After years of careless accusation, Dershowitz says anti-Semitism charges must be ‘very careful’

US Politics
on 46 Comments

It must have been tough, but Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and investigative reporter tracked Alan Dershowitz down in Tel Aviv for comment on the Steve Bannon controversy. And longtime Dershowitz followers may be surprised to learn that he is defending the man who could become the most highly-placed American official accused of anti-Semitism in many decades, in this interview with Aaron Klein:

I think we have to be very careful before we accuse any particular individual of being an anti-Semite . . .  And I think one has to be very careful about using the term anti-Semitic.

But “care” about using the words anti-Semite has never been the hallmark of Dershowitz’s long career as a polemicist.

Was he being “careful” when he said that Black Lives Matter was guilty of an anti-Semitic “blood libel” in charging Israel with genocide against Palestinians?

Was he “careful” when he likened Judge Richard Goldstone to Nazi Dr. Mengele after Goldstone put out a report highly critical of Israel in 2009, which Dershowitz termed a “blood libel”?

Was he practicing “care” when he flatly described the late Harvard President Nathan Pusey as an anti-Semite in his book Chutzpah, and accused the entire American legal profession of anti-Semitism?

“Upon learning of the way law was practiced in American firms, I resolved never to become part of that system.”

More from the Breitbart interview:

I don’t think anybody should be called or accused of being anti-Semitic unless the evidence is overwhelming.

Was the evidence “overwhelming” with Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu — when Dershowitz accused them of mainstreaming anti-Semitism because they were critical of Israel? And said that Carter had the “blood of thousands” on his hands?

Dershowitz says that Bannon is a friend of Jews:

The evidence certainly suggests that Mr. Bannon has very good relationships with individual Jews. My former researcher, Joel Pollak, is an Orthodox Jew who takes off the Jewish holidays, who is a committed Jew and a committed Zionist, and he has worked closely with him. He has been supportive of Israel.

Is that the one and only criterion of whether someone is an anti-Semite or not? Being supportive of Israel?  I think it might be.

So, I haven’t seen any evidence of personal anti-Semitism on the part of Bannon. I think the [Breitbart] headline about a Conservative Republican being a renegade Jew was ill-advised. But it doesn’t suggest to me anti-Semitism. It suggests to me a degree of carelessness.

“Ill-advised.” So who “advised” Stephen Bannon to make that nasty crack about Bill Kristol? Why weren’t Walt and Mearsheimer only “ill-advised” and “careless,” instead of, as Dershowitz said, guilty of writing a “hate-filled screed against Jewish participation in American politics.”

Dershowitz goes on to apologize for Trump.

I think the larger problem – and it’s a very complicated one today – is how you assess a person who himself might not have negative characteristics, but who has widespread appeal to people who do. And I think that problem exists on the right and the left. I think there are left-wing candidates who appeal to some of the worst bigots on the hard left. Anti-Semites on the hard left. Anti-Israel people on the hard left. And I think the same thing is probably true of some very right-wing conservatives who appeal advertently or inadvertently to people whose values they probably themselves don’t agree with.

He is obviously worried that Trump may not be pro-Israel, and so he is sucking up to him.

But it is not legitimate to call somebody an anti-Semite because you might disagree with their policies.  Or because in one instance, like in the Bannon case, an aggrieved wife in a divorce may have said something which he himself has denied having said. I think you always have to have a presumption of innocence and of good faith.

“Innocence” and “good faith?” Doesn’t that describe Students for Justice in Palestine, who Dershowitz has not hesitated to call anti-Semites? And what about anyone who supports Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel — Dershowitz has accused them too of anti-Semitism.

46 Responses

  1. eljay
    November 15, 2016, 3:05 pm

    Dershowitz: … But it is not legitimate to call somebody an anti-Semite because you might disagree with their policies. …

    Says the clown man who reeks of illegitimacy.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 16, 2016, 10:16 am

      • Mooser
        November 16, 2016, 11:50 am

        Is that for real? I see it, but I just can’t quite believe it.

      • pianoteacher
        November 16, 2016, 3:31 pm

        @TheDersh is a spoof account!

      • pianoteacher
        November 16, 2016, 3:35 pm

        Here is another choice tweet from TheDersh:
        In case you were wondering, I’m still a fucking maniac. https://t.co/3VmslOx0ac

      • Mooser
        November 16, 2016, 4:27 pm

        “In case you were wondering, I’m still a fucking maniac.”

        Okay, it’ is a genuine account. My, he is becoming unguarded.

      • echinococcus
        November 16, 2016, 6:29 pm

        “becoming a fucking maniac”
        Should we assume he was chaste until now? Like… Epstein.

  2. John Salisbury
    November 15, 2016, 3:46 pm

    Thank you James for pointing out his inconsistencies.

  3. Mooser
    November 15, 2016, 3:54 pm

    “The evidence certainly suggests that Mr. Bannon has very good relationships with individual Jews. My former researcher, Joel Pollak, is an Orthodox Jew who takes off the Jewish holidays, who is a committed Jew and a committed Zionist, and he has worked closely with him. He has been supportive of Israel.”

    Ah, it’s easy to see what kind Jews they like, but I cannot come up with Yiddish for the name. “Fetter” I already know.

  4. John O
    November 15, 2016, 4:29 pm

    That Supreme Court vacancy beckons …

  5. joemowrey
    November 15, 2016, 8:53 pm

    The truly wacko Zionists like Dershowitz have never cared about anti-Semitism. They use it when it suits their purposes. But in the end, Hiltler could come back to life, and as long he supported Israel the Zionist nut jobs would defend him. Israelism is a religion all its own to these people.

  6. DaBakr
    November 15, 2016, 9:23 pm

    @,((((((.)))))))

    He didn’t have to be “careful” with his other accusations as the accused already met dershawitz basic definition of jew-hating in the first place. He never accused just any old vulgar American who said something nasty, humorous and nasty or just plain insensitive but not untrue about jaws of being anti semitic. LBJ, Jessie Jackson Hymietown, George Bush, even Obama made comments considered offensive/humorous about jews. It’s pretty humorous to watch hard left progressive israel-haters squirm around trying to squeeze the most hated dersh into practising hypocrisy. The closest they came was his epstein incident and even that didn’t stick.

    • CigarGod
      November 15, 2016, 9:38 pm

      So, if it doesn’t stick we can’t convict…I mean it didn’t happen?

    • Annie Robbins
      November 16, 2016, 8:34 am

      It’s pretty humorous to watch hard left progressive israel-haters squirm around trying to squeeze the most hated dersh into practising hypocrisy.

      It’s pretty humorous to watch hard right conservative israel-lovers squirm around trying to squeeze the most loved dersh out of practising hypocrisy.

      He didn’t have to be “careful” with his other accusations as the accused already met dershawitz basic definition of jew-hating in the first place.

      sure, his basic definition of jew-hating being anti israel.

      dershowitz’s definition of anti semitism is anti zionism. he won’t accuse a zionist of anti semitism, it’s that uncomplicated.

      He never accused just any old vulgar American who said something nasty, humorous and nasty or just plain insensitive but not untrue about jaws

      right, you just can’t say vulgar, nasty, humorous and nasty or just plain insensitive but not untrue about the state of jaws.

    • Mooser
      November 16, 2016, 11:55 am

      “He never accused just any old vulgar American who said something nasty, humorous and nasty or just plain insensitive but not untrue about jaws”

      Yes, it did a lot of harm to innocent selachimorpha everywhere.

  7. Marnie
    November 16, 2016, 12:13 am

    This cirque du insane is getting funnier all the time but this is hysterical. Dersch has defended the indefensible (Klaus von Bulow, The Case for Israel) and vilified and slandered the better angels among us (desmond tutu, jimmy carter), so this is not really news is it? How’s that rape/molestation thing going Dersch?

  8. Kay24
    November 16, 2016, 6:35 am

    It is like watching a train wreck happening in slo-mo. Yet another deplorable in Trump’s team – this time the Islamaphobe, liar, and Israel firster, Frank Gaffney. Trump is sending American Muslims a strong message and it is UGLY.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-frank-gaffney_us_582bc6ece4b0e39c1fa70904

    • Bumblebye
      November 16, 2016, 9:19 am

      On bbcR4’s World at One Michael Scheuer said of Gaffney:

      “only thing he’s tough on is extorting as much as he can from the US for the Israelis”

      • Kay24
        November 16, 2016, 9:29 pm

        That can be said about all the other zionist servants that work in Congress, and others like AIPAC who while pretending to be Americans, put Israel above everything else.

  9. Maghlawatan
    November 16, 2016, 7:08 am

    Dersh and friends destroyed Finkelstein’s career because he spoke the truth.
    Now there is a wolf in DC

    The ADL ran the numbers
    https://www.yahoo.com/katiecouric/2016-the-choice-hate-speech-intensifies-since-trump-won-the-election-180840470.html
    12 months
    2.6 million antisemitic messages
    10 BILLION impressions
    Only 1600 accounts involved

    Mr Bannon is Julius Streicher 2.0 in maybe 1938

    The DNA of AIPAC and the ZOA is power.
    They have to side with Trump. It is not rational. But they have to.

    The dynamics get very interesting. Trumpism is obviously a coup. It is incoherent.
    This might well be the end for the Dersh.

    He is no better than Rumkowski.

    • CigarGod
      November 16, 2016, 10:46 am

      Interesting.
      You you have the number for Reach?

    • Antidote
      November 17, 2016, 2:57 pm

      “Mr Bannon is Julius Streicher 2.0 in maybe 1938”

      Not a bad analogy in view of the fact that Streicher became a pariah in 1938 after starting to attack his long-term critics in the Nazi leadership with charges that were just as unhinged as his invectives against Jews.

      But that was not the end of Streicher who was merely stripped of any public office, and who more or less retired to private life in Bavaria until he was sentenced to death at Nuremberg for incitement as a crime against humanity. From the judgement on Streicher at Nuremberg, adapted to Dersh:

      “In his speeches and articles, week after week, month after month, he infected the German (American) mind with the virus of (anti-) anti-Semitism, and incited the German (American) people to active persecution.”

      I find it all pretty coherent, actually. Streicher did not just aim at Jews, but also ‘self-hating Germans’ (those who did not hate Jews, but hated Streicher).

      The next logical step would be that the ADL specializes on persecuting false charges of anti-semitism. As an expert in that line of work, the Dersh may have plenty of job opportunities coming his way

      Fascinating

  10. Ossinev
    November 16, 2016, 7:37 am

    Sounds as if this odious creep is practicing his salivation method in preparation for licking up to Trump – having licked up to HRC throughout the Presidential campaign he will now have to switch his weasel intellect to America`s new saviour in order to stay in the limelight – and for him that is what it is all about,being seen to be relevant,an authority of some kind,a “renowned” this that or the other.

    He is just a self serving morally debased lying hypocrite. Oh and he still hasn`t handed over the $10000 to Norman Finklestein.

  11. yonah fredman
    November 16, 2016, 8:44 am

    The struggle for Israel’s survival has been the primary issue of self defense among tribe conscious jews for all of my life. There was a period in 68 when fearful new york jews (outer boro jews) spoke of impending doom based on the frictions of the teachers’ strike, (highly influenced by a doubling of the murder rate) I didn’t buy their panic, and have not heard panic since til now.
    Trump is capable of anything to win and in all probability antisemitism will not be a tool he will see fit to use. Such a ruthless man rubbing elbows with bannon is grounds for extreme vigilance.

    • Mooser
      November 16, 2016, 11:57 am

      “Trump is capable of anything to win and in all probability antisemitism will not be a tool he will see fit to use.”

      And when antisemitism is used to benefit or advance Zionism, it is not only excusable, it is laudable.

  12. RobertHenryEller
    November 16, 2016, 9:21 am

    Because of Mondoweiss language restrictions, Dershowitz is indescribable.

    • Mooser
      November 16, 2016, 12:00 pm

      OH, BTW, when we look at the names of those Trump wants to bring into high appointed office, can we dispense with the word “new”? There’s nothing new, most of these clowns (Gaffney, Kagan, Kolbach, Bannon Giuliani) have been around for decades.

  13. Theo
    November 16, 2016, 1:20 pm

    I could not enter the blog for weeks, what happened??!!!!

    About Dersch. A few years ago I watched a discussion between him and Mr. Levy of Haaretz, whom I respect very much.
    A wrote an e-mail an Dersch, voicing my agreement of what Levy said. In his reply he advised me that: “I am a cretin and should crawl back under the stone where I came from”!!
    In other words we had a friendly discussion, typical of Dersh, and since I said the same what Levy did, does he consider him also to be a cretin?

    • Mooser
      November 16, 2016, 2:16 pm

      “I could not enter the blog for weeks, what happened??!!!!”

      Sorry, sorry, I put off buying a new computer for weeks, hoping somebody else would fix it. Everything seems to work now.

  14. Maghlawatan
    November 16, 2016, 4:35 pm

    I think the last week is a vindication for Phil Weiss.

    All the official Jews like the Dersh and Goldberg and Rosner etc who have been preaching might is right for years got a wake up call. If you play might is right you are vulnerable to a bigger thug from the right running the same logic. .

    What is going on in the US economy amounts to the pauperisation of the working class. At some stage there had to be a backlash. And now it has arrived. People like Bannon can chip away at the “unbreakable bond” between Israel and the US because Israel does nothing for ordinary americans . There is no loyalty . There is just money.

    Everything that the thug Jews of Aipac and the ZOA take for granted is now in question.

    It is always better to listen to Hillel.

    • Mooser
      November 16, 2016, 5:40 pm

      .” People like Bannon can chip away at the “unbreakable bond” between Israel and the US because Israel does nothing for ordinary americans”

      And if there is anything Trump’s Chief of Staff will; be looking out for, it’s “ordinary Americans”.

      Oh well, we’ve been hearing for years that Israel protects us from and reduces antisemitism. It’s time for American Jews to repay that debt, and put up with some antisemitism in America for the sake of Israel. Only fair, after all they have done for us.

      • Maghlawatan
        November 16, 2016, 5:58 pm

        Bannon is an opportunist and destroyer . He wants power. Anything to get power.
        AIPAC shouldn’t go near him. But the DNA of AIPAC is a**licking

  15. Kay24
    November 16, 2016, 6:08 pm

    The media mentions that Jared Kushner might get security clearance, and be able to sit with Trump during security briefings. I am a bit skeptical about that – after all it seems he has strong ties to Israel, and who knows what may be leaked out to AIPAC or the zionist crowd.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 16, 2016, 7:08 pm

      kay, i think he wants it for his children, not just son in law jared.

      • Kay24
        November 16, 2016, 9:27 pm

        Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner have just stated that they will not be seeking security clearance. No info about the others.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 16, 2016, 11:08 pm

        ah, he’ll share w/them anyway.

      • Marnie
        November 17, 2016, 12:43 am

        They’ll be given away as party favors at Hannukah and Christmas.

      • Kathleen
        November 17, 2016, 6:18 am

        No background in National Security,

        Zero,

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2016, 7:14 pm

        “kay, i think he wants it for his children, not just son in law jared.”

        Security clearances for the people who will be handling Trumps business affairs while he’s President? That’s handy.

  16. Ossinev
    November 17, 2016, 11:55 am

    “The Dersh” “Dersh” etc. Just like referring to his fellow Zionist slimeball as “Bibi”. Just like referring to Adolf Hitler as Adi. Makes them sound like characterful rogues .Give them their full names – perhaps an exception for Netanyahu who has a history of swapping names to make himself more racially appealing to the audience he is addressing – in his case I am happiest with the Swiftian “Yahoo” as it neatly sums him up.

    • Kay24
      November 17, 2016, 7:21 pm

      It was funny to see Gulliani, brag about being so close to Nutty, and that he visited him whenever he was in Israel. He also said he could call him “Bibi” because he was a “friend”.
      That would mean the Booby calling the zio leader Bibi.

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