On February 2, notorious
hatemonger Alan Dershowitz keynoted a Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
(JFGP)/Hillel of Greater Philadelphia "Evening of Unity & Community
Solidarity" with Israel.
Inviting him was disgraceful. He's a shameless bigot, a longstanding
Islamophobe, a perverter of fundamental US and international law, an
advocate of war, torture targeted assassinations, and collective punishment,
as well as a committed Zionist and apologist for Israel's worst crimes.
Distinguished Law Professor Francis Boyle once wrote:
He's "a self-incriminated war criminal who publicly admitted that he
serves on a Mossad Committee that authorizes the murder and assassination
He's "also infamous around the world for being this country's foremost
advocate for torture."
Abhorring truth and rule of law standards, he's "nothing more than an
Errand Boy for those in Power."
In his own words, he believes "the laws of war and the rules of morality
must adapt to (new) realities." As a result, he supports preventive
and preemptive aggression against nonbelligerent countries. Only Western
interests matter, not truth, equity, justice, or fundamental rule of
Longstanding ones are inviolable. Dershowitz dismisses them. His Harvard
Law School students learn this stuff. Boyle calls it a "school for torturers,"
and advises parents not to send their children there.
Along with JFGP and Hillel, event sponsors included Penn Israel Sector,
Jewish Student Law Association, Penn Democrats, College Republicans,
Camera (a shameless pro-Israeli media lobby), StandWithUs (another pro-Israeli
front group), and the University of Pennsylvania Political Science,
Philosophy, Politics and Economics departments.
Representing U of P President Amy Gutmann, Penn Board of Trustees chairman
David Cohen introduced the event, saying:
"We are unwavering in our support of Israel. We do not support the message
or the goals of BDS."
Sponsors billed his talk as "Why Israel Matters to You, Me, and Penn:
A Conversation with Alan Dershowitz." He shamelessly calls BDS (Boycott,
Divestment and Sanctions) activism "immoral, illegal and despicable
concepts around academia today."
He called sympathetic U of P professors "complacent with evil."
The "unity and solidarity" with Israel event preceded U of P's February
3 - 5 BDS conference. More on it below.
A Max Blumenthal February 2 Daily Pennsylvanian article headlined, "Torture,
violence advocate to keynote anti-BDS event," saying:
Pro-Israeli flacks smeared BDS conference speakers "predicabl(y)." Electronic
Intifada co-founder Ali Abuninamah was accused of "incit(ing) violence
Hillel's Wayne Firestone said the conference advocates anti-Israeli
"warfare" and "hatred." The demagogic Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called
"longtime activists who have pursued a wide range of delegitimization
efforts against Israel, including lawfare initiatives (ie battling Israeli
policy in the international courts), branding Israel's (hypocritical)
LGBT efforts as an attempt to 'pink-wash' its 'alleged' crimes against
Palestinians, and academic anti-Israeli arguments."
Many are "Jewish anti-Zionists....with a long history of anti-Israel
rhetoric, including expressions of support for (spuriously characterized)
terrorist groups that violently attack Israeli citizens, comparisons
between Israel and Nazi Germany, and blanket statements about Israelis
in general that appear to border on anti-Semitism."
Throughout its century-long history, ADL hyped unfounded anti-Semitism
hysteria as cover for backing Jewish supremacy and rights of Israelis
over Arabs. They include militarized occupation and belligerently enforced
ADL deplores human rights and rule of law standards. In the 1930s and
40s, it spied illegally on lawful citizens for the House Un-American
Activities (HUAC). In the 1980s, it engaged in private spying. It viciously
assails anti-Israeli activists. It condemned Palestinian efforts for
full de jure UN membership, calling it "an obstacle to peace."
Like Dershowitz and other pro-Israeli hatemongers, ADL espouses violence
and brute force.
BDS activists endorse confronting Israel nonviolently until it complies
with international law and human rights standards. Archbishop Desmond
"....I have seen (firsthand) how the Palestinians are oppressed, dispossessed
and exiled. (BDS) is a growing worldwide movement on the part of citizens
and the private sector to support by non-violent tangible acts the Palestinian
struggle for justice and self-determination."
Other distinguished figures support the same views. PennBDS said conference
participants included "academics, activists, students and community
leaders from across the US."
Meeting on U of P's main campus, they "(p)ick(ed) up where the 2009
Hampshire conference left off." Speakers included "journalists, professors,
artists, writers, lawyers, and human and civil rights activists from
various ethnic, religious, cultural and social communities."
Special attention focused on uniting with other initiatives against
bigotry in all forms. Other talks discussed "comparative historical,
sociological and philosophical analysis of BDS, both in its Israeli-Palestinian
context and as a general tactic." Movement-building was also stressed.
Conference sponsors called the event "an invaluable resource for new
activists and a momentum-building opportunity for those already engaged
with the fight for Palestinian freedom and equality."
Other events will follow to build global momentum for justice too strong
to stop. Hatemongers like Dershowitz and ADL can't stop it.
A Final Comment
Ruben Gur is a U of P Professor of Psychiatry at its Mahoney Institute
of Neurological Sciences. On February 1, his Daily Pennsylvanian article
headlined, "BDS is 'hateful,' 'discriminatory,' " saying:
"It is bad enough that Penn has allowed itself to be associated with
this hateful genocidal organization, but for (the Daily Pennsylvanian)
to give" it op-ed space "and then dignify this outpouring of misinformation
and anti-Semitism....without any balancing opinion (is un)balanced journalism."
His article wreaked of racist hate, misinformation, and bald-faced lies.
His agenda supports wrong over right. His students likely get the same
"medicine" instead of what they pay for and deserve. Choosing another
teacher would help.
He blamed Arabs for Israeli crimes. He called the purpose of BDS "similar
to what was apparently stated in their version of "Mein Kampf." He referred
to Omar Barghouti's book titled, "Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The
Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights."
Barghouti's an independent Palestinian commentator and human rights
activist. He's also a founding BDS member. This writer's a cultural
member and strong supporter. Maybe Gur will notice and attack me. If
so, a reasoned response will follow, focusing on truth and full disclosure
too strong to dispute.
He claimed BDS rhetoric aims "to delegitimize Israel in preparation
for the ultimate goal of its destruction." In fact, Israel's doing it
well on its own. It makes more enemies than friends, and growing numbers
of fed-up Israelis vote with their feet and leave. One day perhaps they
all will except for diehard racist supporters like Gur.
He compared BDS with Nazi Germany boycotts, divestments and sanctions
against Jews. He called PennBDS organizers "tarnish(ish the university)
for generations to come." He condemned "Penn's moral backbone" for letting
them do it "as long as it singles out Jews and Israel."
As Dershowitz is to Harvard Law, Gur is to Penn's Neurological Sciences
department. Both schools give them classroom space to spew hate. In
the 1950s, this writer attended both universities, unexposed to their
Today it's much different, especially on issues of war and peace and
wholehearted support for Israel's worst crimes.
Thankfully, many students abhor them enough to resist. Global momentum
adds greater numbers to their ranks. Perhaps one day they'll be too
robust to stop. It can't happen a moment too soon.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
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