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Dershowitz’s game

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You’ve got to hand it to Alan Dershowitz. He is 79, but he keeps on adding to his resume. His latest role is as an advocate for Donald Trump. And of course wherever Dershowitz goes, Israel is in the picture. It pops up again and again in Dersh’s interactions with the disruptive president.

The news is that at a time when Trump doesn’t have many legal chums, Dershowitz has been serving as Trump’s legal mouthpiece. He’s said that special counsel Robert Mueller is over-zealous, and you can manufacture crimes against anyone. He’s said that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the apparent firewall protecting the Mueller investigation, ought to recuse himself from his overseeing role. He’s accused the ACLU of trampling civil rights in order to get Trump.

The New Yorker has been in and out of the White House this week, Politico reports:

On Tuesday evening, Dershowitz dined at the White House with the president, who has been considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller or deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein in the wake of an FBI raid on the New York home and office of his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen.

Dershowitz said that he was there to talk about the Middle East with the president and his senior advisers. “It was a previously scheduled meeting,” he told POLITICO.

He was back at the White House on Wednesday, huddling again with senior Trump aides….

And where Dersh goes, Israel is not far behind. Politico says Dersh “has used the newfound fame that alights on anyone in Trump’s orbit to tout his Middle East bona fides and position himself as a conduit to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Recalling his run-in with Trump at Mar-a-Lago six months ago, he said the president’s main concern was Israel, not the law. ‘He pulled me aside,’ Dershowitz recalled, ‘and said, I have messages for you to give to Bibi.’”

Dershowitz isn’t only touting Netanyahu to Trump. He’s also promoting “Start Up Nation,” Israel’s effort to brand itself as a technological leader, so that it won’t become a pariah state.

Dershowitz is on the board of an Israeli company called Watergen that builds machines to extract water from the air. Last year Sheldon Adelson, who is Trump’s biggest donor, pressed Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, to meet with Watergen. Pruitt met with two Watergen executives in March 2017.

And lo and behold, Watergen lately scored a cooperative research agreement with the EPA.

Last year Dershowitz spoke at AIPAC about the miracle of Watergen as an antidote to the boycott movement, or BDS. The Times of Israel covered it. So did the Jerusalem Post. And so did we.

Israeli innovation for the last 69 years has produced products that the world can’t live without! Drip agriculture. So many other products. We learn from the Talmud that who saves a single human life it’s as if they saved the whole world. But it’s better to save the whole world, and Israel can do that through its water technology and this great innovation!

I don’t know just when Dershowitz got on the Watergen board; but suffice it to say, neither AIPAC nor Dershowitz gave any inkling that Dershowitz already was or was soon to be on the Watergen board.

Dershowitz’s free pass into the White House underlines the fact that no matter how toxic the president, the Israel lobby is firmly ensconced. Just like it was ensconced in the previous three administrations. Bill Clinton had Rahm Emanuel, Dennis Ross, Stu Eizenstat and Larry Summers, to name just a few. George Bush had Elliott Abrams, Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz. Barack Obama had Alan Solow, Martin Indyk, the Pritzkers and Elena Kagan.

Now Trump has several men with Middle East “bona fides,” as Dersh put it, right at his elbow: Dershowitz, Adelson– who wanted Obama to nuke Iran– and Jared Kushner, the son-in-law whose family foundation supported illegal settlements. Alongside Kushner, Israel-supporters David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt are part of the ace diplomatic team.

Kushner first teamed up with Dershowitz 15 years ago at Harvard, speaking at the dedication of the Chabad House there when Kushner was an undergraduate. (The link to that video is now dead; but I have watched it several times and can vouch for the meeting.)

Now a Trump loyalist, Ed Russo, has gotten the job as CEO of Watergen’s U.S. operation. Russo was an environmental consultant to the Trump organization, and wrote a book titled, “Donald J. Trump: An Environmental Hero,” before the presidential election.

Update. This afternoon it was announced that Trump had pardoned Scooter Libby, the former counsel to Dick Cheney who had been convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the Valerie Plame case during the Iraq war fomenting. All commentators (on MSNBC and CNN as of 1:50 PM) are saying Trump is doing this to send a signal to those being investigated by Robert Mueller now, to keep their mouths shut, and he’ll pardon them. But Dershowitz has argued for Libby. Libby was a dedicated supporter of Israel. I can only imagine what Sheldon Adelson has said to DJT about Scooter. But no, the Israel lobby is never an angle for mainstream journalists.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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16 Responses

  1. eljay on April 13, 2018, 11:59 am

    We learn from the Talmud that who saves a single human life it’s as if they saved the whole world.

    And whoever destroys a single life it’s as if he destroyed the whole world. For decades Zionists have been destroying the world many times over.

  2. Maghlawatan on April 13, 2018, 4:07 pm

    “Last year Dershowitz spoke at AIPAC about the miracle of Watergen as an antidote to the boycott movement, or BDS. ”

    They are afraid of BDS

    ” We learn from the Talmud that who saves a single human life it’s as if they saved the whole world.”

    The Talmud is a pretty good guide. But Israel prefers violence.

    • gamal on April 13, 2018, 4:49 pm

      “he was fascinated by material objects”

      boy got deep, we call it fixation and shenpa (stickiness), in this world there is gratification, we do concede and anticipation, but no happiness, and we beg you release this “fascination” or you will hurt yourself, be non-stick, non-grasp, easy as on sunday morning.

  3. Ossinev on April 13, 2018, 5:20 pm

    Whenever there is a high profile situation involving his beloved country = Israel not America scumbag Dershowitz will rapidly sniff it out and get in on the act.It also gives him that reassuring feeling that far from being a sad old git long past his sell by date (if he ever had any marketability to serious observers )he is in his own eyes a relevant and important source of expertise.
    If you want to see him at his lying hypocritical best always go back to the classic debate with Norman Finklestein and the unconditional $10,000 bet which when forfeited turned out to have a made up on the spot condition:
    Truly the sort of oozy creep who you would rapidly escape from if he state beside you in a bar.
    As one of the commentators points out:

    “Noam Chomsky on Dershowitz: “It may indeed be difficult for some decent people to believe that Dershowitz actually exists, and is not simply invented by anti-Semites who want to ridicule supporters of Israel, but the evidence is overwhelming that he really does exist.” 

  4. JLewisDickerson on April 14, 2018, 1:01 am

    RE: “You’ve got to hand it to Alan Dershowitz. He is 79, but he keeps on adding to his resume. His latest role is as an advocate for Donald Trump. And of course wherever Dershowitz goes, Israel is in the picture. . . “ ~ Weiss

    “Trump ‘Unhappy’ With Syria Retaliation Options Presented to Him, ‘Seeks Large Strike'”
    • According to a Wall Street Journal report, White officials say the U.S. President wants the Pentagon to ‘push the limits a little bit more’ and support an assault that would also punish Russia and Iran
    Haaretz Apr 14, 2018 12:57 AM
    LINK –

    “So much larger than life!”
    E.G., “The Image: A Guide to Psuedo-Events in America”, by Daniel J. Boorstin ~

    • JLewisDickerson on April 14, 2018, 1:29 am

      Martha Elizabeth Beall Mitchell (September 2, 1918 – May 31, 1976) was the wife of John N. Mitchell, United States Attorney General under President Richard Nixon. She became a controversial figure with her outspoken comments about the government at the time of the Watergate scandal.

      • JLewisDickerson on April 14, 2018, 1:41 am

      • JLewisDickerson on April 16, 2018, 9:52 pm

        P.S. Great hand/arm gestures in the AP video. I especially like the gestures accompanying “rehearsed, and rehearsed, and rehearsed” (at about the 30 second mark). Truly classic!

  5. John O on April 14, 2018, 9:10 am

    “… an Israeli company called Watergen that builds machines to extract water from the air.”

    I have two of those; they’re called dehumidifiers. It’s cherry tomatoes all over again.

  6. Ron Fox on April 14, 2018, 10:11 am

    This May 1 is the 10th anniversary of my blog post

    Dershowitz’s Despicable Smear of Jimmy Carter

    I cannot even begin to figure out how best to express my outrage as I read the article below, “Jimmy Carter for Sale” by Alan Dershowitz.

    Alan Dershowitz is, by all accounts, a brilliant lawyer and an extraordinarily effective advocate for many individuals, organizations and causes – one of them being the Government of Israel.

    Here is his conclusion about Jimmy Carter, “He is no better than so many former American politicians who, after leaving public life, sell themselves to the highest bidder and become lobbyists for despicable causes.”

    “Anti-semite”, “dirty money”, “honor Nazi academics”, “complicit in evil”, “anti-Israel”, “evil influence of Zionism”, “Holocaust was a fable”, “deception bordering on corruption”, “integrity … extraordinarily low.” Has Alan Dershowitz missed smearing Jimmy Carter with any of the words and phrases traditionally applied to someone who is a critic of the Government of Israel?

    What has Jimmy Carter done to merit the venom, hate and vilification contained in this detailed “swiftboating”?

    What would justify Alan Dershowitz devoting such time and effort to personally attaching Jimmy Carter?

    What “despicable cause” has Jimmy Carter been lobbying for?

    Not his work in “Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to negotiate with the Communist dictator Mengistou Haile Mariam, to Liberia to induce warlord Charles Taylor to let democratic elections be held, and to Pyongyang, North Korea, to convince Kim Il Sung to give up his nuclear program” … to Haiti to induce General Raoul Cedras to leave the country and permit the elected president to return … to Havana so that I could speak directly to the Cuban people about democracy and human rights. The Center has monitored almost seventy elections, often at the invitation of such people as Manuel Noriega, the Sandinistas, and Hugo Chavez.” Page 250, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”

    I cannot imagine Alan Dershowitz unleashing this nuclear attack on Jimmy Carter for his speaking to the Cuban people about human rights.

    Here’s a clue “Three of the most honest, fair and peaceful of our elections have been in Palestine.” Page 250

    Here is what he has done to incur the wrath of Alan Dershowitz:

    Jimmy Carter has become the most respected prominent individual openly critical of the policies of the Government of Israel vis-à-vis the Palestinians;

    He has put in decades working for a “just” peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians;

    He has even been talking to everyone about “the terrible plight of the Palestinians” Page 251;

    He talks about three options available to the Government of Israel – one of them being “A system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights. This is the policy now being followed.” Page 215; and

    Recently, he has been talking to representatives of Hamas, the group that was elected by the Palestinians in one of those honest, fair and peaceful elections – the results of which were immediately effectively nullified by the Governments of Israel and the United States – Hamas, the organization which a few days ago proposed a six-month truce which was immediately rejected by the Government of Israel.

    Alan Dershowitz is a symbol of those who support peace, justice, love, fairness, human rights, and dignity and equality for all unless they are Palestinians. Here’s a few values of Judaism embodied by the work of Jimmy Carter and opposed by Alan Dershowitz when the subject is the Palestinians:

    Exodus 22:20-21 – You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

    Rabbi Akiva – “‘Love your neighbor as yourself’(Leviticus 19:18) – this is the major principle of the Torah.”

    Deuteronomy XVI, 18:20 – “Justice, Justice shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” And the footnote in the Hertz edition “(T)here is international justice, which demands respect for the personality of every national group, and proclaims that no people can of right be robbed of its national life or territory, its language or spiritual heritage.”

    Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do well – seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow” and 1:27 “Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and they that return of her with righteousness.”

    HILLEL “If I am not for myself, who will be for me, and if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” and his definition of Judaism “What is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor”

    Someone just sent me an “Eyewitness Letter from the Gaza Strip” by Kashi Halford in Occupation Magazine In it Halford notes:

    1.5 million people live in the Gaza strip, over a million of these are refugees. Over 80% live below the poverty line, with 1.2 million people in Gaza are dependent on food handouts. Only 41% of Gaza’s food import needs are currently being met. The Palestinian Health Ministry says there are no stocks left of 85 essential medicines, including chemotherapy drugs, strong antibiotics and several psychiatric drugs. For a further 138 drugs there are only stocks for three months at most. Supplies of nitrous oxide for surgical anaesthesia will run out in two weeks. 17.5% of patients who have requested access to East Jerusalem, Israel or abroad for emergency or chronic medical treatment have been denied permits since June 2007. In October 2007, the public provider of water and sanitation services received 50% of the amount of fuel it need to operate its wells, pumping stations and treatment plants. As a result 210,000 people are able to access drinking water supplies for only 1-2 hours a day.

    Do I know if all of this is accurate? No

    Then again, do I know if all that Alan Dershowitz has written is correct? No

    But I do think that his article is symbolic of what is happening in what is fortunately an increasing smaller segment of the Jewish community – those who agree with any action taken by the Government of Israel. As more and more people in this country and around the world become aware of the injustices and human rights violations being carried out by that government, these tribal nationalistic oriented individuals and their organizations are likely to ramp up the volume and intensity of their personal attacks on, and verbal persecution of, those who criticize the Government of Israel.

    Alan Dershowitz hopes that we will read what he says and not read about what is happening to the Palestinians in the occupied territories. He also hopes to divert our attention from any recommendations Jimmy Carter proposes that might bring appropriate pressure on the Government of Israel to negotiate in good faith for a “just” peace.

    Here are my two conclusions:

    First, this article by Alan Dershowitz is a gross misrepresentation and an incredibly biased attempt to discredit a good person, Jimmy Carter, and the good works that he has done since leaving the White House and establishing the Carter Center.

    Second, while Alan Dershowitz is not a public official who, after leaving public life, sold himself to the highest bidder, he is, in my opinion, actually the one who is a “lobbyist for a despicable cause” – support for the Government of Israel as it continues the occupation and deprives millions of Palestinians of their basic rights and freedoms.

  7. on April 14, 2018, 10:17 am

    Douchewitz is a liar and a whore for Israel and big money – flip flopping between left and right politics depending on his Master but always for pro Zionist interests/purposes.

    Good Zionist stooges like Douchewitz don’t care about what you have done/do or what you have said/say or what your values/morals are as long as you are pro Zionist you’re a friend and deserving.

    You think after he was spanked by Finkelstein and Chomsky in two separate debates he would humble himself but Zionists are shameless – shameless about lying, plagiarizing, promoting racism, doing violence to human rights, stealing land and destroying lives.

    • lonely rico on April 16, 2018, 7:22 pm

      Douchewitz is a liar and a whore for Israel and big money

      Yep. And the Douchbag’s MO is running off at the mouth –

      “Give me mouth time, and I will swamp you with verbal diarrhea that will sweep you away.”

      If you can stomach
      – be strong –
      Douchbag’s verbal slime;

      Finkelstein’s take-down of this sorry excuse of a human being is a sight to behold.

      It cost Finkelstein his academic career.

      It confirmed the Douchbag’s reputation –


  8. jon s on April 15, 2018, 4:38 pm

    For anyone interested, you can follow the JStreet conference, live:

  9. Stogumber on April 21, 2018, 2:18 pm

    One can say a lot of bad things about Dershowitz, but he is sharp-witted in matters of law. And his legal standpoint here was correct – lawyers like Cohen have to be protected from ransacking their office if the goal is only to find any dirt whatever about their client. And the ACLU, in its better days, would have known this.

  10. Maghlawatan on April 21, 2018, 3:48 pm

    Trump is toxic. Israel is attaching itself limpet like to the GOP which is shafting blue collar and Middle class Americans. Rule #1 of Zionism is never get Israel in the crossfire between DC and the ordinary people . And it is going to happen.

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