22 thoughts on “Dershowitz ‘I Didn’t Have Particularly Good Brain’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. All As in College and Law School? Editor in Chief of the Yale Law Journal? Youngest person appointed a professor of law at Harvard? A Guggenheim Fellowship? Not quite what I would call a buffoon. Many of his opinions are certainly open to criticism but to call him stupid would be to underestimate him tremendously I think.

    1. You’re making a mistake. Dershowitz’s friends & principal told him his brain was deficient. I’ve only ratified their view of him which I wouldn’t have known unless the man himself had told us.

      Dersh is the scum of the earth. He’s gotten off the hook the cream of the scum of the earth (O.J., Claus, etc.) He & clients like this belong together. And to say as the interviewer does that Dershowitz is know for his defense of civil liberties & human rights is to demean the very terms themselves. He is a liar, a plaigiarist, demagogue and ignorant about the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

      And if you think being named to the law review or a professor at Harvard is a guarantee that you are not a flaming asshole or any of the adjectives I used above, then you are sadly mistaken & not conversant with some of the fine specimens from the academy that pass themselves off as exemplary brains and human beings.

  2. Richard,
    I think you are taking pot-shots.

    Dershowitz’ meaning on “brains” is self-deprecating humor. I get your irritation with his style.

    On ““I support Israel because I am a civil libertarian and a human rights activist,” says Dershowitz.”

    I understand that statement to mean the same motivation that I am still a Zionist, and that is that Jews are a people, and have a right to self-govern. (Even if I prefer a cosmopolitan society to a Judeo-centric.)

    I think the question of whether one is ALSO pro-Palestinian nationalist is a separate question, that if you or others actually bothered to ask and challenge him on stated in positive language, he might likely put his weight behind a concept that you could assertively agree with. (Maybe not.)

    1. Ah, “self-deprecating humor,” I see. Somehow I missed that. You mean Dersh IS a supreme ironist and was only laughing at himself. I’ve got news for him–he clearly has an enormously high level of testosterone & self-regard. But he’s a lot less intelligent than he gives himself credit for being.

      IF Dershowitz is a civil libertarian (& that is highly dubious & debatable) then he’s admitted that he IS one solely for tactical reasons. In other words, that he wishes the world to value JEWISH civil liberties & human rights. Not that he values the human rights of anyone else & certainly not Palestinians. To the extent that he DOES value the civil liberties of non-Jews it is solely to advance his own personal pro Israel agenda.

      I wouldn’t have Alan Dershowitz on my side regarding Palestinian human rights even if he wantd to be (which he most decidedly doesn’t). He will never say anything positive on that subject that isn’t hopelessly attenuated by his conflicting “loyalty” (as he sees it) to Israel.

  3. “I support Israel because I am a civil libertarian and a human rights activist,” says Dershowitz.”

    The whole quote in Haaretz is
    “I support Israel because I am a civil libertarian and a human rights activist,” says Dershowitz. He defines civil liberties as a legal process which “recognizes that majority shouldn’t always rule, that there are always going to be dissenting views, that there must be a right to free speech, a right to dissent from religion, freedom not only of religion, but from religion, there must always be due process, fair trial. The guilty must be defended along the innocent.”

    The guy must be nuts if he denies the religious basis and nature of Israel. Then he denies the definitions of his own civil liberties. Some professor. If he would stick to his own civil right definitions Israel would not be a Jewish state. On the other hand as he said “The guilty must be defended along the innocent”. So that justifies to his Israel defence.

    Indeed after listening to this interview I must agree with Dershowitz’s own conclusion that the he has a a bigger mouth than brains. Some arrogant, self-satisfied hypocrite.

  4. Dershowitz made the right choice by not become a Conservative Rabbi. However, he did make a mistake by abandoning observance. I spoke to an Orthodox Rabbi from a Yeshiva in Israel and he stated that the system of justice in the US (West) is faulty because you are sometimes obligated to defend someone who you know is guilty.

    1. Ah yes, that pesky Constitution of ours. It does tend to encourage us to defend those accused of a crime even if guilty, & to assume them innocent whether they are or not. It’s a peculiar weakness of ours I must admit. I’m sure Nili & the good Yeshiva rabbi would prefer a nice Israeli halachic state run by & on behalf of the settlers in which Jewishness would equal a presumption of innocence & Arabness a presumption of guilt. And we could resume stoning people for adultery & homosexuality just like our sacred book tells us to. And we could resume slavery and indentured servitude since those are practices allowed in the Bible; along with polygamy. In fact, why not create the Jewish version of Sharia law in Israel?

  5. I can’t stand this man, he reminds me of the dummification of America. Imagine what people all over the world are thinking: This idiot is a Harvard Law Professor….I guess Harvard has lowered its standards…

  6. Dershowitz is a moron. A shitty public speaker. A professional liar.

    And a propagandist.

    That doesn’t mean he’s uneducated though.

    He IS a clown and will always be a clown.

  7. Does anyone really care what he has to say about anything?

    Umm … you, Richard?

    NILI, how would the guilt or innocence of a defendant be found according to this rabbi? By just “knowing” it?

  8. This civil “libertarian” wrote to Gov. Schwarzenegger asking him to stop the publication of Norman G. Finkelstein’s Beyond Chutzpah. I was amused not only by the childish censorship attempt, but by the following passage of his letter:

    The book to which this is a sequel was characterized by two imminent historians as a modern-day version of the notorious Czarist forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    No wonder Schwarzenegger turned down his request. Finkelstein was criticized by two imminent (i.e. soon-to-be, but not yet so) historians. If he had been questioned by eminent historians, who knows, maybe Arnold would have in fact censored the book.

    The moral: you need to be literate, just like the books say.

  9. First off, I know of no good reason why Dershowitz regards himself or is regarded as a defender of civil liberties. From what I understand he made his fortune in private practise defending primarily very wealthy clients who have been accused of crimes which had nothing to do with civil liberties. He had neither defended civil liberties advocates from prosecution nor made any landmark research/cases in this regard.

    What he has done in his various defences of Israeli policy is advocate the principle of collective punishment (including the complete destruction of villages which produce suicide bombers) defended the use of various stress techniques in interrogation (which easily pass muster most definitions of torture) all which would call into serious question his so-called ‘civil liberties’ credentials. To be clear this is a man that supports the principle of collective punishment (illegal in international law) and the use of torture. How this chimes in with his supposed defence of the ‘rights of the many’ etc. is far from clear.

    Whatever one thinks of Finkelstein, reading his criticism and correspondence with Dershowitz leaves it difficult to deny that Dershowitz has engaged in plagiarism (quite blatantly) and also been caught in outright lies at least twice. How this joker can be taken at all seriously is far beyond me.

  10. People will cite Dershowitz’s academic pedigree as evidence of the CHANCE that he’s not a complete imbecile.

    Mia, the first poster in this thread, did just that.

    It’s a very lazy way to defend the guy. He’s a hack and anyone who’s had the misfortune of reading his shill knows that.

    Finkelstein took apart, A Case for Israel, in his book Beyond Chutzpah.

    Furthermore, Frank Menetrez (a professional lawyer, not liar) analyzed the entire issue as an independent third-party.

    His main point of contention is the identical errors in both Joan Peters’s fraud of a book and Dershowtiz’s fraud of a book.

    Same errors, same quotations, etc. etc.

    But people like Mia, will lazily and superficially cite his academic pedigree as evidence that he’s not a complete moron – which he is.

    1. I just finished reading finkelstein’s Beyond Chutzpah and Darshowitze’s A case for Israel. I have to say, there is indeed powerful pro-Israeli forces working in Harvard or on behalf of Dershowitze that has influence in Harvard, because he should never get away with crimes of plagiarism. Finkelstein anihilate Dershowitze and exposes lies that are prevalent in the media.

  11. fiddler said:

    Does anyone really care what he has to say about anything?

    Umm … you, Richard?

    Richard is not caring about what Dershowitz has to say.

    He’s just pointing to the nudity of a very naked emperor.

  12. Same errors, same quotations, etc. etc.

    I recall Dershowitz quoting a Joan Peters error already in his 1990 book Chutzpah.

    In From Time Immemorial, Peters quotes a source claiming that two-thirds of the Palestinian refugees from 1948 left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.

    But the original source said that about the Palestinian refugees from 1967.

    Dershowitz repeats Peter’s mistaken assertion word by word.

  13. @fiddler
    “how would the guilt or innocence of a defendant be found according to this rabbi? By just “knowing” it?”
    Judaism prescribes the use of observant witnesses. The Sanhedrin also ruled during the Temple period.

    That is the way USA’s justice system is set up.

  14. Dear Mr Silverstein
    Thank you for what you are doing. You are helping both Palestinian and Israelis, because justice is the path God commended us to follow.
    With Respect

  15. “The killing of a white woman by allegedly a black person”…(OJ is “allegedly” a black person? )

    He says that many don’t understand why he defended OJ, that he “stands for” a process not a result. Well the whole world watched the way our justice system works and how he worked to get a guilty man, he admits, off. If it was a boring case why were so many riveted to it and disgusted in the end at the result? Yes it was a lesson about the American justice system and it’s imperfections. It was an important case in that respect. Was it really fairness that the process brought about? No!

    I understand the principle of defending the guilty, but he put his legal “cleverness” in the service of what he knew was evil ( as did Johnny Cocheran) and came out looking like a man w/o a moral compass principally after publicity/ fame/notoriety. They served him, not the other way around. He is proud of his involvement in the cases though they were not very important (then why did he get involved???). He lost me then. After that he was a clown in my eyes.

    He loves the fact that he took on the entire Soviet Union.

    He claims and believes Israel to be the underdog, loves the battle that presents.

    I have no idea why Harvard retains him: that is very disappointing.

  16. Picking on a hack like Dershowitz is a bit like criticizing a bad rock band in the sense that, yes, it’s not the most productive use of your time, but it’s fun, and we all deserve some fun now and then.

  17. I’ve been watching the Finkelstein Dershowitz debate and Dershowitz Chomsky debate and obviously my idea of the prestige of Harvard university was mistaken. This guy is juvenile, constantly speaks out of order and raises his voice and attacks characters rather than substance. A scholar? A pathetic joke.

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