Saturday, November 11, 2006

Dershowitz vs. Gordon: The Sequel

1. Dershowitz vs. Gordon: The Sequel
Who's playing fast and...

Sir, - Neve Gordon's "Anti-Israeli? You just don't like what I say"
(November 8) was a cut-and-paste of an earlier letter he wrote to the
National Catholic Reporter. It was full of lies, as was his op-ed.

Instead of answering why he seeks to stifle the free speech of Prof.
Steven Plaut, Gordon turns around again - as he always does - and says I
tried to stifle Norman Finkelstein's free speech. I didn't, and, as I
explained in my original op-ed, I've released all the letters I wrote to
the University of California Press. I even quoted myself from them: "I
have no interest in censoring or suppressing Finkelstein's freedom of

Gordon again parrots Finkelstein's claim that I plagiarized The Case for
Israel. The origins of the slander: Finkelstein first said I "almost
certainly didn't write" The Case for Israel "and perhaps didn't even read
it prior to publication."

He even suggested all my books were written for me by the Israeli Mossad:
"[I]t's sort of like a Hallmark line for Nazis... [T]hey churn them out so
fast that he has now reached a point where he doesn't even read them."

When I produced my handwritten manuscript as proof, Finkelstein changed
his story, claiming that I had plagiarized the book. I immediately
demanded that Harvard conduct an independent investigation, and they
cleared me of all wrongdoing, as have numbers of distinguished scholars, a
former president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The New
York Times and the head legal librarian at the Harvard Law School.

Yet Finkelstein and Gordon persist in making this charge - part of a long
pattern of leveling personal attacks against those who support Israel or
justice for Holocaust survivors, rather than engaging them on the merits
of their views.

Cambridge, Massachusetts

...loose with free speech?

Sir, - Watching Neve Gordon attack Prof. Alan Dershowitz's academic record
reminded me of the fable about the flea calling the elephant "shorty."

While challenging Dershowitz's record, Gordon (whose degree is from Notre
Dame University) accuses the Harvard don of playing fast and loose with
the facts, while Gordon denies Dershowitz's claim that he often compares
Israel to Nazi Germany. So who is playing fast and loose here?

Read, on: - Gordon comparing
Israel's behavior to that of Nazi Germany on Kristallnacht, in a piece
that appeared in Al-Ahram and a dozen other anti-Semitic journals; and -
on - Gordon comparing Israeli behavior
to Adolf Eichmann's. Gordon regularly compares Israel's defense fence to
the walls built by Nazi Germany around concentration camps and ghettos.

The media has already widely compared Gordon's malicious misuse of the
courts to attempt to suppress the freedom of speech of his critics to the
tactics adopted by David Irving against Deborah Lipstadt.

While whining about his "reputation," Gordon led a venomous and dishonest
campaign of vilification against Israeli Gen. Aviv Kochavi for "war
crimes," which resulted in attempts to prosecute Kochavi overseas under
phony charges.

Meanwhile Gordon continues to teach courses at Ben-Gurion University that
consist of little more than anti-Israel political indoctrination, such as
his notorious "Critical Aspects of the Occupation," in which no Zionist
opinion dare be expressed.

That says volumes about the academic standards of the political science
department at BGU.

University of Haifa

2. Hip hop against anti-Semites:

3. Frog hunt, anyone?

4. The Hookers in Black against the Israel Philharmonic:

5. Poison Ivy League:

6. There are many different kinds of Avoda Zara:

7. The gross stupidity of David Grossman:

8. Dersh bashes the anti-Semites at UCLA:

9. That match:

10. Borat:

11. Heart and soul:
[Anthony Paletta 11/09 03:24 PM]

Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan, has been making
defiant statements in the wake of MCRI. Most recently: "I will not stand
by while the very heart and soul of this great university is threatened."
So remember: Racial diversity, not quality scholarship, is the heart and
soul of this university.

12. Outrage Works
[Carol Iannone 11/08 03:15 PM]

The idea of a student's having a "right" to wear the costume of a suicide
bomber seems the wrong point to be making. To me it's like saying someone
has the "right" to make a film ridiculing people with handicaps. I guess
there's no law, but it's not a matter of law; it's a matter of the tenor
of a society in which civilized people wish to live. I don't understand
turning everything into a "right." It goes with the way our society is
increasingly defined by laws and politics rather than by an understanding
of the pre-political, sub-legal morals and mores that promote virtuous
behavior and good citizenship. And I like Anthony's formulation,
"Society clearly needs the moral stewardship of its citizens."

Also, Anthony makes the point that it is better that "public ostracism"
should do the job rather than censorship, by which I think he means some
kind of official censorship. Ok, but public ostracism is a form of
censorship. The student has apologized and it is unlikely that he will
publicly express himself in that fashion again, or find so many of his
dopey fellows willing to participate in his charades.

Furthermore, Gutmann has issued a second statement in which she does not
reiterate the student's "right," but calls the costume offensive and
horrific and the photograph with her an embarrassment to the university.
Some are evidently calling the statement another non-apology apology, but
I think it represents progress. The offensive speech was met with more
and better speech and the point has been won (except evidently in some
"conservative" libertarian circles). Civilization 1; Savagery 0.

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