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« Jay Rosen on bias, balance, and fairness | Main | HR's response to AJR article »

Thursday, June 3 2004

Dershowitz at Berkeley

dershowitz


Transcript of a fine speech by Alan Dershowitz at UC Berkeley on May 29, 2004:

a young student came to me from Harvard College and asked me for forgiveness. I said, "What do I have to forgive you for? I don't even know you."

He said, "I never speak up on campus, in my classroom, in my dormitory, at dinner. I never speak up in favor of Israel even though I've been there on Operation Birthright and I know the facts and hear the lies."

"Why not?" I asked.

He replied, "Because if I am perceived as pro-Israel, pro-Zionist, in favor of Israel, I won't be able to get dates with young girls."

It was as simple as that. It's not cool to be a "Zionist." It's not cool. I thought I should start a program at the Harvard campus: "Date a Zionist Tonight!" That's the way he put it -- Not cool to be a Zionist. It's really a problem.

I decided to make it cool again to support Israel and show you can support Israel from a progressive, liberal perspective. Indeed, I support Israel not in spite of my history as a human rights activist, but because of it. I support Israel because I support female rights, women's rights, feminism, and the Palestinian Authority does not.

I also support gay rights. I saw a student at a college campus hold up a sign that said, "Gays For Palestine." I said to him "Imagine what would happen if you carried that sign in Ramallah. You'd be killed." I support Israel because I support gay rights. Recently a progressive congressman, Barney Frank from Massachusetts, worked with me and Israel to grant asylum for 40 Palestinian gays.

Read the whole thing.

 

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Comments

This is a terrific piece by Dershowitz. I consider myself liberal to left wing. There is no conflict between my political beliefs and my support of Israel. It is my view, that many in the left have abandoned their principles in a blind attempt at political correctness. I look to Mr. Dershowitz as a spokesperson for people like me.

Stan Kanner

Alan Dershowitz is a great man. I have admired him for many years. It is no matter that his politics are considerably to the left of my own. What makes Dershowitz so outstanding besides his acute and energetic intellect is his humaine sense of justice and his common decency. I wish there were more liberal academics like him.

I read Alan Dershowitz's book "The Case For Israel" with a great amount of trepidation. I am a conservative politically. He is a liberal. I remember him from the OJ Simpson trial (and not fondly). However, he is an intelligent and decent man. He is articulate and well educated. I admire him greatly.
I am a proud Zionist and always will be. Mr. Dershowitz makes me even prouder.

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