Abraham Cahan is turning over in his grave. The trail-blazing founder of the Jewish Daily Forward created one of the first advice columns in American journalism, the Bintel Brief. The Forward editors are turning over the latter day version of the column to Alan Dershowitz (yup, you heard me right). Imagine Dersh as a neocon Ann Landers. I’d laugh at this if it weren’t so cruelly and darkly ironic:
Alan Dershowitz is one of the most famous names in the American legal profession, his counsel highly sought after. Now he will be offering his counsel to our readers, as the Forward’s next Bintel Brief guest advice columnist.
In addition to his stellar legal career, the famed Harvard Law professor has distinguished himself as one of America’s leading Jewish activists and most prolific pundits. With such books as “The Vanishing American Jew,” “The Case for Israel” and “The Case for Peace,” he has shaped the Jewish communal conversation.
Are you facing a Jewish dilemma, an ethical conundrum or family difficulties? Could you use some advice related to advocacy or activism? Send your questions for the Bintel Brief to bintelblog at forward dot com.
Check the Forward’s Web site Mondays in July for new installments of the Bintel Brief, featuring Dershowitz dispensing some wise counsel.
His “counsel highly sought after?” A “stellar career?” “America’s leading Jewish activist and prolific pundit?” Dershowitz’s “wise counsel?” Surely they jest. I especially like the suggestion that readers ask about their ‘ethical conundrums.’ Does the shaister who suggested that Norman Finkelstein believed his Shoah-survivor mother was a kapo have the right to utter one word about anyone else’s “ethical conundrums?”
Back in the day, the original Bintel Brief used to give advice to the love-lorn. It helped Jewish immigrants through the suffering of emigration and taught them to adapt to the New World. It always tried to speak plainly, simply and honestly to common folk. It always tried to make them a little better human beings. What can Alan Dershowitz have to say on that score to latter day Jews?
I’d like to suggest a contest. Perhaps some other progressive bloggers can join in. Let’s think of the most damaging advice we can ask Dershowitz involving his own ethically-challenged, demagogic, lying, scummy, baiting, dishonest behavior. It won’t get into The Forward. But we can have some fun with it. Readers, I challenge your wit with my own contribution:
Tyereh Professor: I am a recent immigrant to this country who escaped the Cossacks and the Czar’s army to arrive here in the Goldene Medinah, land of the free. Tell me, when you justify torture how are you any different than the tyrants I fled in Russia?
Maybe a Lebanese can write in and ask advice about how he can rebuild a life shattered with the help of pro-Israel ideologues like Big D. who justified Israel’s decimation of Lebanon. Maybe Norman Finkelstein can ask what to do in the case of a someone whose promotion is derailed by a spiteful, evil colleague.
HTML Mencken at Sadly, No! has given this news the acid satirical treatment it so richly deserves. It should be read and chuckled over.
I should make clear that I genuinely admire The Forward. But this idea has really come a cropper. Any humor we wring out of this is fully deserved.