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Dershowitz is unreliable narrator

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Former Senator Jim Abourezk gave a speech lauding Helen Thomas a week ago and it was published later on Counterpunch. Alan Dershowitz, the subject of an Abourezk anecdote, complained to the website about the piece. From Alex Cockburn’s column:

From: “Alan Dershowitz” <[email protected]>
Date: November 22, 2010 12:09:48 PM PST
To: <[email protected]>

Subject: Response to Article

In his [CounterPunch] article entitled “Honoring Helen Thomas” dated November 22, 2010, James Abourezk makes the following statement:

“I once called Alan Dershowitz a snake on Al Manar television.  Al Manar is Hezbollah’s news channel in Lebanon.  When he found out what I had said, he wrote a column in the Jerusalem Post, calling me an anti-Semite.” 

It is a lie. 

Here is a link to my article to which he refers.  (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-dershowitz/a-real-snake_b_65194.html?view=print)   I challenge him to find the term “anti-Semite” in the article.  I also challenge your readers to read the article and judge Abourezk’s credibility.  Now I will characterize Abourezk:  He is a liar. “

I duly clicked on the Huffington Post link thoughtfully provided by prof. Dershowitz and indeed, there is no use of the term “anti-Semite” in the  column by the noted Harvard law professor, published on September 21, 2007. But since the prof. is a notoriously slippery fellow, I put a couple of sentences from that same column into the google search engine, pressed  button A and, hey presto, up came the same  Sep 21, 2007 Dershowitz column,  printed that same day on the site of the United Jewish Foundation.  And lo!  there was a final paragraph, omitted from the Huffpost version. Here it is, in bold type.

“Well maybe former Senator Abourezk isn’t so different from the late Senator Bilbo after all. He uses the word ‘Zionist’ in precisely the same bigoted way Bilbo used ‘kike.’ [Huffington Post version ends here.]

“It is true that not all anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic, but just because it is anti-Zionist does not mean it is not also anti-Semitic. If the shoe fits…” (C2007 FrontPageMagazine.com 09/21/07)

“Anti-Semite”… “anti-Semitic” …  A minute difference on which the slippery prof. would no doubt try to hang his hat, but to any impartial observer it’s plain enough that Abourezk’s memory is true. Dershowitz was sliming the former distinguished senator from South Dakota  as an anti-Semite. It’s maybe why Huffington Post dropped the final paragraph as libelous, unless Dershowitz reserved the slime for the version he sent FrontPageMagazine which, the vigilant reader will have noted, was credited as its source by the United Jerusalem Foundation.

Update: Dershowitz says that he corrected himself in a note to Counterpunch. “As soon as I found the Jerusalem Post version, I had my secretary correct my submission.  She did so at 11:34AM on Tuesday, November 23, 2010…  Nonetheless, Counterpunch has deliberately kept the version citing the Huffington Post on its site rather than the Jerusalem Post version…” Professor, a lie can go round the world in the time it takes the truth to tie its shoes, as Mark Twain said.

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