Dershowitz Embarrasses Us Again
- Alan Dershowitz runs for President of Israel Franklin Lamb 7 January,
st=5491> Fact- and Law- Checking the Wall Street Journal and Alan
Dershowitz Part I: Dershowitz Misstates the Facts "Israel is leveling
Gaza to strike at Hamas, just as they pulverized south Lebanon to strike
at Hezbollah. Yet in both cases civilian populations were attacked,
countless innocents killed or injured, infrastructure targeted and
destroyed, and civil law enforcement negated. All this was, and is,
disproportionate, indiscriminate mass violence in violation of
international law. Israel is not exempt from international law and must
be held accountable. It is time for the UN to not just call for a
cease-fire, but for an inquiry as to Israel's illegal actions."
US Congressman Dennis Kucinich, 12/29/08
Typically, within the first ten days or so of enrolling in an American
law school, in this observer's case, Boston University School of Law, a
student will begin to receive from professors or seasoned upper
classmates, plenty of gratuitous but well intentioned advice. One bit
that still rattles around in my ever-shrinking and increasingly
over-crowded brain came from our Law School Librarian, Mr. Taylor.
More than once, during my three year stint, I heard the sometimes
crotchety Mr. Taylor, a brilliant former Boston trial lawyer, intone,
with sometimes lavish flair (truth be told, he occasionally nipped White
Horse scotch behind the Federal Supp. 2nd Stacksbut we never ratted
him out to Dean Suskind) to law students in the Pappas Library trying to
concentrate on writing their Briefs for the Homer Albers Moots Court
"Future lawyers! Remember well! If, God forbid, some miserable wretch on
this green earth should have the misfortune or exceedingly poor judgment
to hire you to represent them in Court, heed this!
If you find yourself arguing a case before a skeptical judge or jury and
the law is clearly against you, for Christ's sake jump up and down and
argue all the facts you can think of in your client's favor!"
Then Mr. Taylor would invariably add, "On the other hand my dears, if
the facts of the case are clearly against you, for Christ's sake jump up
and down, but this time ignore or deny every single material fact and
argue only the law. Look the judge or jury straight in the eye, with
tears in yours, lower your voice and softly rant about the
technicalities of the law and how the very survival of Western
Civilization, which came to us, after all, with our mothers milk,
depends on strictly applying it in your clients favor".
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, in his latest Arab-phobic,
ultra-Zionist screed, in last week's Wall Street Journal in defense of
Israel's ongoing slaughter in Gaza, having neither the law nor the facts
in his favor, figuratively at least, just jumps up and down and rants.
Harvard Law School sources, including the student newspaper, the Harvard
Law Record, indicate that Alan is just acting out again and being
'lawyerly' as he cozies up to various right wing power centers in Israel
with his eyes peeled wide on being President of Israel when he retires.
Some faculty colleagues and law students are encouraging him to retire
sooner rather than later, as Harvard wearies of his witch hunts and
hysterics and the disrepute he has brought on that institution with his
myriad smear campaigns. Among his long list of victims have been against
the likes of President Carter, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Norman
Finkelstein, Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, the Dali Lama, Bishop Tutu, and
all manner of supporters of the Palestinians right and obligation to
resist the Israeli occupation and struggle to reacquire their stolen
land. Not to mention his ex-girlfriend.
In his January 2, 2009 article in the Wall Street Journal entitled
'Israel's Policy Is Perfectly Proportionate
<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123085925621747981.html> ', Professor
Dershowitz defends Israel's operation "Molton Lead" and while doing so
consistently misstates the Facts and the Law.
Dershowitz Misstates the Facts Alan Dershowitz:
"Hamas knew that Israel would never fire at a home with civilians in it"
On the contrary, Hamas and every person over 7 years old in the 1.5
million Palestinians in Gaza, as well as in Lebanon and Palestine know
that Israel will for sure "fire at a home with civilians in it." And
also ambulances, convoys fleeing a war zone with prior UN and IDF
approval and waving white flags, homes with only five children and their
mother inside as they did in Nabysheet, Lebanon on July 19, 2006,
destroying the family of my friend Abu Mohammad Chokr. History has shown
that is what Israel does regularly and why it is increasingly a Pariah
Virtually every human rights organization including Human Rights Watch,
Amnesty International and relevant UN Agencies, the European Union,
objective Israeli and international investigative journalists digging
beneath the mainstream zionist media headlines has documented hundreds
of cases of Israel targeting " a home with civilians in it". No fewer
than 234 cases of firing on civilians in South Lebanon alone during
2006, and hundreds of others in Palestine. In the past week in Gaza (29
December 2008- 6 Jan 2009), Israel fired on more than 54 homes with
civilians in them.
"Terrorists firing at Sderot are so proud of their actions that they
sign their weapons".
Goodness Professor, since the days of cave men, the armies of Greece,
Rome, Genghis Khan, to cowboys in the American west notching or
'signing' their six-guns and rifles, one imagines virtually every army
in history has been done this. We do know the 'most moral', 'elite' and
'purity of arms' guys and gals in the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) do
it as well. Yet it is a bit less sinister for lonely scared fighters to
sign their weapons as a 'security blanket' than for the Public
Information unit in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to herd
Israeli youngsters onto buses, as was done in 2006 in Lebanon, to visit
IDF artillery bases and be given felt pens and told to sign the 155 mm
cluster bomb rounds containing US supplied M-24, M-77 bomblets, before
they are fired into South Lebanon in to kill and maim fellow school
And indeed, sorry to be indelicate, but it is also a bit more civilized
to sign one's weapon than the traditional practice of the Israeli forces
entering civilian houses in numerous villages in South Lebanon in 2006
(they did the same this in during their wars against Lebanon in1978,
1982, 1993, and 1996 and rubbing their faeces over walls, inside
water tanks, in pillows, beds etc poisoning wells and booby trapping
children's toys (apparently it's an Occupation thing that warrants
"Since Israel ended its occupation of Gaza, Hamas has fired thousands of
Israel never ended its occupation of Gaza. Following the September 2005
dismantlement of its illegal colony/settlements, Israel maintained
nearly total control of Gaza's borders, airspace, territorial waters
(preventing most fishing), electricity, life-lines and economy, turning
it into a sealed prison resembling the Warsaw Ghetto, according to UN
Special Rapporteur, Richard Falk.
Palestinians living in Gaza have not only the right but the obligation
to resist Israel's continuing illegal occupation. Indeed, the very
existence of Gaza is a historical reminder of those hundreds of
thousands of Palestinians who lost their homes to Israel. Gaza is a
Palestinian refugee campall of it. More than 80% of its inhabitants
were victims of Zionist terrorism that pushed them off their
landmany from Askalaan (Ashkelon), their heritage from that now
Jewish town nearly erased, as Robert Fisk reminds us
"Barack Obama visited Sderot this summer and saw the remnants of these
rockets, he reacted by saying that if his two daughters were exposed to
rocket attacks in their home, he would do everything in his power to
stop such attacks. He understands how the terrorists exploit the
morality of democracies".
President-elect Obama feels the very same that every parent does
including the parents of the 800,000 Palestinian children in Gaza
including the parents of more than 147 children killed during the past
Alan Dershowitz's claim of Israel as a 'moral democracy' is not backed
by the facts. The 20% of its population that are Arabs are not included
in this myth. Countless studies by Israeli and international human
rights organizations, researchers and on the scene journalists have
painstakingly documented the Apartheid nature of Israel. When it comes
to education, housing, employments, medical services, government loans,
travel, marriage, Israel's Arab population does not share in the "moral
Democracy" of Israel, only in its immoral, racist Apartheid system.
"Hamas knows from experience that even a small number of innocent
Palestinian civilians killed inadvertently will result in bitter
condemnation of Israel by many in the international community".
And well should such killings, even if inadvertent, be condemned. But
Professor Dershowitz's 'small number' is not a small number for the rest
of the World. During the July 2006 War (not the "Second Lebanon War" as
Israeli apologists like to refer to it while overlooking the Israeli
Wars against Lebanon in 1978, 1993, and 1996) an estimated 82% of those
killed in Lebanon were civilians, more than one-third children under age
of 15. A 'small number' only in Alan's World. In Gaza the same pattern
may or may not hold. Either way, the World, and not just Hamas, is
getting tired of Israel inadvertently killing 'small numbers' of those
it occupies or attacks.
"Israel goes to enormous lengths to reduce the number of civilian
casualties even to the point of foregoing legitimate targets that
are too close to civilians".
Nonsense, Professor. If the targets are "too close to civilians" such as
their homes, schools, cars, places of worship, hospitals etc. they are,
by definition, not legitimate. But there is no evidence that "enormous
lengths to reduce the number of civilian casualties" have ever been
taken by Israel when attacking its neighbors. The absence of Zionist
concern for civilians has been the case going back more than 70 years,
since the Zionist gangs in pre-Nakba Palestine, between December 12,
1947 at Haifa and Ramla to November 2, 1948 at Arab al-Mawasi, not quite
one year, committed 27 massacres of civilians in Palestine. This
practice continues until today in Gaza with the weekend's killing of
three rescuers in an Israeli attack in Tal el-Hawa, killing two medics
in an ambulance in Hay al Zaytoun, and five children from one family
near al-Shifa Hospital.
Next: Part II: Professor Dershowitz misstates the Law.
Franklin Lamb is a former adjunct Professor of international law at
Northwestern College of Law in Portland, Oregon. He is currently doing
research in Lebanon and can be reached at fplamb@...
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