Here is some more of what I believe is the ‘real’ truth. ~J
By Max Blumenthal
February 2, 2012
The Daily Pennsylvania — As the first national Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions conference approaches at the University of Pennsylvania, several participants have faced false and sadly predictable smears. Ali Abunimah, a renowned Palestinian writer and solidarity activist who will deliver the conference’s keynote address, was recently accused by Emily Schrader, an activist with the pro-Israel group StandWithUs, of “incitement to violence against Israelis.” Wayne Firestone, the president of the pro-Israel student group Hillel, accused the Penn BDS conference of advocating “warfare” and fomenting “hatred.” The allegations leveled by Schrader and Firestone could not be further from the truth. Not one participant in the Penn BDS conference has “incited” violence against Israelis or anyone else. Instead, BDS advocates have raised their voices in support of an expressly non-violent movement that takes its inspiration from the American civil rights struggle against Jim Crow bigotry and the international campaign against South Africa’s apartheid regime.
To counter the Penn BDS event, local pro-Israel groups including Hillel and the Philadelphia Jewish Federation have summoned the famed trial lawyer and Harvard University professor of law Alan Dershowitz to campus to keynote a Feb. 2 event: “Why Israel Matters to You, Me, and Penn: A conversation with Alan Dershowitz.” Penn’s Political Science department – which has pointedly refused to co-sponsor the BDS conference — will co-host Dershowitz’s lecture, where the professor has vowed to explain why he considers BDS to be one of the most “immoral, illegal and despicable concepts around academia today.”
The support Dershowitz received from the university and from pro-Israel groups that claim to abhor violence is ironic in light of Dershowitz’s record. Indeed, Dershowitz is an open advocate of torture who has urged Israel to destroy entire Palestinian villages, attack civilians and bulldoze their homes. Despite Dershowitz’s professed concern for political dissidents living under autocratic regimes, he has called for personal retaliation against Israeli academics who speak out in favor of BDS. Meanwhile, Dershowitz routinely smears high-profile critics of Israel’s 45-year-long occupation as evil anti-Semites — and worse.
In March 2002, during the height of the Second Intifada, Dershowitz published an article in The Jerusalem Post proposing a “new response to Palestinian terrorism.” According to Dershowitz, even the ironfisted tactics of then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon were not harsh enough. He urged Israel to adopt an explicit policy of collective punishment — a practice banned by international law. Dershowitz advised Israeli forces to arrange for “the destruction of a small village which has been used as a base for terrorist operations. The residents would be given 24 hours to leave, and then troops will come in and bulldoze all of the buildings.”
No less disturbing is Dershowitz’s recommendation that the United States adopt an official policy allowing federal law enforcement officials to torture criminal suspects. As long as an FBI agent received a “torture warrant,” according to Dershowitz’s rules, he was free to do as he pleased to the body of anyone in his custody. Dershowitz even offered torturers proposals for inflicting maximum pain. Among the methods he advised was “the sterilized needle being shoved under the fingernails,” an idea the journalist and former US intelligence analyst James Bamford described as “chillingly Nazi-like.”
On other occasions, Dershowitz called the pre-1967 border in Israel, “Auschwitz borders,” accused students who politely questioned pro-Israel orthodoxy of supporting Hitler, and attempted to spin the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy by Sirhan Sirhan — a Christian Arab who moved to the U.S. at age 12 — as “the beginning of Islamic terrorism in the United States.” If members of Penn’s Political Science department believe Dershowitz’s penchant for extreme rhetoric will not be on full display when he appears on campus this week, they are deluding themselves.
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Max Blumenthal, a 1999 College graduate, is a writing fellow for the National Institute and author of The New York Times bestseller, “Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered The Party”. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. He will be speaking at this weekend’s Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions conference.
- Saying No to Alan Dershowitz (richardfalk.wordpress.com)
- As anti-BDS attacks mount, students feel unsafe but U of Penn President maintains shameful silence (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- BDS conference sparks free-speech debate at Penn (philly.com)
- Opposing Israel Events Coming To Penn This Week (philebrity.com)
- Dershowitz: Israel Has Legal Right to Attack Iran (idiotifarafrontiere.wordpress.com)