought on Israel are, thankfully, coming to a close. Unlike previous generations, younger people fully understand the mechanics of this long-running and all-too-successful thought control gambit and will not put up with it any more.

Not that I think any of this will stop the famously self-involved Mr. Dershowitz from writing such breathtakingly arrogant pieces in the future, nor his enablers at the Globe and other major media outlets from publishing them.

History is full of figures and organizations that were unable to recognize that the ideas and methods that catapulted them to notoriety and power in one phase of their existence had become largely, if not yet loudly, discredited in their later years.

It seems that Mr. Dershowitz and the Globe are determined to add to this long and unfortunate list of tragically blinkered thinkers and social institutions.

About Thomas S. Harrington

Thomas S. Harrington is a professor of Iberian Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and the author of the recently released Livin’ la Vida Barroca: American Culture in a Time of Imperial Orthodoxies.

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39 Responses

  1. hophmi
    August 17, 2016, 11:27 am

    “Those of us that support Black Lives Matter are not particularly interested in anything that he—a serial bully, and heedless flinger of hurtful and grotesquely exaggerated epithets, sycophant to the rich and powerful and arch-apologist for Israel’s long and constant history of ethnic cleansing—says to us. ”

    Be honest, Thomas. It has nothing to do with Alan’s personality or history. You’re not interested in any perspective that differs from your own.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 17, 2016, 12:29 pm

      Be honest, Thomas

      ha! it has everything to do with dershowitz’s history and personality!

    • Mooser
      August 17, 2016, 12:40 pm

      “It has nothing to do with Alan’s personality or history.”

      That’s right, he didn’t once warn BLM to stay away from jail bait.

    • Mr.T
      August 17, 2016, 1:06 pm

      “You’re not interested in any perspective that differs from your own.”

      Wow, you’re almost as lacking in self-awareness as Dershowitz.

    • oldgeezer
      August 17, 2016, 2:03 pm

      @hophmi

      I will leave his personality (bound to cause nausea) out of it. The man has advocated ethnic cleansing, genocide and land theft. A prime example being in an article he wrote for jpost.

      He has nothing of interest to say to any decent, moral person.

      • Citizen
        August 17, 2016, 4:45 pm

        @oldgreezer
        Well he is known for his plagiarism of Peter’s perpetuating the Zionist myth of “land without people for a people without land.” Give credit where it’s due.

    • K Renner
      August 17, 2016, 3:58 pm

      @hasbara:

      Do you have no shame whatsoever? The irony in you accusing someone of not being interested in “other perspectives” is so thick it’s got a physical presence.

      But you are nothing but a propagandistic troll, so….

      An apologist for Douchewitz, at that. Sad!

    • Walker
      August 17, 2016, 6:11 pm

      If hop said “Hitler was a monster”, someone might just as cheaply say the same thing about that comment.

    • bryan
      August 18, 2016, 8:12 am

      “You’re not interested in any perspective that differs from your own. ”

      Is this the same Hophmi, who mastered in outreach, and who constantly embraces perspectives contradictory of his own, or this just another apologist enraged that others can deign to have an alternative perspective to his?

      • amigo
        August 18, 2016, 2:55 pm

        “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald .”.

        Hoppy , warning –do not try this when you are , home alone.

    • Misterioso
      August 18, 2016, 10:18 am

      hophmi

      With supporters like Dershowitz and you, Israel needs no critics. Keep it up!!

    • Talkback
      August 18, 2016, 11:08 am

      And the other borderline comical serial bully tells people what they are really interested in …

  2. eljay
    August 17, 2016, 12:16 pm

    The Dersh: … In a recently issued “platform,” more than 60 groups that form the core of the Black Lives Matter movement went out of their way to single out one foreign nation to accuse of genocide and apartheid. …

    … The platform accuses the US of being “complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people” by providing aid to “an apartheid state.”

    No, it wasn’t the Syrian government, which has killed tens of thousands of innocent people with barrel bombs, chemicals, and gas. …

    Not committing genocide and apartheid against the Palestinians.

    … Nor was it Saudi Arabia, which openly practices gender and religious apartheid. …

    Not committing genocide and apartheid against the Palestinians.

    … It wasn’t Iran, which hangs gays and murders dissidents. …

    Not committing genocide and apartheid against the Palestinians.

    … It wasn’t China, which has occupied Tibet for more than half a century. …

    Not committing genocide and apartheid against the Palestinians.

    … And it wasn’t Turkey, which has imprisoned journalists, judges, and academics. …

    Not committing genocide and apartheid against the Palestinians.

    … Finally, it wasn’t any of the many countries, such as Venezuela or Mexico, where police abuses against innocent people run rampant and largely unchecked. …

    Not committing genocide and apartheid against the Palestinians.

    … Nor was it the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip …

    Not committing genocide and apartheid against the Palestinians.

    Dersh, are you really that sensationally stupid that you think Israel – the only state actually committing genocide and apartheid against the Palestinians – should not be singled out for the (war) crimes it is committing?

    And why do you insist on anti-Semitically conflating Israel with all Jews and all Jews with Israel? Why, Dersh, do you hate Jews so much?!

    The rest of your blather boils down to this:
    – People who happen to be or who choose to be Jewish are entitled to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.
    – Acts of injustice and immorality committed against Jews justify acts of injustice and immorality committed by Jews.
    – Jews are entitled to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

  3. Mr.T
    August 17, 2016, 12:16 pm

    The reaction of all the usual suspects in attacking Black Lives Matter and the coverage it has garnered demonstrates the sheer narcissism and egocentrism of the “excuse JSIL of every crime” crowd. Someone needs to tell these ego maniacs* that not everything is about them and their petty little concerns.

    Page after page after page of analysis of the real problems facing African-Americans and all these fools can focus on two statements in support of the Palestinians?? If they don’t like the mention of the Apartheid State in the manifesto, then they’re part of the problem and need to go away.

    * And, wow, is Dershowitz’s narcissism astounding. He — who has advocated in the past for legalizing torture — claimed that being a defendant in a defamation lawsuit was akin to being waterboarded for 15 months. How immoral and tone deaf can one person be?

  4. a blah chick
    August 17, 2016, 12:24 pm

    It should be pointed out that all the people, including the Dersh, who dumped on BLM for their “language” have NOTHING to say about Israel’s oncoming human rights abuses. For the Hasbara Brigade talking about Isreal’s crimes is worse than the crimes themselves.

    Shorter Dersh: “When a white man speaks you listen!”

    • pabelmont
      August 17, 2016, 1:47 pm

      ABC: Not quite: he speaks not as a “white” man (tho he enjoys the “white privilege” in the USA) but as a “Jew” or as a “Zionist”, categories which have acquired so much privilege since 1967 (especially the privilege he claims — of not being condemned for its condemnable behavior) that he feels protected while striking out at everybody who expreses anti-Zionist opinion.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2016, 2:09 pm

        “but as a “Jew” or as a “Zionist”, categories which have acquired so much privilege since 1967 (especially the privilege he claims — of not being condemned for its condemnable behavior)”

        Condemned? I don’t even worry about that. The idea of just being busted back to an ordinary person terrifies me.

      • lonely rico
        August 17, 2016, 3:13 pm

        > pabelmont

        he speaks not as a “white” man … but as a “Jew” or as a “Zionist”

        The dershbag and allied zionist apologists are –

        WHITER THAT WHITE

        http://www.chipshopawards.com/userfiles/nominations/5365/chip_shop_kkk.jpg

  5. Marnie
    August 17, 2016, 1:51 pm

    “Those of us that support Black Lives Matter are not particularly interested in anything that he—a serial bully, and heedless flinger of hurtful and grotesquely exaggerated epithets, sycophant to the rich and powerful and arch-apologist for Israel’s long and constant history of ethnic cleansing—says to us.”

    Good. Alan Dershowitz has no relevance. I’m sure he was against BLM long before the G word was used. BLM does not require the approval of the likes of you.

  6. Boomer
    August 17, 2016, 2:24 pm

    re: “breathtaking arrogance”

    Yes, indeed. It seems that there should be a word for this. “Effrontery” perhaps? That seems apt. But maybe there are other candidates.

    • lonely rico
      August 17, 2016, 3:43 pm

      > Boomer

      The dershbag is an

      arrogant
      contemptible
      shameful
      cretinous
      liar

      I suspect he’s the type of guy that only his dog would be happy to see him walk in the door.

  7. jd65
    August 17, 2016, 2:35 pm

    Dershowitz is a clown. Period.

    • K Renner
      August 17, 2016, 4:02 pm

      *Douchewitz. Famous hater of the Palestinians and defender of Jeffery Epstein and his patented “pedophile island”.

      • RoHa
        August 17, 2016, 10:26 pm

        K. Rennet, I hope you are not going to deny the right of paedophiles to self-determination in an island of their own.

  8. K Renner
    August 17, 2016, 4:01 pm

    I will say that BLM is histrionic and obnoxious. While there exists significant issues facing the African American community regarding police abuse and heavy-handedness, they simply face nothing remotely like what Palestinians face on a regular basis.

    BLM could also do well to pick and choose who they defend, instead of pretending that petty criminals like Mike Brown are on the same level as innocent African American men who are clearly the victims of unjustifiable police slayings.

    Douchewitz is nothing but, but I don’t like how the BLM is trying to attach itself to the Palestinian cause. It’s not helpful.

  9. Kay24
    August 17, 2016, 4:44 pm

    OT but interesting. Ehud Barak blames Nutty for damaging Israel’s security.
    Soon we will hear the gnats attack Ehud Barak.

    Ehud Barak: Netanyahu’s Poor Judgment, Rocky Relations With Obama Damaged Israel’s Security
    In former defense minister’s latest jab at Netanyahu, Barak says the prime minister is aware that the countdown to the end of his rule has begun.
    read more: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.737401

    • inbound39
      August 17, 2016, 5:04 pm

      There is not one PM since Israel was established that in my view is not guilty of lining his or her own pockets at the expense of fellow Israeli’s and Palestinians and ALL are guilty in some form of war crimes against Palestinians. Dershowitz is way past his use by date and the fact he has been linked to pedophillia makes him a thoroughly distasteful and unwanted voice. Those who still support him and believe his lies and distortions are just as morally bankrupt as he is. As for Ehud Barak…….he is no better than Netanyahu.

      • Kay24
        August 17, 2016, 10:20 pm

        I agree. However it becomes amusing when you hear one blaming the other and start making such statements publicly. They are all the same and no one genuinely tried to give the Palestinians their freedom.

      • inbound39
        August 18, 2016, 7:01 am

        Yes …the fact they blame one another or bad mouth one another makes them no different to rats deserting a sinking ship.

  10. MHughes976
    August 17, 2016, 4:59 pm

    I wish I could agree with Thomas that the days of profligate accusations of anti-S and blood libel are coming to an end. In the UK at least they appear to be lengthening, with recent events in the Labour Party, Naz Shah and other victimisations and the apparent instruction that the terms Z and anti-Z be replaced with Supprter/Opponent of Israeli policy, which are not at all the same thing.

  11. Froggy
    August 18, 2016, 10:49 am

    How condescending !

  12. Talkback
    August 18, 2016, 11:26 am

    Unless Dershowitz renounces his support for settler colonialism and its inherent logic of elimination everyone should continue to laugh about him.

  13. Ossinev
    August 18, 2016, 2:26 pm

    I always like to revisit Norman Finklestein`s dismantling of this odious little creep just to watch his little weasel eyes darting about as Norman dissects him. can`t see his little legs but they too must be flailing about under the table. just like a beetle impaled on a pin.

  14. JLewisDickerson
    August 18, 2016, 10:20 pm

    RE: “Until and unless Black Lives Matter removes this blood libel from its platform and renounces it, no decent person — black, white, or of any other racial or ethnic background — should have anything to do with it,” Dershowitz said.” ~ Harrington

    MY COMMENT: Gosh, I certainly never expected Dershowitz to approve of my supporting Black Lives Matters. Will wonders ever cease?

    Dershowitz says no “decent” person should have anything to do with BLM unless* BLM removes the offending plank from its platform and renounces it.
    Fortunately, I have never self-identified as a “decent”** person. For one thing, that’s setting the bar awfully damn low. “I realize he’s an axe murder, but if you get to know him he’s really a decent person.” I suppose even the vilest of vulture capitalists like Paul Singer is considered a “decent person”. Come to think of it, I suppose that’s why I do not think of myself as a “decent” person; it would be tantamount to admitting I have something in common with Singer. That said, I am a bit disappointed that Dershowitz excluded me from the group of people he advised against having anything to do with BLM; thereby unfairly depriving me of an opportunity to defy his edict/fatwa.

    * Attorneys love to say “unless and until”, but for the life of me I don’t understand the practical difference between “unless and until” (or until and unless) and just plain old ‘unless’. I’ve racked my brain, but to no avail. I’ve tried, and I’ve tried, until I was blue in the face; but I’ve always come up empty.

    ** In checking the definitions for ‘decent’, the English use of “decent” best makes my point.

    decent
    adjective UK ​ /ˈdiː.sənt/ US ​ /ˈdiː.sənt/

    socially acceptable or good:
    Everyone should be entitled to a decent wage/standard of living.
    I thought he was a decent person.
    It was very decent (= kind) of you to help.
    It made quite a decent-sized (= large) hole.
    After the recent scandal, the priest is expected to do the decent thing and resign from his position.

    P.S. Although I do not feel the need to rebel against society just for the sake of rebelling against society, neither do I feel the need to be “socially acceptable”. In judging a human, I believe the ‘gold standard’ is an evaluation of the “content of their character” (in the sense that Martin Luther King, Jr. used the concept).
    Considering some of the people who pass for “decent” and/or “socially acceptable”, I would just as soon not be designated as such.

    P.P.S. John Huston as Noah Cross in ‘Chinatown’ (1974): ‘Course I’m respectable. I’m old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.

    • JLewisDickerson
      August 20, 2016, 8:14 am

      P.P.P.S. EXTOLLING THE VIRTUES OF INDECENCY:

      I have been thinking about Dershowitz’s fatwa/edict to the effect that “[u]ntil and unless Black Lives Matter removes this blood libel from its platform and renounces it, no decent person . . . should have anything to do with it.”

      One thing that occurred to me, is that Dershowitz is effectively calling for a boycott of Black Lives Matter. So, he obviously sees the boycott of an organization as a legitimate means of inducing it to reverse some action he disagrees with. I think it’s important to get that “on the record”.

      Also, while further reflecting upon Dershowitz’s characterization of some people as “decent” (implicitly tarring others as indecent), the banning of “degenerate art” by the Nazis came to mind. I think it is fair to say that neither the works of “degeneratete art” nor the artists who created them were considered “decent” (i.e., “socially acceptable”) in Germany at that time, at least not by most Nazis (despite the fact that some of these works of “degenerate art” made their way into the private collections of the upper echelon of Nazi officials).

      Ultimately, a considerable number of the works of art banned by the Nazis as “degenerate” were later judged to be among the greatest paintings, sculptures, etc. of the 20th century. Similarly, many of the artists identified by the Nazis as “degenerate” (i.e., considerably less than “decent”) in the 1930s, are today considered to be among the most renowned artists of the 20th century.

      P.P.P.P.S.
      Is using ‘until and unless’ grammatically correct? ~ https://www.quora.com/Is-using-until-and-unless-grammatically-correct

      • JLewisDickerson
        August 26, 2016, 5:39 pm

        P.P.P.P.P.S.
        “A Brief History of the Legion of Decency”
        Various ^ | Rick Kephart
        Posted on 12/10/2008, 12:16:38 PM by NYer

        The Legion of Decency was formed in 1934 to combat immoral movies. People took a pledge, in church, against bad movies. They pledged not only never to go to any morally objectionable movie, but never even to go to any movie theater that had ever shown a morally objectionable film!

        This was very effective in discouraging Hollywood from making movies which would earn the disapproval of the Legion of Decency. And the Legion of Decency’s ratings were very strict . . .

        SOURCE – http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2146228/posts

      • JLewisDickerson
        August 26, 2016, 5:44 pm

        P.P.P.P.S.
        The Decency League – New Radicals

  15. JLewisDickerson
    August 19, 2016, 12:57 am

    RE: “Until and unless Black Lives Matter removes this blood libel from its platform” ~ Dershowitz

    MY COMMENT: The only explanation I can come up with for Derwshowitz’s bizarre/absurd use of “blood libel” is that he was subliminally tying Black Lives Matter to the persecution of Jews in Europe during the Middle Ages. The use of “blood libel” in this way was so forced that I can only assume that Dershowitz made a conscious decision to use it specifically so as to subliminally tie Black Lives Matter to the persecution of Jews in Europe during the Middle Ages. The shameless Dershowitz is truly depraved.

    USE OF “CRUCIFY” TO SUBLIMINALLY TIE DERSHOWITZ TO THE CRUCIFICTION OF CHRIST: Dershowitz’s diabolically clever use of “blood libel” to subliminally tie Black Lives Matter to the persecution of Jews in Europe during the Middle Ages is nothing short of a shameful attempt to CRUCIFY Black Lives Matter.

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