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FRANK MENETREZ vs. ALAN DERSHOWITZ

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    Plagiarism, Cover Up and Misrepresentations: The Case Against Alan Dershowitz By FRANK J. MENETREZ http://www.counterpunch.com/menetrez02122008.html In June
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      Plagiarism, Cover Up and Misrepresentations:
      The Case Against Alan Dershowitz
      By FRANK J. MENETREZ
      http://www.counterpunch.com/menetrez02122008.html


      In June 2007, DePaul University denied tenure to Norman Finkelstein,
      an assistant professor of political science. The decision ignited a
      firestorm of protest from DePaul students and faculty, as well as from
      faculty across the country and abroad. Finkelstein's department had
      voted 9-3 in favor of tenure, and a college-level committee
      unanimously joined that recommendation, 5-0. But the University Board
      on Promotion and Tenure (UBPT) voted 4-3 against tenure, and DePaul's
      president claimed to "find no compelling reasons to overturn the
      UBPT's decision."

      The tenure denial was a great victory for Harvard Law School's
      Professor Alan Dershowitz, who had been campaigning vigorously against
      Finkelstein at least since the fall of 2006. The feud between
      Dershowitz and Finkelstein began when Finkelstein claimed that
      Dershowitz's book The Case for Israel (2003) was partially plagiarized
      and wholly false. Finkelstein eventually published his critique as
      part of a book of his own, entitled Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of
      Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History (2005). Dershowitz responded to
      Finkelstein's charges in his book The Case for Peace (2005).

      In September 2006, as Finkelstein's tenure review got underway,
      Dershowitz sent a 7-page, single-spaced letter, plus 14 single-spaced
      pages of supporting materials, to the former chairman of Finkelstein's
      department, arguing that Finkelstein's "purported scholarship"
      consists of nothing but "ugly and false assertions" and "preposterous
      and discredited ad hominem attack[s]." Dershowitz sent a similar but
      even larger packet of materials-totaling over 60 pages-to a large but
      unknown number of members of DePaul's faculty and administration,
      including every professor at the law school.

      Those basic facts about the dispute are now fairly well known. What is
      not so well known is that there is compelling evidence that Dershowitz
      himself committed academic misconduct both before and in the course of
      his intervention in Finkelstein's tenure case. I present that evidence
      below, along with some reflections on its ramifications for both
      DePaul and Harvard. In the end, this is not merely a story about two
      professors who dislike each other. It is a scandal implicating the
      leading institution of higher learning in the United States.


      PLAGIARISM

      In Beyond Chutzpah, Finkelstein argued that Dershowitz plagiarized a
      book called From Time Immemorial, by Joan Peters, by lifting several
      quotations and citations of primary sources directly from Peters' book
      without acknowledging that he found them there. (Beyond Chutzpah, p.
      230) Dershowitz categorically denied the charge. He claimed that
      although he was led to some primary sources by seeing them cited in
      Peters' book, he always tried to check them before citing them. If he
      could not find a primary source himself, he cited Peters. If he was
      able to check the primary source, he cited it directly, without
      mentioning Peters. He argued that his failure to cite Peters in such
      circumstances is proper. (See The Case for Peace, p. 182)

      Finkelstein's principal response was that Dershowitz's quotations and
      citations of primary sources (where Dershowitz did not cite Peters)
      contain obvious errors that Dershowitz would not have made if he had
      checked the primary sources himself, and that Dershowitz's errors are
      identical to Peters' errors concerning the same primary sources.
      (Beyond Chutzpah, pp. 230-231) Finkelstein inferred that Dershowitz
      copied the quotations and citations from Peters rather than checking
      the primary sources himself.

      I have examined the texts relevant to one of the quotations implicated
      in Finkelstein's argument, and I see no reasonable alternative to the
      conclusion that Finkelstein is correct. The quotation is from Mark
      Twain's The Innocents Abroad. (See Beyond Chutzpah, p. 231) It appears
      on pages 23-24 of The Case for Israel and pages 159-160 of From Time
      Immemorial. Dershowitz's version of the quotation omits two of the
      sentences that Peters' version includes. Dershowitz also omits Peters'
      italics and adds a few errors that Peters did not make. Apart from
      those discrepancies, Peters' and Dershowitz's versions of the
      quotation are identical, character for character.

      I have checked Peters' and Dershowitz's versions of the quotation
      against the 1996 Oxford University Press edition of The Innocents
      Abroad, which is the edition Dershowitz cited. Peters' version
      contains many errors, and Dershowitz's version reproduces every one of
      them. The errors are:

      1. Line 1: The original Twain (p. 485) says "this valley[.]" Both
      Peters and Dershowitz change "this" to "the" but fail to signal that
      they have altered the original.

      2. Line 4: In the original Twain (p. 485), there are commas before
      and after the word "hereabouts[.]" Both Peters and Dershowitz omit the
      commas but fail to signal the omission (e.g., by using empty brackets).

      3. Line 5: In the original Twain (p. 508), the words "Come to
      Galilee for that" form an entire sentence, ending with a period. Both
      Peters and Dershowitz follow the word "that" with an ellipsis that is
      not preceded by a concluding period, but they fail to signal the
      omission of the period (e.g., by using empty brackets). This cannot be
      attributed to a stylistic choice to omit the concluding period when a
      complete sentence is followed by an ellipsis, because on several
      occasions (e.g., lines 9, 10, and 11) both Peters and Dershowitz
      include concluding periods followed by ellipses.

      4. Line 8: In the original Twain (p. 508), the word "Capernaum" is
      followed by a semicolon. Both Peters and Dershowitz follow it with a
      colon but fail to signal that they have altered the original.

      5. Line 9: The original Twain (p. 508) says "six funereal plumes
      of palms[.]" Both Peters and Dershowitz say "six funereal palms[,]"
      omitting the words "plumes of" but failing to signal the omission.
      6. Line 9: In the original Twain (p. 508), the word "palms" is
      followed by a semicolon and thus does not conclude the sentence. Both
      Peters and Dershowitz omit the semicolon and the remainder of the
      sentence but place the ellipsis after the concluding period instead of
      before it.

      7. Line 9: In the original Twain (pp. 508, 520), the sentence
      containing the phrase "six funereal plumes of palms" and the sentence
      beginning "We reached Tabor" are separated by 12 pages and numerous
      intervening paragraphs. Both Peters and Dershowitz separate those
      sentences by a single ellipsis and no paragraph break, thus
      representing that the sentences are part of a single paragraph. This
      cannot be attributed to a stylistic choice to omit all paragraph
      structure from the quote, because Peters and Dershowitz did not omit
      all paragraph structure-they include a paragraph break at lines 10 to 11.

      8. Line 10: In the original Twain (p. 520), the words "We reached
      Tabor safely" are followed by a comma and thus are not an entire
      sentence. Both Peters and Dershowitz omit the comma and the remainder
      of the sentence but place the ellipsis after the concluding period
      instead of before it.

      9. Line 10: In the original Twain (p. 520), the words "We never
      saw a human being on the whole route" are followed by a comma and thus
      are not an entire sentence. Both Peters and Dershowitz omit the comma
      and the remainder of the sentence but follow the word "route" with a
      period and no ellipsis, either before or after the period.

      10. Lines 10-11: In the original Twain (pp. 520, 607), the
      sentence containing the phrase "never saw a human being on the whole
      route" and the sentence beginning "Nazareth is forlorn" are separated
      by 87 pages and numerous intervening paragraphs, and "Nazareth is
      forlorn" occurs in the middle of a paragraph, not at the beginning.
      Both Peters and Dershowitz separate those sentences with a single
      paragraph break and no ellipses, representing them as the end and
      beginning of consecutive paragraphs.

      11. Line 11: In the original Twain (p. 607), the words "Nazareth
      is forlorn" are followed by a semicolon. Both Peters and Dershowitz
      change the semicolon to a period but fail to signal that they have
      altered the original.

      12. Line 11: In the original Twain (p. 607), the word "accursed"
      is followed by a comma. Both Peters and Dershowitz omit the comma but
      fail to signal the omission.

      13. Line 11: In the original Twain (p. 607), the word "ruin" is
      followed by a comma. Both Peters and Dershowitz omit the comma but
      fail to signal the omission.

      14. Line 12: The original Twain (p. 607) says "to-day," but both
      Peters and Dershowitz omit the hyphen. (In the original Twain, the
      hyphen is not merely breaking the word at the end of a line of text;
      the word appears in the middle of a line.)

      15. Line 15: The original Twain (p. 607) says "Saviour's[.]" Both
      Peters and Dershowitz omit the letter "u" but fail to signal the omission.

      16. Lines 16-17: In the original Twain (p. 607), no punctuation
      follows the word "sang[,]" and there are no quotation marks around the
      phrase "Peace on earth, good will to men[.]" Both Peters and
      Dershowitz follow "sang" with a comma and place quotation marks before
      "Peace" and after "men" but fail to signal that they have altered the
      original.

      17. Line 17: In the original Twain (p. 607), the words "living
      creature" are followed by a comma and thus do not end the sentence in
      which they appear. Both Peters and Dershowitz omit the comma and the
      remainder of the sentence but place the ellipsis after the concluding
      period instead of before it.

      18. Line 18: The original Twain (p. 608) says "Chorazin[.]" Both
      Peters and Dershowitz omit the letter "a," spelling the word
      "Chorzin[,]" but fail to signal the omission.

      19. Line 19: In the original Twain (p. 608), no punctuation
      follows the word "them[.]" Both Peters and Dershowitz erroneously
      follow "them" with a comma but fail to signal that they have altered
      the original.

      20. Line 20: The original Twain (p. 608) says "Saviour's[.]" Both
      Peters and Dershowitz omit the letter "u" but fail to signal the omission.

      Line numbers refer to the lines of the Twain quote as it appears on
      pages 23-24 of The Case for Israel (2003 hardback edition), numbering
      the lines of the quote consecutively and without interruption from
      line 1 on page 23 to line 21 on page 24. It is possible that errors 6,
      8, and 17 are the result of typesetting conventions that Peters' and
      Dershowitz's publishers may have followed. To my knowledge, none of
      the other identical errors can be so explained.

      In addition, both Peters and Dershowitz (in the original hardback
      edition of The Case for Israel) cited the same pages of Twain (i.e.,
      pages 349, 366, 375, and 441-442) as their source for the quotation.
      (The Case for Israel (2003 hardback edition), p. 246, n. 5; From Time
      Immemorial, p. 485, nn. 131, 133, 134) But those page citations are
      incorrect, both for the 1881 London edition of Twain, which Peters
      cited, and for the 1996 Oxford edition, which Dershowitz cited. In
      fact, none of the quoted text appears on any of the cited pages in
      either edition of The Innocents Abroad. In the 2004 paperback edition
      of The Case for Israel, Dershowitz corrected this error by citing the
      proper pages of the 1996 Oxford edition (i.e., pages 485, 508, 520,
      and 607-608), but he made no changes in the text of the quotation.
      (The Case for Israel (2004 paperback edition), pp. 23-24, 246, n. 5)

      The cumulative weight of these identical errors strikes me as
      considerable. I do not see how Dershowitz could, purely by
      coincidence, have precisely reproduced all of Peters' errors if he was
      working from the original Twain. Rather, the only reasonable inference
      seems to be that he copied the quotation from Peters. But Dershowitz
      does not cite Peters as his source for the quotation. He cites only Twain.

      Dershowitz has never, to my knowledge, responded to Finkelstein's
      argument concerning the identical errors in The Case for Israel and
      From Time Immemorial. With respect to the Twain quote, for example, he
      has said only that it cannot be seriously suggested that he did not
      find the quote on his own, because he claims that he can prove he has
      been quoting The Innocents Abroad in debates since the 1970s, long
      before Peters' book was published. (See The Case for Peace, pp. 182,
      232, n. 106) (The only "proof" Dershowitz has ever identified is his
      appearance in a televised debate on PBS' The Advocates in 1970. I
      obtained a transcript of the debate and found that Dershowitz never
      quoted a word of, or even mentioned, Twain. I also asked Dershowitz if
      he had any other "proof" besides his appearance on The Advocates, but
      he refused to respond.)

      Regardless of how long Dershowitz has been quoting Twain, however, I
      see no way of avoiding the inference that Dershowitz copied The Case
      for Israel's Twain quotation directly from From Time Immemorial, not
      from the original source. I likewise see no way of avoiding the
      inference that, having copied the quotation from Peters, Dershowitz
      never checked it against the original source, because he failed to
      correct a single one of Peters' 20 errors (including the omission of
      87 pages of text without an ellipsis). Moreover, Dershowitz himself,
      rather than a research assistant, must have personally copied the
      quotation from Peters, because Dershowitz has insisted, in both his
      September 2006 letter to the former chairman of Finkelstein's
      department and elsewhere, that he wrote every word of the text of The
      Case for Israel by hand. (See The Case for Peace, p. 181)


      COVERUP

      Dershowitz knew about Finkelstein's identical errors argument long
      before he wrote his September 2006 letter. Finkelstein first raised
      the issue in an exchange with Dershowitz that was published in The
      Harvard Crimson on October 3, 2003. Alexander Cockburn, expressly
      relying upon Finkelstein, raised the issue again in an exchange with
      Dershowitz that was published on October 27, 2003, in The Nation
      magazine. Dershowitz responded to Cockburn in The Nation's December
      15, 2003, issue, but he never addressed the identical errors argument.
      Dershowitz did, however, correct some of the errors Finkelstein had
      pointed out, including the page citations for the Twain quote, in the
      paperback edition of The Case for Israel, which was published in
      August 2004. (See The Case for Israel (2003 hardback edition) pp. 20,
      245, n. 16; The Case for Israel (2004 paperback edition) pp. 20, 246,
      n. 16) Finkelstein also included the identical errors argument in
      Beyond Chutzpah (see, e.g., pp. 230-231), which was published in
      August 2005. And the materials Dershowitz distributed to DePaul's
      faculty and administration made clear that he had carefully
      scrutinized Beyond Chutzpah in its entirety. For all of these reasons,
      there seems to be no room for doubt that Dershowitz knew about
      Finkelstein's identical errors argument for years before he sent his
      letter to DePaul in September 2006.

      As I noted in the previous section, however, Dershowitz has never
      responded to the argument. In fact, to my knowledge, he has never
      acknowledged that Finkelstein made such an argument. Instead,
      Dershowitz has sought to portray the entire plagiarism controversy as
      a dispute about citation style. In The Case for Peace, he contended
      that Finkelstein's charge of plagiarism was merely that Dershowitz
      should have cited Peters for every source that he first encountered in
      Peters' book, rather than citing her for only those sources he did not
      independently check himself. (See p. 182 ["This became the charge of
      plagiarism-that I cited some quotations to their original sources
      rather than all of them to the secondary source in which I first came
      across them."]) Dershowitz took a similar approach in his September
      2006 letter, stating with respect to the plagiarism controversy that
      "much of it turns on the definition of plagiarism: whether it is
      proper to find a quotation in one source, check it against the
      original source, and cite to the original, rather than the secondary,
      source."

      Dershowitz's characterizations of the dispute are demonstrably
      incorrect. The identical errors argument, which lies at the heart of
      Finkelstein's case, shows that the plagiarism charge is not a
      technical matter about citation style or about the definition of
      plagiarism. Rather, it is factual dispute about whether Dershowitz
      copied primary source material directly from Peters without citing
      Peters and without checking the primary source himself. Again,
      Dershowitz has known this since the fall of 2003. It thus appears that
      Dershowitz's strategy from the start has been to pretend that this
      factual dispute does not exist and to hope that no one will notice.

      Dershowitz claims that he personally asked Harvard to investigate
      Finkelstein's plagiarism charges. (The Case for Peace, p. 233, n. 113)
      Dershowitz has also stated unequivocally that Harvard did investigate
      and reject the charges in their entirety. In his letter to the former
      chair of Finkelstein's department, Dershowitz wrote that he "was
      completely cleared of that charge [i.e., plagiarism] by an independent
      Harvard University investigation." (See also The Case for Peace, pp.
      183 ["Finkelstein was furious that Harvard cleared me of his entirely
      false and politically motivated charges of plagiarism."], 184, 233, n.
      113) In Beyond Chutzpah, Finkelstein likewise reported that the
      director of Harvard Law School's office of communications informed him
      that Harvard "looked into the charges against Dershowitz and 'found
      that no plagiarism had occurred.'" (p. 254)

      Neither Dershowitz nor Harvard, however, has identified the specific
      issues or arguments that Harvard allegedly investigated and rejected.
      In particular, neither of them has ever said whether Harvard
      investigated the identical errors issue.

      In order to obtain a definitive answer to that question, I emailed
      Harvard Law School's associate dean for academic affairs, Catherine
      Claypoole, with a copy to Dershowitz. After describing the background,
      I asked, "When Harvard looked into the plagiarism charges against
      Professor Dershowitz, did Harvard investigate the issue of allegedly
      identical errors in From Time Immemorial and The Case for Israel?" A
      staff assistant forwarded my message to the law school's
      communications office.

      While I was waiting to hear from the administration, I began receiving
      heated and not entirely coherent responses from Dershowitz. The most
      noteworthy feature of Dershowitz's replies is that despite repeated
      opportunities to answer my question about whether Harvard had
      investigated the identical errors issue, he never did. He did not even
      say that he believed they had investigated it. Rather, he stuck to his
      previous pattern of refusing to acknowledge that the issue even
      existed, and he repeated his claim that he had been quoting some of
      the relevant primary sources long before Peters' book was published.

      Ten days after emailing Dean Claypoole, I still had heard nothing from
      the communications office, so I contacted its director, Mike Armini.
      Less than one hour later, he sent me the following message: "Hello Mr.
      Menetrez. I don't have anything more to add other than what I said a
      couple of years ago. The accusations made by Professor Finkelstein
      were investigated by Harvard University and it was determined that
      plagiarism did not occur. This has been widely reported. We do not
      plan to provide any further detail on this matter. Are you writing for
      a specific publication?" In reply, I asked whether Armini was
      declining to confirm or deny that Harvard investigated the identical
      errors issue. He did not respond. I sent two more follow-up inquiries
      but never heard from him again.

      Having failed to obtain an answer from the law school's
      administration, I wrote to Dershowitz and posed the same question I
      had originally directed to the academic affairs office. In the course
      of the long and peculiar correspondence that ensued, Dershowitz again
      repeated his claim that he has been quoting Twain since the 1970s,
      which is of course irrelevant to my question about the scope of
      Harvard's investigation. He also echoed Armini's general claim that
      Harvard investigated all of Finkelstein's allegations. But Dershowitz
      kept to his longstanding pattern of refusing to acknowledge that
      Finkelstein's allegations include the identical errors argument, so
      his claim that Harvard investigated all of Finkelstein's allegations
      is, in this context, meaningless.

      Like Armini, Dershowitz never specifically confirmed that Harvard
      investigated Finkelstein's identical errors argument. Nor did he even
      claim that he believed, perhaps mistakenly, that Harvard investigated
      it. Nor did he express surprise or disquiet at Armini's failure to
      confirm that Harvard investigated the argument. And at certain points
      he actually feigned ignorance of the entire matter, asking me for
      specific examples of allegedly identical errors even after I had
      referred him to the Finkelstein and Cockburn articles mentioned above,
      which contain specific examples.

      One of Dershowitz's messages did appear to yield one new piece of
      potentially relevant information, but the appearance was quickly
      dispelled. While still failing to acknowledge that the identical
      errors argument had ever been made by Finkelstein, Dershowitz did
      nonetheless refer to the argument at one point: He claimed that he had
      brought the argument to the attention of Harvard's administration some
      time before I emailed Dean Claypoole in August 2007. He did not,
      however, say exactly when he did it. In response, I asked him to
      identify any members of the administration whom he had told about the
      argument before Harvard conducted its investigation. He refused.

      Incidentally, Dershowitz could easily have alerted Harvard's
      administration to the plagiarism charges without telling them about
      the identical errors argument, because when Finkelstein (in a
      September 24, 2003, debate with Dershowitz on the radio program
      Democracy Now!) and Cockburn (in a column in the October 13, 2003,
      issue of The Nation) first accused Dershowitz of plagiarism, neither
      of them mentioned the identical errors argument. If Harvard's
      investigators read only the debate transcript and Cockburn's column of
      October 13, 2003, they would never have encountered the identical
      errors issue at all. But again, Dershowitz knew about the issue no
      later than December 2003, and probably as early as October 3, 2003.

      Once my correspondence with Dershowitz was concluded, I forwarded all
      of it to Harvard's administration, to give them an opportunity to
      comment on it if they wished. I received no response.

      The failure of both Harvard and Dershowitz to provide a straight
      answer to my question about whether Harvard investigated Finkelstein's
      identical errors argument, despite my persistent inquiries spanning
      nearly one month, strongly suggests that Harvard did not investigate
      the argument and that Dershowitz has known it all along. There is no
      other plausible interpretation of their refusal to answer my question,
      or of Dershowitz's continuing refusal to acknowledge that the argument
      has been central to Finkelstein's charge of plagiarism ever since
      October 2003.

      Moreover, putting aside my email correspondence with Harvard and
      Dershowitz, I believe the evidence concerning the Twain quote
      independently establishes that Harvard did not know about the
      identical errors argument before conducting its investigation, because
      I take for granted that the Harvard administration is neither
      hopelessly corrupt nor intellectually incompetent. If the
      administration had known about the argument, they would have
      investigated it, because they are not corrupt. If they had
      investigated it, they would have found the same massive evidence that
      I found, because they are not incompetent. And if they had found that
      massive evidence, they would not have cleared Dershowitz, because they
      are not corrupt.

      Nor could Harvard have missed the fact that copying the Twain quote
      from Peters without citing Peters would be a straightforward violation
      of Harvard's own standards for student writing. (See Beyond Chutzpah,
      p. 254) Harvard's pamphlet Writing with Sources: A Guide for Students
      (1998) states: "QUOTING OR CITING A PASSAGE YOU FOUND QUOTED OR CITED
      BY ANOTHER SCHOLAR: when you haven't actually read the original
      source, cite the passage as 'quoted in' or 'cited in' that
      scholar-both to credit that person for finding the quoted passage or
      cited text, and to protect yourself in case he or she has misquoted or
      misrepresented . . . ." (Section 2.1) No honest and competent
      investigation by Harvard would have held Dershowitz to a lower
      standard than Harvard sets for its freshmen.

      Harvard Law School's guidelines for student writing do not expressly
      address this specific issue, but the guidelines are at least as
      demanding as those spelled out in Writing with Sources. The law school
      guidelines provide that "[a]ll work submitted by a student for any
      academic or non-academic exercise is expected to be the student's own
      work. In the preparation of their work, students should always take
      great care to distinguish their own ideas and knowledge from
      information derived from sources." The guidelines go on to state that
      "[t]he responsibility for learning the proper forms of citation lies
      with the individual student. Quotations must be properly placed within
      quotation marks and must be fully cited." Finally, under the
      guidelines, "[s]tudents who submit work that is not their own without
      clear attribution of all sources, even if inadvertently, will be
      subject to disciplinary action."

      If Harvard never investigated the identical errors issue and
      Dershowitz has always known that, and if I am also right that
      Finkelstein's charge concerning the Twain quote is sound, then
      Dershowitz has committed academic misconduct on several levels.

      First, he plagiarized the Twain quotation from Peters without citing
      her, just as Finkelstein originally alleged.

      Second, Dershowitz made repeated and public misrepresentations about
      that misconduct, characterizing Finkelstein's plagiarism charges as
      politically motivated and wholly lacking in merit. See, for example,
      The Case for Peace: "[T]here was no plagiarism." (p. 182)
      "Finkelstein's claim of plagiarism against me is laughable." (p. 182)
      "Finkelstein, of course, knows that his politically motivated
      accusations against me are complete fabrications . . . ." (p. 184)

      Third, in his September 2006 letter to the former chairman of
      Finkelstein's department, Dershowitz deliberately attempted to deceive
      the DePaul faculty concerning the merits of Finkelstein's then-pending
      tenure case by falsely claiming that Harvard had independently
      investigated Finkelstein's plagiarism charges - which Dershowitz knew
      included the identical errors issue - and "completely cleared" him. In
      so doing, Dershowitz threw the full institutional weight of Harvard
      University behind his efforts to cover up his own misconduct, which
      Finkelstein had exposed.


      DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION

      At the end of the fourth paragraph of his September 2006 letter,
      Dershowitz addressed Finkelstein's discussion of Dershowitz's proposal
      that Israel should destroy entire Palestinian villages in response to
      Palestinian terrorist attacks. In Beyond Chutzpah, Finkelstein wrote
      that Dershowitz

      advocates not only individual house demolitions but also "the
      destruction of a small village which has been used as a base for
      terrorist operations" after each Palestinian attack. "The response
      will be automatic." Such massive destruction, he concludes, will
      further the "noble causes" of reducing terrorism and promoting peace.
      . . . It is hard to make out any difference between the policy
      Dershowitz advocates and the Nazi destruction of Lidice [a Czech
      village destroyed by the Nazis in retaliation for the assassination of
      a Nazi officer], for which he expresses abhorrence-except that Jews,
      not Germans, would be implementing it.

      (Beyond Chutzah, pp. 175-176)

      Finkelstein cited Dershowitz's March 11, 2002, column in the Jerusalem
      Post as his source for the quotations concerning the "automatic"
      destruction of entire villages. (Beyond Chutzpah, p. 175, n. 19) I
      have checked the quotations myself, and they are accurate - Dershowitz
      did propose the destruction of entire villages, just as Finkelstein
      claimed.

      In his September 2006 letter, Dershowitz criticized Finkelstein for

      his oft-maid [sic] claim, found on page 176 of Beyond Chutzpah,
      that "It is hard to make out any difference between the policy
      Dershowitz advocates and the Nazi destruction of Lidice, for which he
      expresses abhorrence-except that Jews, not Germans, would be
      implementing it." The trouble is that the policy and passage
      Finkelstein quotes actually says, "[Israel] would then publicly
      declare precisely how it will respond in the event of another
      terrorist act, such as by destroying empty houses in a particular
      village that has been used as a base for terrorists, and naming that
      village in advance." In Finkelstein's world, "destroying empty houses"
      in order to deter terrorism is the equivalent of genocide. (Emphasis
      added)

      Dershowitz developed the same argument at greater length in the packet
      of materials he sent to DePaul's faculty and administration.

      Dershowitz's quotation concerning "destroying empty houses," however,
      comes from his book Why Terrorism Works (2002) and does not appear in
      his Jerusalem Post column. It is therefore not true that "the policy
      and passage Finkelstein quotes actually says" what Dershowitz claims
      it says. Finkelstein accurately quoted the policy and passage from the
      Jerusalem Post column, which proposed the destruction of entire
      villages and said nothing about destroying only empty houses.
      Finkelstein cited the Jerusalem Post as his source for the quotation.
      The language Finkelstein quoted does not appear in Why Terrorism
      Works. It is consequently unmistakable that Finkelstein was quoting
      (and comparing to Lidice) the Jerusalem Post proposal concerning the
      destruction of entire villages, not the Why Terrorism Works proposal
      concerning the destruction of only empty houses.

      The problem here is not merely that Dershowitz is wrong. Everyone
      makes mistakes. What makes Dershowitz's charge appear to be an
      instance of academic misconduct is that there appears to be no way
      that Dershowitz could have honestly (but mistakenly) believed that
      Finkelstein was quoting, and comparing to Lidice, the Why Terrorism
      Works proposal concerning empty houses, rather than the Jerusalem Post
      proposal concerning entire villages. Dershowitz purported to be
      correcting the record concerning the "policy and passage Finkelstein
      quotes[.]" Dershowitz therefore must have looked at Finkelstein's
      citation to see what passage Finkelstein claimed (correctly) to be
      quoting. And finding that Finkelstein claimed (correctly) to be
      quoting the Jerusalem Post, Dershowitz quoted something from Why
      Terrorism Works and claimed (falsely) that that's what the passage
      Finkelstein quoted really said. That is not a mistake. It appears to
      be a deliberate misrepresentation.

      It also bears emphasis that this misrepresentation appears in the
      fourth paragraph of Dershowitz's 4,000-word letter. Thus, even readers
      who lacked the patience to read the whole letter, or who might be
      inclined to dismiss Dershowitz as biased, would likely be misled. Any
      reader who assumed that Dershowitz would not brazenly misrepresent the
      contents of his own or Finkelstein's writings would be left thinking,
      "Well, that is pretty bad-Finkelstein accused Dershowitz of proposing
      the destruction of entire villages, when Dershowitz was talking about
      only empty houses."

      If this was not an honest mistake by Dershowitz, but rather a
      deliberate misrepresentation, then it would seem to constitute
      academic misconduct. It would be a deliberate attempt to deceive the
      DePaul faculty concerning the merits of a pending tenure case.


      THE DAMAGE DONE

      It would be wrong to dismiss the dispute between Dershowitz and
      Finkelstein as merely a personal squabble between two professors.
      Rather, the affair should be of institutional concern for both DePaul
      and Harvard. The institutional concern for DePaul is self-evident: The
      injection of deliberately deceptive material into a pending tenure
      case is an extremely serious matter because it has the potential to
      undermine the integrity of the university's promotion decisions.

      That concern is particularly acute in this case because it appears
      that Dershowitz's deceptions not only had the potential to influence
      Finkelstein's tenure review process but also that they did in fact
      play a decisive role. Recall that Dershowitz did not just send a
      7-page letter - together with 14 pages of supporting materials - to
      the former chair of DePaul's political science department. He also
      sent a similar but more extensive packet of materials to a large
      proportion of DePaul's faculty and administration, including every
      professor in the law school. And although DePaul's Faculty Governance
      Council received assurances that "the integrity of the [tenure review]
      process would be protected" from Dershowitz's interference, the
      council's chairman, Gil Gott, states that, to his knowledge, "no
      specific protections were introduced to remedy already-existing
      problems, such as any lingering false impressions that Alan
      Dershowitz's packet may have created in the minds of faculty members
      or administrators who served on or influenced decision-making bodies
      in the case." (Chronicle of Higher Education, June 12, 2007)

      DePaul's president has claimed nonetheless that Finkelstein's tenure
      review process "maintained its independence" from the lobbying efforts
      of "outside interests." But there is good evidence that Dershowitz's
      campaign did undermine the process, because the university's stated
      basis for denying tenure to Finkelstein appears to be transparently
      pretextual. According to the president, the UBPT voted against
      Finkelstein because his "scholarship does not meet DePaul's tenure
      standards." The UBPT based that judgment on its determination that
      Finkelstein's writings might not "contribute[] to the public discourse
      on sensitive societal issues" because of Finkelstein's alleged
      "inflammatory style" and use of "personal attacks."

      Here are some of the relevant facts: Finkelstein has published five
      books, one of them co-authored. Four were published before DePaul
      hired him as a tenure-track assistant professor. Some of those four
      were reissued in expanded editions while he was at DePaul. His fifth
      book, Beyond Chutzpah, was published while he was at DePaul, and it
      was published by a more prestigious university press than any of his
      previous works. Beyond Chutzpah does not differ materially in style or
      the use of "personal attacks" from Finkelstein's previous books, and,
      to my knowledge, not even Dershowitz has ever claimed that it does. If
      anything, Beyond Chutzpah strikes me as more moderate in tone than its
      predecessors.

      Tenure-track faculty are given annual reviews evaluating their
      performance in all areas relevant to eligibility for tenure.
      Finkelstein's annual reviews at DePaul expressed nothing but
      enthusiasm about his scholarship. Even the annual review dealing with
      his manuscript for Beyond Chutzpah contained not a word of criticism
      of Finkelstein's scholarship.

      DePaul's stated grounds for denying Finkelstein tenure consequently
      seem impossible to take seriously. The style of his first four books
      cannot have disqualified him from receiving tenure, because they were
      already in print when DePaul hired him into a tenure-track position.
      Thus, those books must have made him a promising candidate for tenure,
      not the reverse. If those books nonetheless contained flaws that
      Finkelstein needed to avoid in his subsequent work in order to get
      tenure, then his annual reviews would have said so. In fact, they said
      nothing of the sort. And Beyond Chutzpah, which (1) was issued by a
      more prestigious academic press than anything Finkelstein had
      published before, (2) contained nothing new in terms of "inflammatory
      style" or "personal attacks," and (3) received not a word of criticism
      from his department in his annual review, can only have strengthened
      his case for tenure.

      I conclude that the president's claim - that Finkelstein's scholarship
      does not meet DePaul's standards for tenure - cannot be true. And even
      the UBPT conceded that "[b]y all accounts" Finkelstein is "an
      excellent teacher, popular with his students and effective in the
      classroom." It follows that there must be some other explanation for
      why Finkelstein was denied tenure. Dershowitz's campaign seems the
      most likely candidate.


      HARVARD'S ROLE

      All of these considerations serve to heighten the institutional
      concerns for Harvard. First, both plagiarism and deliberate
      misrepresentation of a professor's work, particularly in the context
      of a pending tenure case, are matters of academic integrity, and
      Harvard presumably takes such matters very seriously.

      Second, because of Dershowitz's repeated but apparently false claim
      that Harvard "completely cleared" him of Finkelstein's charges,
      Harvard has been made an unwitting accomplice in Dershowitz's
      wrongdoing. If my analysis is sound, then Dershowitz deliberately
      deceived DePaul not only about the plagiarism itself but also about
      the investigation that Harvard allegedly conducted. He used his
      purported acquittal by Harvard to bolster his own false claim of
      innocence, which in turn supported his claims that Finkelstein's
      charges were "politically motivated" and "complete fabrications."

      Now that Dershowitz's misrepresentations have been exposed, Harvard
      cannot permit them to go uncorrected. If someone were revealed as
      falsely claiming to be a Harvard professor, perhaps making speeches or
      writing letters of recommendation in Harvard's name, Harvard would
      never stand for it - the university would issue an official statement
      setting the record straight. Dershowitz's deceptions are no less
      serious. He has sought to sabotage Finkelstein's tenure case on the
      basis of an official exoneration by Harvard that, on one of
      Finkelstein's central allegations, apparently never took place.

      I do not mean to be suggesting whether, or in what way, Harvard should
      discipline Dershowitz for the misconduct I have described. How Harvard
      addresses misbehavior by its faculty members is Harvard's business,
      not mine. But this is not just between Harvard and Dershowitz, or
      between Dershowitz and Finkelstein. Rather, Harvard has a moral
      obligation to Finkelstein to acknowledge, at a bare minimum, that it
      has never completely cleared Dershowitz of Finkelstein's plagiarism
      charges, because it has never rejected Finkelstein's argument
      concerning the identical errors in The Case for Israel and From Time
      Immemorial.

      As of this writing, Dershowitz appears to have succeeded in protecting
      his own career by destroying Finkelstein's. It is now probably too
      late to remedy all of the harm that Dershowitz's conduct has caused,
      both to the review of Finkelstein's tenure application and to public
      perceptions of Finkelstein and his work. But some sort of
      acknowledgement or apology by Harvard concerning Dershowitz's
      wrongdoing might go some distance toward clearing the air and making
      amends.


      Frank J. Menetrez received his PhD in philosophy and JD from UCLA.
      This article is a follow-up to his Dershowitz v. Finkelstein: Who's
      Right and Who's Wrong? <www.counterpunch.org/menetrez04302007.html>,
      which was published by CounterPunch in April 2007. A combined version
      of the two articles will form the epilogue to the paperback edition of
      Norman G. Finkelstein's Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of
      Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, forthcoming in 2008 from the
      University of California Press.

      He can be reached at frankmenetrez @ yahoo.com.

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