Tel Aviv University professors vs. Alan Dershowitz

To Professor Joseph Klafter, President of Tel Aviv University

Dear Professor Klafter,

We the undersigned, are members of the General History Dept at Tel Aviv University, heard in full the speech of Mr. Alan Dershowitz in the name of the Honorary Doctorate recipients as broadcasted live on video.

As Historians who know very well the periods of the past where the  enlightened democracy declined into a dark regime, we are very concerned with some of the things said. Mr. Dershowitz viciously attacked academic members of the university criticizing the policy of the government, he specifically named some members of staff and accused them for leading narrow-minded thinking as they impose their opinions on students (and he compared it to sexual harassment).

As you know there is no single proof that member of staff imposed his/her political opinions on students.

Mr. Dershowitz is allowed, of course, to enjoy the freedom of speech and to express his opinions, but the fact he named lecturers and accused them of hurting students and of hurting the strength of the State of Israel – These words are on the verge of defamation and may put those members of staff at risk.

We ask you, as the university administration to renounce the words of Mr. Dershowitz and to announce it will continue to protect the freedom of speech of all members of our academic community in any way. As you wrote in your article in the Jerusalem Post in 15th of February 2010 – The university must protect the freedom of thinking and freedom of expression of members of staff and students.

Bad winds blow these days in Israel and in the West in general, which are anti-Intellectual and anti-Democratic. The universities are – as you said – the beacons protecting from them. Negation of some views or others and the attack on those expressing them, from the podium of the university destabilize such protective walls.

Watch Dershowitz´s speech here

Also read…
Pro-Peace IS Pro-Israel

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DERSHOWITZ HELPED KEEP CARTER FROM SPEAKING AT DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

November 14, 2008 (Fort Lee, NJ) — In an exclusive Shalom TV interview, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz revealed that he was among those who convinced Barack Obama to keep Jimmy Carter from addressing the Democratic National Convention.

I pushed him very hard to make that decision,” Dershowitz explained in a conversation with Mark S. Golub on American Jewry’s national cable television network. “Barack Obama had to make a choice between his Jewish supporters and his anti-Israel supporters like Jimmy Carter, and he did not choose Jimmy Carter. And that was an embarrassment for Jimmy Carter and a show of disrespect. And I’m very glad he made that decision. It was a good decision, a wise decision, a moral decision.”

Speaking to fears among some American and Israeli Jews that Obama will be less supportive of the State of Israel than President Bush, Dershowitz predicted that Obama “will try to energize the peace process.” Moreover, Dershowitz sees Obama’s support in the pro-Palestinian community as an opportunity for the president-elect to move the peace process forward.

“The fact there are some in the Pro-Palestinian community who like him may be a positive thing–that he can reach out to both communities and be an honest broker who, without compromising Israel’s security, can facilitate a kind of peace that will be both in the best interests of Israel and the best interests of the Palestinian people. I have a high level of confidence–not perfect confidence–but a high level of confidence that he will do the right thing.”

Dershowitz also acknowledged that he received thousands of emails from Jews opposing Obama during the election campaign. While some emails where thoughtful and expressed legitimate concerns, Dershowitz is convinced that many were from “extreme right-wing Jews” and were “out-and-out racist.”

“As Jew I was appalled by some of the racism that I saw in some of the emails that I got,” Dershowitz said.

Dershowitz believes that Obama’s election will be positive for Black-Jewish relations. “I think nothing could be better for Black-Jewish relations than the election of Barack Obama,” he observed. “Barack Obama has expressed appreciation for the Jewish community and the role that we played in the Civil Rights Movement, and that’s a good thing because some within the African-American community are very quick to forget that. So far, his relations with the Jewish community have been near-perfect.”

Could Dershowitz be part of an Obama administration, perhaps as Attorney General? Dershowitz responded with a categorical, “no.” Dershowitz also said he declined a request to represent Obama on the campaign trail, explaining, “I said I couldn’t do that because I want to keep my own independent views independent. I don’t want to be a surrogate for anybody.”

Shalom TV, America’s national Jewish cable network, is available in more than twenty million homes nationwide as a free service. With feature films and documentaries, news and public affairs programming, original series on Jewish learning, and shows for children, the Video On Demand channel presents programs of interest to the entire Jewish community. Participating cable companies include Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon FiOS, Cox, Bright House, Blue Ridge, Service Electric, and MetroCast.

The 4 Minute Audio :

ref: gasbara 4 israel

The Case Against Alan Dershowitz

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, entitledBeyond 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.HARVARD’S ROLEAll 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.

 


Ref: Counter punchFrank J. Menetrez received his PhD in philosophy and JD from UCLA. This essay is drawn from his epilogue to the paperback edition of Norman G. Finkelstein’s Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, forthcoming from the University of California Press. He can be reached atfrankmenetrez@yahoo.com.