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Momzer muffs moser

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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At the Forward, Josh Nathan-Kazis flashes shoe-leather in a smart follow-up to Alan Dershowitz’s calling Richard Goldstone an "evil" "traitor" to the Jewish people on Israeli radio. Dersh blames it on a language misunderstanding, then retracts his retraction. Note the scary Rabin-assassination angle Nathan-Kazis has picked up. (Also: to the uninitiate, momzer in my headline means bastard in Yiddish, though if you had to have that explained, I’d advise you to take a Yiddish course in a hurry, such ignorance is as they used to say at Goldman, Sachs, a CLM, career-limiting-move. Leo Rosten defines momzer as a stubborn, difficult man.)  The Forward:

The outspoken Harvard Law School professor has told the Forward that he didn’t intend to call the lead author of the controversial Goldstone Report a moser, a Jew who informs on other Jews, in a recent interview on Israel Army Radio. Indeed, Dershowitz, who graduated from a Jewish elementary school and high school, says that he does not even know the meaning of the word — a term from Jewish religious law that the assassin of Yitzhak Rabin cited to describe why the Israeli leader deserved to die.

Instead, Dershowitz claims that he thought he was telling his interviewer that the South African jurist was “absolutely” a “monster.”…

“I wrote to the broadcaster, retracting my word ‘traitor,’” Dershowitz told the Forward. “But if you’re asking me deep in my heart and soul do I believe that the word fairly characterizes him, in light of the way he’s used his Jewishness, both as a shield and a sword? You know, if the shoe fits.”

…In the Israeli Army Radio segment, “Ma Boer” host Razi Barkai asked Dershowitz regarding Goldstone, “Do you hint, professor, that he is a moser, someone who betrays his own people?”

“Absolutely,” Dershowitz responded.

The term moser entered the Israeli political discourse in 1995 in the wake of Rabin’s assassination by radical settler supporter Yigal Amir, when Amir cited some rabbis’ designation of Rabin as a moser as part of his justification for carrying out the murder.

Richard Silverstein corrects me: Mamzer is Hebrew.

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