Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Letter to Alan Dershowitz

UPDATE 7:00PM: Professor Alan Dershowitz has indicated, via email, that he plans to respond to the following open letter which I sent earlier today (Be sure to check back here for it):

Dear Professor Dershowitz,

I am writing to express deep concern over your comments to Israeli Army radio today. Your interview is a litany of defamation and double standards as today's articles in both Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post report. In your interview, you are quoted as saying, "
The Goldstone report is a defamation written by an evil, evil man."

Do you mean to equate the Australian Judge of a U.N. report with the evil of the Hamas operatives who day and night target innocent Israeli citizens in Sderot, Ashkelon, and beyond? Is Judge Goldstone's evil akin to the evil of 19 hijackers who one September morning killed nearly 3,000 Americans in the name of their fundamentalist delusions? Even if I were to grant every argument made by your prejudicial official response to the U.N. I would be hard pressed to classify Judge Goldstone as an evil man under any reasonable definition of the word. Your comments therefore do absolutely nothing to advance the cause of Israel advocacy or justice for the innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caught up in the aftermath of this conflict.

Professor, you edit a blog called Double Standard Watch. So perhaps you can explain why you found it necessary to respond in excess of forty pages to the methodology of the Goldstone Report while publishing no equivalent criticism of reports published by AIPAC, CAMERA, HonestReporting, Aish, or the Israel Project, all of which regularly employ questionable methodology and omit key facts in their assessment of the situation in the Middle East. Perhaps you can also explain "Section I" of your response, in which you attack the members of the Goldstone commission for their previous bias against Israel. You argue this makes their conclusions on Operation Cast Lead illegitimate, yet you yourself are extremely outspoken with regards to Israel. By your own logic this should disqualify your opinions on Operation Cast Lead from any validity whatsoever, especially considering that you criticized the report in a blog post twelve days before it was even released.

What concerns me more is your comment that Judge Goldstone is a "traitor" to Israel. Goldstone himself is not an Israeli citizen so no doubt you mean that he is treasonous as a Jew. Perhaps you should speak with right-wing editorialist Isi Leibler who calls for Jews to exorcise the renegades in our midst.

Professor Dershowitz, on November 25th 2009 you debated J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami, and urged J Street to join under the umbrella of pro-Israel groups in Washington. You argued that its current stance was divisive. Professor, as far as I can tell, no official communique of J Street has used the word "traitor" or "evil" to refer to any statement to which they were opposed. Jeremy Ben-Ami has never cut off contact with someone for employing shoddy methodology or being prejudicial. Yet you have done both of these in response to Judge Goldstone and his mission's conclusions.

It concerns me that conservative supporters of Israel are being divisive, calling those who disagree evil traitors, urging them to be exorcised as if they were witches in Salem. How can more moderate voices be reasonably expected to join with the traditional voice of the American pro-Israel community when it looks for any reason to attack, defame, and insult anyone who dares to question the use of white phosphorous in civilian areas? In over forty pages, your response to the Goldstone Report contains zero references to the words "white phosphorous" or "flanchettes," both of which were used against civilians in Gaza. This grave omission indicates clearly that you have no interest in a candid discussion of potential Israeli mistakes in Operation Cast Lead, and this greatly saddens me.

I look forward with great enthusiasm to hearing your reaction, and posting your full un-edited response on my blog ( where I have posted this letter. Thank you for your attention to my concerns.

Sincerely yours,

The Camel's Nose Blog

[sent via private e-mail to]

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