Defending Alan Dershowitz is not a Jewish issue
Well known rights advocate, celebrated criminal attorney and Harvard law Professor Alan Dershowitz is under attack. An under-age girl claimed in court proceedings that she had sexual relations with him while she was a “sex slave” by businessman Jeffrey Epstein. Dershowitz, who is truly a master of media, knows all too well that the the court of public opinion works much quicker than the court of law; and he is not wasting any time firing back at his accuser.
Time will tell whether or not he is guilty—but his character will be hurt regardless. The manner in which media and the public are drawn to certain issues, accusations such as these are harmful whether true or not.
Truth be told, I do not know him personally—but I have never been fond of Professor Dershowitz. I do not believe he is a good spokesman for Israel or the Jewish people. He talks of being Pro-Israel and Pro-Palestinian, he advocates for the discrimination of Jews when he proclaims that Jews should not live in Hebron, and has been an outspoken advocate for President Obama who has been a disaster for both America and Israel. Dershowitz is no more than a well-spoken uber-liberal American Jew. I find that he is always about what is good for Alan Dershowitz.
As a high-profile CEO of a major PR Agency, I find his claims, as well as the claims of others implying that accusations against Dershowitz are about Anti-Semitism or are somehow a Jewish issue to be quite absurd. Whether they are found to be true or not, this is simply not a Jewish issue.
When Bernie Madoff was arrested, I wrote at the time that “I don’t believe that the “Jewish Brand” was affected in any way by the Madoff scheme. The Madoff family is a clan of crooks—of which every race, religion and people has, and the Jewish people are no different. America is well beyond the Anti-Semitism of the USA of Henry Ford.” And that was true. Madoff was a crook—but he did not represent the Jews.
When Dershowitz claims that “Anti-Semites and anti-Israel “zealots” are having a field day over sexual abuse allegations leveled against him”, and “The anti-Semites are crawling out from under their rocks, they are loving this...,” he is inappropriate and wrong.
Working on countless high-profile issues, I would be amazed if Dershowitz received even 50 emails from anti-Semites as he claims. (Although it is smart PR—sympathy does help when you are accused of rape.)
Dershowitz’s assertion that Jews should support him, telling the Jerusalem Post, “I’m not only defending myself here but I am defending other values as well. I am defending the values that I have represented and stood for, for so many years” is, frankly, offensive. Maybe the values people are offended by include the fact that he got Michael Jackson, a long-suspected child molester, off the hook.
Perhaps other Jews feel as noted conservative Debbie Schlussel wrote in 2012, that Dershowitz is a “schmuck,” which she called him when she said he was a “plagiarist” who “misses no chance to support a Palestinian State and attack Jews’ rights to live where they want including in Jerusalem (which he derides as “illegal settlements”), all while he pretends to be a strong advocate for Israel, and supports Barack Obama.”
I have no idea whether Alan Dershowitz is or is not guilty. I simply know that defending him is not and should not be a Jewish issue. As a proud Jew, I find the argument that he should be protected because of his Jewishness, to be despicable.
Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur, author and blogger for The Times of Israel.