Alan Dershowitz as a criminal defense attorney essentially got paid to dissemble for a living. He did it well. And continues to do so. Al Franken once wrote a book, Lies (And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them). He needs to write a new edition to include Mr. Dershowitz.
Now that Josh Nathan Kazis is calling him out on his foul screed against Richard Goldstone (an “evil, evil man” and “traitor to the Jewish people”), Dershowitz wants to walk the horse back after the barn door closed. Except his heart’s really not in it, and his claimed retraction turns into a restatement of his calumny:
[Dershowitz] the outspoken Harvard Law School professor…didn’t intend to call the lead author of the controversial Goldstone Report a moser, a Jew who informs on other Jews, in a recent interview on Israel Army Radio.
…Instead, Dershowitz claims that he thought he was telling his interviewer that the South African jurist was “absolutely” a “monster.”
…“I wrote to the broadcaster, retracting my word ‘traitor,’” Dershowitz told the Forward. “But if you’re asking me deep in my heart and soul do I believe that the word fairly characterizes him, in light of the way he’s used his Jewishness, both as a shield and a sword? You know, if the shoe fits.”
So with one hand he retracts the slur and with the other he caresses it anew.
But the idea that this well-educated Jew, skilled attorney, and political debater would hear a Hebrew word in an interview and embrace it without really understanding its meaning is so far-fetched as to be ludicrous. Any decent attorney knows that if you’re asked a question and you don’t understand it you ask for clarification. Ergo, he understood perfectly well what he was hearing and saying.
A distinguished Orthodox rabbi and Hebrew school mate of his confirms this:
“Moser was a term that was certainly used. He must have heard it as a child,” said Blau, who grew up with Dershowitz and attended religious elementary and high schools with him. “I don’t recall it coming up in the schools we went to, but it certainly was out there.”
A bit of background on the term: moser literally means “informer” or someone who betrays a fellow Jew to the authorities in order to curry favor with non-Jews. Since such an act endangers the entire community, a moser is the equivalent of a Kapo, someone who is the lowest of the low. Jewish law permits the killing of a moser in order to preserve the community. Therefore, when someone calls a Jew a moser, they’re not only calling them the lowest form of scumbag, but essentially saying they’re worthy of killing.
Further, the idea that Dershowitz can get himself off by embracing the epithet “monster” to characterize Goldstone and rejecting the term moser is pathetic. You mean to tell me on the scale of epithets, monster is less bad than moser??
The Big D closed out his encounter with Nathan-Kazis with yet another howler:
Dershowitz said that he understood the quote he cited [the prayer: U’la-malshinim al t’hi tikva] to mean that “people who use their credibility as Jews and their words to destroy the Jewish people shall not have any hope in the world to come….And since I don’t believe in the world to come, it’s an empty threat. “I do not want any harm to come to Richard Goldstone,” Dershowitz said.
Dersh plays for keeps. Of course he’d be content if harm came to Goldstone. Note the word “threat” he used in the passage above. You bet he meant his words aggressively and viciously. If the man died of a heart attack, Dersh would feel smug satisfaction–as long as he didn’t get the blame. If, God forbid, some Jewish terrorist harmed Goldstone, Dersh would be the first to issue some mealy-mouthed platitude that sounded like the empty words above. But inside he’d be smiling.
This man is about as bad as they come.
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