Alan Dershowitz Retires From Harvard Law School

By Francis Boyle (Countercurrents)

Originall published 21 December, 2013

adAlan Dershowitz, a prominent advocate for Israel, is retiring from Harvard Law School. Dershowitz Accused of War Crimes – On one issue-the Jewish settlements in the occupied lands-Israel has {already} been found, by an international court, to be in violation of international law. This has caused a firestorm of reaction from Israel, and its apologists, like Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz. But, Francis Boyle and a number of other American human rights advocates have taken on Dershowitz on, and are ready to do it again.

The settlements are “clearly illegal and criminal,” said Boyle. “All the settlements, as the World Court ruled in the advisory opinion on the [Separation] Wall, all these settlements violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, and a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention is a war crime. All these so-called settlers are committing war crimes, except the children, who are obviously not old enough to formulate a criminal intent.

“Indeed, Alan Dershowitz began attacking the World Court for this ruling and attacking their credibility, and this, that, and the other.

“Well, Dershowitz is not a trained international lawyer; he’s not a trained human rights lawyer. I debated him once, and he sort of gratuitously conceded that I was the expert on these subjects. “But in any event, what Dershowitz was not aware of, was that in the advisory committee proceedings, the American judge, Thomas Buergenthal, {who is a Holocaust survivor, himself}, joined the ruling-he dissented against a lot of other things by the World Court [International Court of Justice]-but Judge Buergenthal ruled that the settlements violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. And to Judge Buergenthal’s credit-I’ve known him for many years; I have a lot of respect and admiration for him-he made this ruling.

“So, in other words, Dershowitz was attacking the integrity of a Holocaust survivor. But of course, that doesn’t surprise me: He attacked [Prof.] Norman Finkelstein’s mother; he also attacked Prof. Israel Shahak, one of the leaders of the peace movement in Israel, himself a Holocaust survivor, unfortunately, no longer with us, but a great man.

“I’ve dealt with [Shahak], I have great respect, and indeed, he was going to have a lecture tour here in the United States, in, I guess, the Fall of 1990, and he was coming to speak in Champaign, [Ill.], and the organizers of his lecture tour asked me if I would put him up in my home as my guest, in order to conserve on expenses, and I agreed. And I was greatly looking forward again to meeting Professor Shahak…. But as you know, with the Gulf crisis, Professor Shahak decided to cancel his lecture tour and stay home with his own people, which was certainly understandable.

“Dershowitz couldn’t care less. Whatever kind of outright character assassination he has to apply to anyone, even Holocaust survivors like Judge Buergenthal, Professor Shahak, Norman Finkelstein’s mother, it doesn’t bother Dershowitz. Indeed, my understanding is, he’s trying to run to become President of Israel, to take Peres’s place. Well, fine, it would be great to get him out of Harvard Law School-my dis-alma mater!-and ship him over to Israel with all the other war criminals over there. “In fact, I say that, because Dershowitz admitted, publicly, that he is part of a Mossad committee that authorized the assassination of Palestinians.

“You can find that article on, by Prof. [Liquat Ali] Khan. Well, the Palestinians are all protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention, and for Dershowitz to authorize their murder is a war crime. So, Dershowitz is a {prima facie} war criminal, who should be prosecuted himself.

“And there he is, teaching at the Harvard Law School, and advocating torture, crimes against humanity, war crimes against the Palestinians. As you know, he said, `Well, we should just be obliterating their villages. You know, if they do this, there’s a terror bombing here, we [should] destroy one of their villages.’

“And, of course, Dershowitz also advocates torture here, in America. The guy’s shameless.

“I remember, [when] I started [at Harvard], Dershowitz started as an assistant professor, and his first big case was defending a pornographic film star in `Deep Throat.’ Dershowitz likes to present himself as some great defender of the First Amendment…. Well, as Catherine McKinnon has, I think, taught us all, pornography is a form of violence against women: It’s a human rights matter. So, it doesn’t surprise me that Dershowitz started his career defending pornographers and pornography, and was and still is greatly proud of it-and now he moves on to defending war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and in addition, over the years, became a war criminal himself.

“But the sum of it is, he’s still teaching there at Harvard Law School. So, I hope he goes back to Israel and becomes President, sure! Be great to see him go: Bon voyage.”

Professor Francis A. Boyle is an international law expert and served as Legal Advisor to the Palestine Liberation Organization and Yasser Arafat on the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence, as well as to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations from 1991 to 1993, where he drafted the Palestinian counter-offer to the now defunct Oslo Agreement. His books include “ Palestine, Palestinians and International Law” (2003), and “ The Palestinian Right of Return under International Law” (2010).

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