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longtime Dem Alan Dershowitz: "How … – insider.foxnews.com

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Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz sounded off on claims the 25th Amendment should be used to remove President Trump over his mental capacity.

Dershowitz, a Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton, said calls for removal are “very dangerous.”

“Theres only one thing worse than trying to criminalize political differences and thats trying to psychiatrize them,” he said. “These psychiatrists who are trying to diagnose without having even met the man. Thats what they did in Russia.”

Yale University psychiatrist Dr. Brandy X. Lee told the “Washington Examiner” that several Democratic senators and one Republican senator met with her after she published analysis questioning Trump’s mental health.

However, Lee’s statements have been found to violate the “Goldwater Rule” — an ethical standard set forth by the American Psychiatric Association regarding evaluating politicians or people they have not met.

“How dare liberals… try to undo democracy by accusing a president of being mentally ill without any basis?” Dershowitz asked of those citing Lee and others.

Dershowitz said the 25th Amendment — ratified in 1967 and delineating presidential succession — does not apply in this case.

He said former President Ronald Reagan appeared to be developing Alzheimers near the end of his term so a case could have been made for him, but reminded viewers that Vice President George Bush would have had to invoke the amendment.

Dershowitz said in Trump’s case, that duty would fall to Mike Pence and then require a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress to remove him.

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January 9, 2018   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz slams liberals for claiming Trump is …

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz blasted liberals over the weekend for trying to “undo democracy” by claiming President Trump should be removed because he’s mentally unstable.

Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, Dershowitz said that tactic from the left is “very dangerous.”

“There’s only one thing worse than trying to criminalize political differences, and that’s trying to psychiatrize them,” he said.

“These psychiatrists now who are trying to diagnose without ever having met the man, that’s what they did in Russia. I represented dissidents who they locked up in mental hospitals,” he added. “That’s what they did in China. That’s what they did in apartheid South Africa.

“How dare liberals, people on the left, try to undo democracy by accusing a president of being mentally ill without any basis?” he said.

Democrats and their allies in the press have openly wondered whether Trump could and should be removed from office through the 25th Amendment. That Amendment says a majority of the Cabinet can decide to remove the president once he or she is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

That language was designed for use when a president is incapacitated, although Democrats have said it should be used against Trump.

Last year, Rep Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said it should be used because Trump is “incompetent,” but legal experts say using it to end political disputes is a controversial idea.

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Alan Dershowitz: I’m an advocate for the rule of law, not Trump

Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz on Friday denied being an advocate for President Trump, saying instead that he was only a champion of the rule of law and the Constitution.

I just call it the way I see it when it comes to the law,” Dershowitz told Fox News. “If the president likes what Im saying, fine, but tomorrow he may not like what Im saying.

Trump on Thursday cited Dershowitz in an interview with the New York Times to defend himself against accusations that his firing of former FBI Director James Comey on May 9 was an obstruction of justice.

Dershowitz has also said that even if the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia in the lead-up to the 2016 election, it could not be considered a crime.

Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor, complained on Dec. 27 that arguing against special counsel Robert Mueller charging Trump with obstruction of justice had caused him to lose weight and receive fewer social invitations.

“My nephew thinks Im helping keep in office one of the greatest dangers in American history,” Dershowitz said. “I tell him Im just standing up for principle. He tells me that I dont have to stand up so loud.

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Alan Dershowitz: I’m an advocate for the rule of law, not Trump

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January 4, 2018   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: Debating Cornel West on the boycott movement …

I recently debated Professor Cornel West of Harvard about the boycott movement against Israel. The topic was resolved: “The boycott, divestiture and sanctions (BDS) movement will help bring about the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

West argued that Israel was a “colonialist-settler” state and that apartheid in the West Bank was “worse” than it was in white-ruled South Africa and should be subject to the same kind of economic and cultural isolation that helped bring about the fall of that regime.

I replied that the Jews who emigrated to Israel a land in which Jews have lived continuously for thousands of years were escaping from the countries that persecuted them, not acting as colonial settlers for those countries. Indeed, Israel fought against British Colonial rule. Zionism was the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, not a colonial enterprise. Nor is Israel in any way like South Africa, where a minority of whites ruled over a majority of blacks, who were denied the most fundamental human rights. In Israel, Arabs, Druze and Christians have equal rights and serve in high positions in government, business, the arts and academia.

BDS is not a protest against Israel’s policies. It is a protest against Israel’s very existence.

Jews were a majority in Israel, both when the U.S. divided mandatory Palestine (Eretz Yisrael) into “two states for two people,” and at present, although the Arab population has increased considerably since 1948. Even the situation on the West Bank where Palestinians have the right to vote for their leaders and criticize Israel, and where in cities such as Ramallah there is no Israeli military or police presence the situation is no way comparable to apartheid South Africa.

West then argued that BDS was a non-violent movement that was the best way to protest Israel’s “occupation” and settlement policies.

I responded that BDS is not a “movement” a movement requires universality, like the feminist, gay rights and civil rights movements. BDS is an anti-Semitic tactic directed only against the Jewish citizens and supporters of Israel. The boycott against Israel and its Jewish supporters (to many Palestinians, all of Israel is one big “settlement;” just look at any map of Palestine) began before any “occupation” or “settlements” and picked up steam just as Israel offered to end the “occupation” and settlements as part of a two state solution that the Palestinians rejected. BDS is not a protest against Israel’s policies. It is a protest against Israel’s very existence.

West argued that BDS would help the Palestinians. I argued that it has hurt them by causing unemployment among Palestinian workers in companies such as SodaStream, which was pressured to move out of the West Bank, where it paid high wages to Palestinian men and women who worked side by side with Israeli men and women. I explained that the leadership of the Palestinian Authority is opposed to broad boycotts of Israeli products, artist and academics.

West argued that BDS would encourage Israel to make peace with the Palestinians. I replied that Israel would never be blackmailed into compromising its security, and that the Palestinians are dis-incentivized into making compromises by the fantasy that they will get a state through economic and cultural extortion. The Palestinians will get a state only by sitting down and negotiating directly with Israel.

I told my mother’s favorite joke about Sam, an Orthodox Jew, who prayed every day to win the N.Y. Lottery before he turned 80. On his 80th birthday, he complains to God that he hasn’t won. God replies, “Sam, help me out a little buy a ticket.” I argued that the Palestinians expect to “win” a state without “buying a ticket” — sitting down to negotiate a compromise solution.

The debate in its entirety which was conducted in front of an audience of business people in Dallas, Texas, as part of the “Old Parkland Debate Series” continued with broad arguments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the refugee situation, the peace process, terrorism and other familiar issues. It can be seen in full on CSPAN. I think it is worth watching.

The audience voted twice, once before the debate and once after. The final tally was 129 opposed to BDS and 16 in favor. The vote before the debate was 93 opposed and 14 in favor. I swayed 36 votes. West swayed 2. The anti-BDS position won overwhelmingly, not because I am a better debater than West he is quite articulate and everyone watching the CSPAN can judge for themselves who is the better debater but because the facts, the morality and the practicalities are against BDS.

The important point is never to give up on making the case against unjust tactics being employed against Israel. In some forums at the United Nations, at numerous American university campuses, in some parts of Western Europe it is an uphill battle. But it is a battle that can be won among open-minded people of all backgrounds. BDS lost in Dallas. BDS lost in a debate between me and an articulate human rights activist at the Oxford Union. BDS is losing in legislative chambers. And if the case is effectively and honestly presented, it will lose in the court of public opinion.

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Alan Dershowitz: Debating Cornel West on the boycott movement …

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January 4, 2018   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz hammers BDS in debate with Cornel West …

Ive been meaning to write about a debate between Alan Dershowitz and Cornel West over the BDS movement. Dershowitz beats me to it with this article for the Gatestone Institute.

The resolution Dershowitz and West debated was: The boycott, divestiture and sanctions (BDS) movement will help bring about the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Naturally, the debate ended up being more about that conflict than about BDS per se. However, Dershowitz had plenty to say about that noxious tactic (during the debate he explained why its not a movement).

Dershowitz won the debate in two senses. First, voting by the audience before and after the debate showed that he swayed 36 votes in his favor (i.e., against the resolution), while West swayed only 2 in his direction. Second, Dershowitz mopped the floor with West.

Dershowitz says he carried the day not because hes a better debater than West, but because the facts, the morality and the practicalities are against BDS. Hes right about the facts, morality and practicalities. However, its also the case that Dershowitz is a great debater while West is a great performance artist.

In his Gatestone piece, Dershowitz provides a good and fair account of the debate. However, I recommend watching the whole thing.

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Alan Dershowitz Says His Legal Defense of Trump’s Actions Are …

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LawyerAlan Dershowitzis a self-proclaimed lifelong Democrat. He supported former Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton during the campaign and voted for her when Election Day came.

In the wake of her loss, Dershowitz has repeatedly given his view on President Donald Trump. While he’s told the president to his face that he did not vote for him, his refusal to unfailingly criticize Trump has left a certain impression on his liberal friends.

They think I’m a Trump supporter, he explained to Fox News. Dershowitz added that with regard tothe president’s actions, he just calls it the way I see it through a legal lens.

The Daily Beast reported Dershowitz claimed that his life can always be judged by dinner invitations.

Just as his invitations were down when he defended O.J. Simpson, they’re down considerably now.

It’s not onlyamong his friends, either. Dershowitz admitted to Politico, that his nephew believes he’s helping keep one of the greatest dangers in American history, in office.

I tell him Im just standing up for principle, the lawyer said. He tells me that I dont have to stand up so loud.

On December 4, Trump called Dershowitz’s interview on Fox News’s Fox & Friends a must watch, which the liberal professor took in stride.

If the president likes what I’m saying, fine, but tomorrowhe may not like what I’m saying, he told Fox News. I’m an advocate for the rule of law. I’m an advocate for the Constitution.

While his socialcalendarmay be blank, Dershowitz added the caveat that he still receives invitations to speak because of the crowd size he draws.

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January 4, 2018   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Since When Is It Wrong to Be Alan Dershowitz?

Anyone whos followed the career of Alan Dershowitz knows three things about him. First, hes a civil libertarian. Second, hes a defense lawyer to his very core. Third, hes fearless the higher profile and more unpopular the case, the more hes willing to ride into legal battle. His work for the thoroughly unsympathetic Claus von Blow inspired an award-winning movie. He was part of the defense team of an evenless-sympathetic O.J. Simpson. Hes made legal arguments against prosecutorial overreach his entire life.

So is it any surprise that hes applying the same principles to Donald Trump? The Washington Examiner has a short piece discussing the price Dershowitzhas paid for making the same arguments hes always made this time in opposition to the various legal theories that Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice. In short, his friends and family are begging him for selective silence.

My really, really close friends say, Youre 100 percent right in your analysis, but cant you just shut the fk up and not talk at all, he said. They tell me, This is a time for selective silence. My nephew thinks Im helping keep in office one of the greatest dangers in American history. I tell him Im just standing up for principle. He tells me that I dont have to stand up so loud.

Dershowitz added that his family is no longer proud to be associated with him.

I was a source of pride to my kids, my grandkids, he said. Now its Oy, hes related to Alan Dershowitz. That hurts me a little bit.

This is poisonous. I dont agree with all of Dershowitzs arguments, but the proper method for addressing those argumentsis to rebut them, not to punish him and try to silence him simply because this time (and not when hes representing a double murderer) the accused is too terrible for a public defense even when that public defense is grounded in solid and defensible interpretations of criminal and constitutional law.

I cant claim to know Dershowitz well, but weve corresponded off an on since I was a student in his ethics class in 1993. Hes been a consistent defender of academic freedom, and we worked together on occasionwhen I was president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). I feel confident that he finds any number of Trump policies repugnant (and he may also find Trumps character repugnant), but arguing that he should keep silent is to argue that the defense of civil liberties iscontingent on the identity of the suspect and his or her popularity with the chattering classes.

Public controversies are teaching moments, and the more public the controversy the greater the need for informed discussion. There are few defense attorneys and civil libertarians better prepared to make their case than Alan Dershowitz. Hear him out. If you find yourself ill-equipped to rebut his arguments, rather than attempt to shame and silence him consider another alternative. He just might be right.

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Since When Is It Wrong to Be Alan Dershowitz?

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Dershowitz praises UN budget cut: It’s become a ‘place of …

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz praised U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyHaley: ‘Open question’ if US athletes will attend Olympics amid North Korea tensions Haley: Trump isn’t deciding who controls east Jerusalem Emergency UN Security Council meeting called after Trump’s Jerusalem announcement: report MOREs announcement that the U.S. had negotiated a major cut to the U.N.s budget for next year.

Its, I think, terrific, Dershowitz said Monday on Fox & Friends.”

Its about time we sent a message to the U.N., which has become a place of hate when it comes to the U.S. and Israel,” he added.

Haley announced Sunday that the Trump administration had secured a $285 million cut to the U.N.s fiscal 2018-2019 budget.

The announcement came days after U.N. members voted overwhelmingly for a resolution opposing President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for serious case of amnesia after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I dont want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MOREs decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Dershowitz said the U.N. vote warrants a response, and that by negotiating the budget cut, Haley did exactly the right thing.”

Its the first of many steps I think shell take to bring the United Nations back to where it ought to be, a neutral arbiter of peace, not a place of hatred, he said.

Dershowitz has been a vocal supporter of Trump’s decision on Jerusalem and said Monday that Trump did the right thing.

He also slammed former President Obama for abstaining from a vote at the end of his presidency that allowed the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution condemning Israeli settlements,sayingthat Trumps decision was an act to restore balance.

Haley and Trump have both suggested that if the U.N. voted to oppose the Jerusalem decision, the U.S. would consider reducing its annual contributions to the body and may even cut off foreign aid to certain countries.

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December 28, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: The Jerusalem conflict is all Barack …

The U.S. acted properly in vetoing a misguided U.N. Security Council resolution designed to undo President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

First, it is beyond the jurisdiction of the United Nations to tell a sovereign nation what it can and cannot recognize. If Turkey, for example, were to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of “Palestine,” there is nothing the U.N. could or would do. (Of course, most U.N. members would applaud such a move.)

Second, the resolution fails to recognize that it was the December 2016 Security Council Resolution, the one engineered by lame duck President Barack Obama, that changed the status of Jerusalem and complicated the efforts to achieve a compromise peace. Before that benighted resolution, Jerusalem’s Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter, and the access roads to Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital were widely recognized as part of Israel, or at worst, as disputed territory.

Everyone knew that any peace agreement would inevitably recognize that these historically Jewish areas were an indigenous part of Israel. They were certainly not illegally occupied by Israel, any more than Bethlehem was illegally occupied by the Palestinian Authority. Both Jerusalem and Bethlehem had originally been deemed part of an international zone by the United Nations when it divided the British mandate into two states for two people a decision accepted by Israel and rejected by all the Arab nations and the Palestinian Arabs in the area. Jordan then attacked Israel and illegally occupied the Western Wall and Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem, prohibiting any Jewish access to these holy areas, as well as to the university and hospital. Jordan also illegally occupied Bethlehem.

In 1967, Jordan illegally attacked Israel. Jordan shelled civilian areas of Jerusalem. Israel responded and liberated the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter, and the access roads to Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital, thereby opening these sites to everyone.

That has been the status quo for the last half-century, until Obama engineered the notorious December 2016 Security Council Resolution that declared the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter, and the access roads to be illegally occupied by Israel, thus changing the status quo.

This unwarranted change long opposed by United States administrations made a negotiated peace more difficult, because it handed the Jewish holy places over to the Palestinians without getting any concessions in return, thus requiring that Israel “buy” them back in any negotiation. As the former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority once told me, “If we have the wall, we will demand much to return it to Israel, because we know Israel will give much to get it.”

By declaring this disputed territory illegally occupied by Israel, the Security Council enabled the Palestinian Authority to hold the sites hostage during any negotiation. That vote changed the status quo more than the declaration by President Trump. The Trump declaration restored some balance that was taken away by the Obama-inspired Security Council Resolution of a year ago.

Why did Obama change the status quo to the disadvantage of Israel? Congress did not want the change. The American people did not support the change. Many in the Obama administration opposed it. Even some members of the Security Council who voted for the resolution did not want the change. Obama did it as lame duck revenge against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he hated. His motive was personal, not patriotic. His decision was bad for America, for peace, and for America’s ally, Israel. He never would have done it except as a lame duck with no political accountability and no checks and balances.

Before that Security Council resolution changed the status quo, I did not support a unilateral recognition of Jerusalem by an American president, outside the context of a peace process. But once that resolution was passed and the status quo changed, I strongly supported President Trump’s decision to restore balance.

President Trump has been criticized for vetoing a resolution that has the support of every other Security Council member. That has been true of many anti-Israel Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. The United States often stands alone with Israel against the world, and the United States and Israel have been right.

The bias of the international community against the nation-state of the Jewish people has been long-standing and evident, especially at the United Nations. Abba Eban made the point years ago when he quipped that if Algeria presented a resolution that the earth was flat and Israel flattened it, the vote would be 128 in favor, 3 opposed and 62 abstentions. Recall the infamous U.N. General Assembly Resolution declaring Zionism to be a form of racism. It received overwhelming support from the tyrannical nations of the world, which constitute a permanent majority of the United Nations, and was rescinded only after the United States issued threats if it were to remain on the books.

This entire brouhaha about Jerusalem including the staged tactical violence by Palestinians is entirely the fault of a single vengeful individual who put personal pique over American policy: Barack Obama.

Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of “Trumped up! How Criminalizing Politics is Dangerous to Democracy.” This article was originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions here.

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longtime Dem Alan Dershowitz: "How … – insider.foxnews.com

‘Shut the F*** Up’: ‘Anchorman’ Producer Apatow Goes on Anti-Trump Tweetstorm Washington State to Allow ‘Gender X’ Designation on Birth Certificates Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz sounded off on claims the 25th Amendment should be used to remove President Trump over his mental capacity. Dershowitz, a Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton, said calls for removal are “very dangerous.” “Theres only one thing worse than trying to criminalize political differences and thats trying to psychiatrize them,” he said. “These psychiatrists who are trying to diagnose without having even met the man. Thats what they did in Russia.” Yale University psychiatrist Dr. Brandy X. Lee told the “Washington Examiner” that several Democratic senators and one Republican senator met with her after she published analysis questioning Trump’s mental health. However, Lee’s statements have been found to violate the “Goldwater Rule” — an ethical standard set forth by the American Psychiatric Association regarding evaluating politicians or people they have not met. “How dare liberals… try to undo democracy by accusing a president of being mentally ill without any basis?” Dershowitz asked of those citing Lee and others. Dershowitz said the 25th Amendment — ratified in 1967 and delineating presidential succession — does not apply in this case. He said former President Ronald Reagan appeared to be developing Alzheimers near the end of his term so a case could have been made for him, but reminded viewers that Vice President George Bush would have had to invoke the amendment. Dershowitz said in Trump’s case, that duty would fall to Mike Pence and then require a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress to remove him. Watch more above. Former Dem 2016 Candidate: Let ‘Obsessed’ Trump Build Wall If It Saves DACA Pirro: Comey Made Sure Mueller Was Appointed to ‘Cover Their Butts’

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Alan Dershowitz slams liberals for claiming Trump is …

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz blasted liberals over the weekend for trying to “undo democracy” by claiming President Trump should be removed because he’s mentally unstable. Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, Dershowitz said that tactic from the left is “very dangerous.” “There’s only one thing worse than trying to criminalize political differences, and that’s trying to psychiatrize them,” he said. “These psychiatrists now who are trying to diagnose without ever having met the man, that’s what they did in Russia. I represented dissidents who they locked up in mental hospitals,” he added. “That’s what they did in China. That’s what they did in apartheid South Africa. “How dare liberals, people on the left, try to undo democracy by accusing a president of being mentally ill without any basis?” he said. Democrats and their allies in the press have openly wondered whether Trump could and should be removed from office through the 25th Amendment. That Amendment says a majority of the Cabinet can decide to remove the president once he or she is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” That language was designed for use when a president is incapacitated, although Democrats have said it should be used against Trump. Last year, Rep Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said it should be used because Trump is “incompetent,” but legal experts say using it to end political disputes is a controversial idea.

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Alan Dershowitz: I’m an advocate for the rule of law, not Trump

Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz on Friday denied being an advocate for President Trump, saying instead that he was only a champion of the rule of law and the Constitution. I just call it the way I see it when it comes to the law,” Dershowitz told Fox News. “If the president likes what Im saying, fine, but tomorrow he may not like what Im saying. Trump on Thursday cited Dershowitz in an interview with the New York Times to defend himself against accusations that his firing of former FBI Director James Comey on May 9 was an obstruction of justice. Dershowitz has also said that even if the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia in the lead-up to the 2016 election, it could not be considered a crime. Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor, complained on Dec. 27 that arguing against special counsel Robert Mueller charging Trump with obstruction of justice had caused him to lose weight and receive fewer social invitations. “My nephew thinks Im helping keep in office one of the greatest dangers in American history,” Dershowitz said. “I tell him Im just standing up for principle. He tells me that I dont have to stand up so loud.

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Alan Dershowitz: Debating Cornel West on the boycott movement …

I recently debated Professor Cornel West of Harvard about the boycott movement against Israel. The topic was resolved: “The boycott, divestiture and sanctions (BDS) movement will help bring about the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” West argued that Israel was a “colonialist-settler” state and that apartheid in the West Bank was “worse” than it was in white-ruled South Africa and should be subject to the same kind of economic and cultural isolation that helped bring about the fall of that regime. I replied that the Jews who emigrated to Israel a land in which Jews have lived continuously for thousands of years were escaping from the countries that persecuted them, not acting as colonial settlers for those countries. Indeed, Israel fought against British Colonial rule. Zionism was the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, not a colonial enterprise. Nor is Israel in any way like South Africa, where a minority of whites ruled over a majority of blacks, who were denied the most fundamental human rights. In Israel, Arabs, Druze and Christians have equal rights and serve in high positions in government, business, the arts and academia. BDS is not a protest against Israel’s policies. It is a protest against Israel’s very existence. Jews were a majority in Israel, both when the U.S. divided mandatory Palestine (Eretz Yisrael) into “two states for two people,” and at present, although the Arab population has increased considerably since 1948. Even the situation on the West Bank where Palestinians have the right to vote for their leaders and criticize Israel, and where in cities such as Ramallah there is no Israeli military or police presence the situation is no way comparable to apartheid South Africa. West then argued that BDS was a non-violent movement that was the best way to protest Israel’s “occupation” and settlement policies. I responded that BDS is not a “movement” a movement requires universality, like the feminist, gay rights and civil rights movements. BDS is an anti-Semitic tactic directed only against the Jewish citizens and supporters of Israel. The boycott against Israel and its Jewish supporters (to many Palestinians, all of Israel is one big “settlement;” just look at any map of Palestine) began before any “occupation” or “settlements” and picked up steam just as Israel offered to end the “occupation” and settlements as part of a two state solution that the Palestinians rejected. BDS is not a protest against Israel’s policies. It is a protest against Israel’s very existence. West argued that BDS would help the Palestinians. I argued that it has hurt them by causing unemployment among Palestinian workers in companies such as SodaStream, which was pressured to move out of the West Bank, where it paid high wages to Palestinian men and women who worked side by side with Israeli men and women. I explained that the leadership of the Palestinian Authority is opposed to broad boycotts of Israeli products, artist and academics. West argued that BDS would encourage Israel to make peace with the Palestinians. I replied that Israel would never be blackmailed into compromising its security, and that the Palestinians are dis-incentivized into making compromises by the fantasy that they will get a state through economic and cultural extortion. The Palestinians will get a state only by sitting down and negotiating directly with Israel. I told my mother’s favorite joke about Sam, an Orthodox Jew, who prayed every day to win the N.Y. Lottery before he turned 80. On his 80th birthday, he complains to God that he hasn’t won. God replies, “Sam, help me out a little buy a ticket.” I argued that the Palestinians expect to “win” a state without “buying a ticket” — sitting down to negotiate a compromise solution. The debate in its entirety which was conducted in front of an audience of business people in Dallas, Texas, as part of the “Old Parkland Debate Series” continued with broad arguments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the refugee situation, the peace process, terrorism and other familiar issues. It can be seen in full on CSPAN. I think it is worth watching. The audience voted twice, once before the debate and once after. The final tally was 129 opposed to BDS and 16 in favor. The vote before the debate was 93 opposed and 14 in favor. I swayed 36 votes. West swayed 2. The anti-BDS position won overwhelmingly, not because I am a better debater than West he is quite articulate and everyone watching the CSPAN can judge for themselves who is the better debater but because the facts, the morality and the practicalities are against BDS. The important point is never to give up on making the case against unjust tactics being employed against Israel. In some forums at the United Nations, at numerous American university campuses, in some parts of Western Europe it is an uphill battle. But it is a battle that can be won among open-minded people of all backgrounds. BDS lost in Dallas. BDS lost in a debate between me and an articulate human rights activist at the Oxford Union. BDS is losing in legislative chambers. And if the case is effectively and honestly presented, it will lose in the court of public opinion.

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January 4, 2018   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz hammers BDS in debate with Cornel West …

Ive been meaning to write about a debate between Alan Dershowitz and Cornel West over the BDS movement. Dershowitz beats me to it with this article for the Gatestone Institute. The resolution Dershowitz and West debated was: The boycott, divestiture and sanctions (BDS) movement will help bring about the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Naturally, the debate ended up being more about that conflict than about BDS per se. However, Dershowitz had plenty to say about that noxious tactic (during the debate he explained why its not a movement). Dershowitz won the debate in two senses. First, voting by the audience before and after the debate showed that he swayed 36 votes in his favor (i.e., against the resolution), while West swayed only 2 in his direction. Second, Dershowitz mopped the floor with West. Dershowitz says he carried the day not because hes a better debater than West, but because the facts, the morality and the practicalities are against BDS. Hes right about the facts, morality and practicalities. However, its also the case that Dershowitz is a great debater while West is a great performance artist. In his Gatestone piece, Dershowitz provides a good and fair account of the debate. However, I recommend watching the whole thing.

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January 4, 2018   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz Says His Legal Defense of Trump’s Actions Are …

Gage Skidmore/Flickr/John Lamparski/Getty LawyerAlan Dershowitzis a self-proclaimed lifelong Democrat. He supported former Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton during the campaign and voted for her when Election Day came. In the wake of her loss, Dershowitz has repeatedly given his view on President Donald Trump. While he’s told the president to his face that he did not vote for him, his refusal to unfailingly criticize Trump has left a certain impression on his liberal friends. They think I’m a Trump supporter, he explained to Fox News. Dershowitz added that with regard tothe president’s actions, he just calls it the way I see it through a legal lens. The Daily Beast reported Dershowitz claimed that his life can always be judged by dinner invitations. Just as his invitations were down when he defended O.J. Simpson, they’re down considerably now. It’s not onlyamong his friends, either. Dershowitz admitted to Politico, that his nephew believes he’s helping keep one of the greatest dangers in American history, in office. I tell him Im just standing up for principle, the lawyer said. He tells me that I dont have to stand up so loud. On December 4, Trump called Dershowitz’s interview on Fox News’s Fox & Friends a must watch, which the liberal professor took in stride. If the president likes what I’m saying, fine, but tomorrowhe may not like what I’m saying, he told Fox News. I’m an advocate for the rule of law. I’m an advocate for the Constitution. While his socialcalendarmay be blank, Dershowitz added the caveat that he still receives invitations to speak because of the crowd size he draws. Watch below.

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January 4, 2018   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Since When Is It Wrong to Be Alan Dershowitz?

Anyone whos followed the career of Alan Dershowitz knows three things about him. First, hes a civil libertarian. Second, hes a defense lawyer to his very core. Third, hes fearless the higher profile and more unpopular the case, the more hes willing to ride into legal battle. His work for the thoroughly unsympathetic Claus von Blow inspired an award-winning movie. He was part of the defense team of an evenless-sympathetic O.J. Simpson. Hes made legal arguments against prosecutorial overreach his entire life. So is it any surprise that hes applying the same principles to Donald Trump? The Washington Examiner has a short piece discussing the price Dershowitzhas paid for making the same arguments hes always made this time in opposition to the various legal theories that Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice. In short, his friends and family are begging him for selective silence. My really, really close friends say, Youre 100 percent right in your analysis, but cant you just shut the fk up and not talk at all, he said. They tell me, This is a time for selective silence. My nephew thinks Im helping keep in office one of the greatest dangers in American history. I tell him Im just standing up for principle. He tells me that I dont have to stand up so loud. Dershowitz added that his family is no longer proud to be associated with him. I was a source of pride to my kids, my grandkids, he said. Now its Oy, hes related to Alan Dershowitz. That hurts me a little bit. This is poisonous. I dont agree with all of Dershowitzs arguments, but the proper method for addressing those argumentsis to rebut them, not to punish him and try to silence him simply because this time (and not when hes representing a double murderer) the accused is too terrible for a public defense even when that public defense is grounded in solid and defensible interpretations of criminal and constitutional law. I cant claim to know Dershowitz well, but weve corresponded off an on since I was a student in his ethics class in 1993. Hes been a consistent defender of academic freedom, and we worked together on occasionwhen I was president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). I feel confident that he finds any number of Trump policies repugnant (and he may also find Trumps character repugnant), but arguing that he should keep silent is to argue that the defense of civil liberties iscontingent on the identity of the suspect and his or her popularity with the chattering classes. Public controversies are teaching moments, and the more public the controversy the greater the need for informed discussion. There are few defense attorneys and civil libertarians better prepared to make their case than Alan Dershowitz. Hear him out. If you find yourself ill-equipped to rebut his arguments, rather than attempt to shame and silence him consider another alternative. He just might be right.

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January 4, 2018   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Dershowitz praises UN budget cut: It’s become a ‘place of …

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz praised U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyHaley: ‘Open question’ if US athletes will attend Olympics amid North Korea tensions Haley: Trump isn’t deciding who controls east Jerusalem Emergency UN Security Council meeting called after Trump’s Jerusalem announcement: report MOREs announcement that the U.S. had negotiated a major cut to the U.N.s budget for next year. Its, I think, terrific, Dershowitz said Monday on Fox & Friends.” Its about time we sent a message to the U.N., which has become a place of hate when it comes to the U.S. and Israel,” he added. Haley announced Sunday that the Trump administration had secured a $285 million cut to the U.N.s fiscal 2018-2019 budget. The announcement came days after U.N. members voted overwhelmingly for a resolution opposing President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for serious case of amnesia after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I dont want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MOREs decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Dershowitz said the U.N. vote warrants a response, and that by negotiating the budget cut, Haley did exactly the right thing.” Its the first of many steps I think shell take to bring the United Nations back to where it ought to be, a neutral arbiter of peace, not a place of hatred, he said. Dershowitz has been a vocal supporter of Trump’s decision on Jerusalem and said Monday that Trump did the right thing. He also slammed former President Obama for abstaining from a vote at the end of his presidency that allowed the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution condemning Israeli settlements,sayingthat Trumps decision was an act to restore balance. Haley and Trump have both suggested that if the U.N. voted to oppose the Jerusalem decision, the U.S. would consider reducing its annual contributions to the body and may even cut off foreign aid to certain countries.

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December 28, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed

Alan Dershowitz: The Jerusalem conflict is all Barack …

The U.S. acted properly in vetoing a misguided U.N. Security Council resolution designed to undo President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. First, it is beyond the jurisdiction of the United Nations to tell a sovereign nation what it can and cannot recognize. If Turkey, for example, were to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of “Palestine,” there is nothing the U.N. could or would do. (Of course, most U.N. members would applaud such a move.) Second, the resolution fails to recognize that it was the December 2016 Security Council Resolution, the one engineered by lame duck President Barack Obama, that changed the status of Jerusalem and complicated the efforts to achieve a compromise peace. Before that benighted resolution, Jerusalem’s Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter, and the access roads to Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital were widely recognized as part of Israel, or at worst, as disputed territory. Everyone knew that any peace agreement would inevitably recognize that these historically Jewish areas were an indigenous part of Israel. They were certainly not illegally occupied by Israel, any more than Bethlehem was illegally occupied by the Palestinian Authority. Both Jerusalem and Bethlehem had originally been deemed part of an international zone by the United Nations when it divided the British mandate into two states for two people a decision accepted by Israel and rejected by all the Arab nations and the Palestinian Arabs in the area. Jordan then attacked Israel and illegally occupied the Western Wall and Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem, prohibiting any Jewish access to these holy areas, as well as to the university and hospital. Jordan also illegally occupied Bethlehem. In 1967, Jordan illegally attacked Israel. Jordan shelled civilian areas of Jerusalem. Israel responded and liberated the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter, and the access roads to Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital, thereby opening these sites to everyone. That has been the status quo for the last half-century, until Obama engineered the notorious December 2016 Security Council Resolution that declared the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter, and the access roads to be illegally occupied by Israel, thus changing the status quo. This unwarranted change long opposed by United States administrations made a negotiated peace more difficult, because it handed the Jewish holy places over to the Palestinians without getting any concessions in return, thus requiring that Israel “buy” them back in any negotiation. As the former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority once told me, “If we have the wall, we will demand much to return it to Israel, because we know Israel will give much to get it.” By declaring this disputed territory illegally occupied by Israel, the Security Council enabled the Palestinian Authority to hold the sites hostage during any negotiation. That vote changed the status quo more than the declaration by President Trump. The Trump declaration restored some balance that was taken away by the Obama-inspired Security Council Resolution of a year ago. Why did Obama change the status quo to the disadvantage of Israel? Congress did not want the change. The American people did not support the change. Many in the Obama administration opposed it. Even some members of the Security Council who voted for the resolution did not want the change. Obama did it as lame duck revenge against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he hated. His motive was personal, not patriotic. His decision was bad for America, for peace, and for America’s ally, Israel. He never would have done it except as a lame duck with no political accountability and no checks and balances. Before that Security Council resolution changed the status quo, I did not support a unilateral recognition of Jerusalem by an American president, outside the context of a peace process. But once that resolution was passed and the status quo changed, I strongly supported President Trump’s decision to restore balance. President Trump has been criticized for vetoing a resolution that has the support of every other Security Council member. That has been true of many anti-Israel Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. The United States often stands alone with Israel against the world, and the United States and Israel have been right. The bias of the international community against the nation-state of the Jewish people has been long-standing and evident, especially at the United Nations. Abba Eban made the point years ago when he quipped that if Algeria presented a resolution that the earth was flat and Israel flattened it, the vote would be 128 in favor, 3 opposed and 62 abstentions. Recall the infamous U.N. General Assembly Resolution declaring Zionism to be a form of racism. It received overwhelming support from the tyrannical nations of the world, which constitute a permanent majority of the United Nations, and was rescinded only after the United States issued threats if it were to remain on the books. This entire brouhaha about Jerusalem including the staged tactical violence by Palestinians is entirely the fault of a single vengeful individual who put personal pique over American policy: Barack Obama. Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of “Trumped up! How Criminalizing Politics is Dangerous to Democracy.” This article was originally published by the Gatestone Institute. If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions here.

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December 22, 2017   Posted in: Alan Dershowitz  Comments Closed


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