Alan Dershowitz, Pro-Torture Plagiarist, Deigns to Lecture Us On Intellectual Honesty

Alan Dershowitz, a pro-torture plagiarist who has inexplicably managed to find employment at Harvard Law School, has written an embarrassingly incompetent Op-Ed at the Huffington Post. In it, he accuses the Department of Political Science at Brooklyn College of having an ‘Israel problem’ because it has sponsored, and thereby, according to Dershowitz, endorsed the contents of, a panel discussion featuring Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti on the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement. Throughout this screed, Dershowitz reveals the anti-intellectual dishonesty so characteristic of Brooklyn College’s worst alumnus.

Consider:

The president of Brooklyn College claims that this co-sponsorship does not constitute an endorsement by the college and that this is an issue of freedom of speech and academic freedom. But when a department of a university officially co-sponsors and endorses an event advocating DBS against Israel, and refuses to co-sponsor and endorse an event opposing such DBS, that does constitute an official endorsement. Freedom of speech, and academic freedom require equal access to both sides of a controversy, not official sponsorship and endorsement of one side over the other. The heavy thumb of an academic department should not be placed on the scale, if the marketplace of ideas is to remain equally accessible to all sides of a controversy.

For a Harvard Law professor, Dershowitz has a poor understanding of freedom of speech and academic freedom; he also cannot construct a coherent argument.

If a department sponsors an event featuring a speaker committed to thesis X, it is merely committed to hosting the speaker and providing the speaker a forum in which to air her views. Those views might be contested by those attending the talk, thus engendering a discussion space where they might even be refuted.  This provision of a forum to the speaker is all that is required to show support for academic freedom; it does not require the department to then seek out a speaker committed to the thesis Not-X. Were another student organization to organize an event featuring a speaker committed to Not-X, the department could evaluate that request for sponsorship separately.

There are many more quotes that illustrate Dershowitz’s poor grasp of the concepts central to his claim. (He is, of course, deliberately oblivious to how his advocacy of censorship is inimical to freedom of speech and academic freedom.)For now, I want to address another claim that he makes, one which he desperately hopes will serve to obfuscate the issue: does the sponsorship of such an event create a hostile atmosphere for  ‘pro-Israel’ students and for faculty? Only if those students and faculty imagine the discussion of political claims and counterclaims creates a hostile atmosphere. If they do feel so then their problem is not with the particular thesis being presented but with the very idea of the open discussion of uncomfortable topics. That’s a problem the department of Political Science cannot be held responsible for. If every academic department were to stop sponsoring events for fear that someone, somewhere, is likely to be offended, that their students would somehow think that the department was officially endorsing the views expressed therein, then there would be no discussion on campus at all.

But that is what Dershowitz wants: an end to all discussion, to be replaced by the rote recitation and memorization of a party line written up by him.

Note: I have posted on the BDS event at Brooklyn College before; please do read that post and write in with your expressions of support. The Dershowitz-sponsored bullying is now in full effect.

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33 comments on “Alan Dershowitz, Pro-Torture Plagiarist, Deigns to Lecture Us On Intellectual Honesty

  1. Jonathan Miller says:

    Your arguments are spot on. As with so many other “pro Israel” advocates, Mr Dershowitz is endangering the future of Israel by opposing any and all ideas that may be construed as hurting the cause of Zionism. In the long run this rigidity will hurt Israel.
    Both sides in this seemingly intractable situation need to try and see the world through the eyes of their enemy.

  2. Jared Michaelson says:

    I think Dershowitz characteristically polarizes and obscures the issues involved here. Buried in all the vitriol is a genuine concern, on the part of those of us who otherwise support the right of BDS activists to a forum at Brooklyn College. The concern is this: a political science department becomes less hospitable to certain students when it embraces, or seems publicy to embrace, a cause that polarizes and alienates whole student groups. If the Poli-Sci department sponsored an event titled, “Preserving Jewish Rights in Ancient Samaria,” or “Ways to Protect Heterosexual Marriage in a Secular Age,” we’d have the same problem: certain students (Palestinians and Gays/Transgender, respectively) would feel like the department was not hospitable to them.

    As far as I can see, that’s the only issue against the sponsorship. But don’t misunderstand: it is absolutely wrong, and possibly unconstitutional, to prevent BDS from speaking at the college. It is equally wrong to oppose a department sponsoring a particular speaker, no matter what he or she advocates. The worry is about departments taking up very polarizing causes. And it’s a real worry.

  3. Your ad hominem attacks on Dershowitz are, to say the very least, not befitting someone with a Ph.D. in philosophy. I offer you a comment that I have found myself writing in the margins of my 100-level students’ papers: Don’t distract from the evaluation of the author’s argument by attacking the author’s character.

    Also, how, exactly, do you conclude that Dershowitz is engaging in “advocacy of censorship” when he explicitly states “My sole objection is to the official sponsorship and endorsement of DBS by an official department of a public (or for that matter private) college.” In fact, most of his essay focuses not on the issue of whether the event should take place, but rather whether the event should receive the official sponsorship of Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department. What does that have to do with freedom of speech?

    Jared Michaelson makes an excellent point above when he states that “The worry is about departments taking up very polarizing causes. And it’s a real worry.” I know absolutely nothing about Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department, but I do know that activist departments exist, and when academic departments cross the line from academic discourse to political advocacy, they abandon their purpose and abuse their authority. There certainly are departments that sponsor talks by activists on one side of an issue while never even contemplating sponsoring talks by activists on the other side of an issue, and I don’t think that it’s unreasonable to charge those departments with endorsing a particular viewpoint. Even worse, members of those departments often hide behind “academic freedom” to add a veneer of legitimacy to their political advocacy. Again, whether Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department is guilty of doing this is something that I know absolutely nothing about. But if (repeat: if) Dershowitz is correct in asserting that the Department would never sponsor an event featuring activists who represent the opposite viewpoint, then he is right to object to Departmental sponsorship of this event.

    In any case, this seems to me to be an excellent opportunity to discuss a complicated issue: Under what conditions does sponsorship of an event by an academic department constitute an endorsement of the dominant message that will be expressed at that event? The answer to that question is not obvious, and when we resort to childish name-calling, we miss the opportunity to have a real discussion about an important issue.

    • Zach W. says:

      Regarding the polarizing nature of the topic, let’s not forget that David Horowitz gave a lecture at Brooklyn College that was ardently pro- Israel where he described the entire Palestinian culture as being sick. Whether or not it was endorsed by there political science department, I’m not sure. As far as I know, however, there was no opposing view posited aside from some audience members. I’m sure Dershowitz was more than aware of this. It is important to hold ourselves to the same standards as we would hold our opponents.

  4. kurt mosser says:

    “if (repeat: if) Dershowitz is correct in asserting that the Department would never sponsor an event featuring activists who represent the opposite viewpoint, then he is right to object to Departmental sponsorship of this event.”

    What do you right in the margins of papers when the authors put forth conditionals that are, in-principle, unknowable? As you recognize, this antecedent is moot without considerably more information (such as a policy stating that it will never sponsor such an event: rather unlikely). Hence the conditional as a whole is pointless, and, consequently, can hardly be used to support the claim that such an objection is correct.

    • And to briefly reply to what Kurt Mosser said: You are being uncharitable in your interpretation of my claim. Obviously, nobody could be certain that the department would never sponsor such an event. However, it is possible, in certain cases, to make very educated guesses about such matters. The most obviously source of evidence would be recent history: What sorts of events has the department sponsored (or refused to sponsor) in the recent past? Some departments (again, I have no idea whether Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department is one of them) have clear track records that indicate that it is very unlikely that they would even consider sponsoring events at which certain viewpoints would be likely to be advocated.

  5. kurt says:

    er, “write.” wow.

  6. Greetings Samir!

    Essential reading: Barghouti’s book, BDS: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions–The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights (Haymarket Books, 2011), and Audrea Lim, ed., The Case for Sanctions Against Israel (Verso, 2012). By way of background with regard to Dershowitz, whose role in this affair is not at all surprising, please see Norman G. Finkelstein’s Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History (University of California Press, 2008 ed.). The epilogue to the latter volume contains Frank J. Menetrez’s essay: “Dershowitz v. Finkelstein: Who’s Right and Who’s Wrong?” As Mearsheimer and Walt remind us, Dershowitz is (along with Martin Peretz, among others), one of the prominent American apologists for Israel, subscribing to and propagating at every turn the ideological narrative the “portrays Israel as a country that has sought peace at every turn and showed great and noble restraint even when provoked. The Arabs, by contrast, are said to have acted with deep wickedness and indiscriminate violence.” I’ll cite here just one title here that reveals the egregious extent to which that narrative subverts or distorts, and buries historical truth(s): Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land: A Critical Analysis of Israel’s Security & Foreign Policy (University of Michigan Press, 2009 ed.).

    • Ads Hummingham says:

      Your inability to distinguish between ad hominem and ad personam is itself ad hominem, entitling you for a full refund for your supposed education

  7. [...] Yesterday’s post on Alan Dershowitz‘s attempt to intimidate the Brooklyn College Political Science department into withdrawing its sponsorship of an event on the BDS movement, featuring Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti, generated some interesting comments. I will offer some brief responses here. [...]

  8. Saying that someone is a “pro-torture plagiarist who has inexplicably managed to find employment at Harvard Law School” is not offering a mere description of them. And, sure, you did offer independent arguments, but clearly your characterization of Dershowitz was designed to bias readers against his arguments. If not, why include that characterization at all? Why not merely refer to him as a “Professor at Harvard Law School”? So, perhaps this is not the “letter” of the ad hominem fallacy, but it captures its “spirit.” In any case, whether or not the ad hominem charge sticks, the childish name-calling charge certainly does.

    Regarding your response to my other point, I am not taking everything that Dershowitz says at face value, and I certainly disagree with some of what he said in his editorial. I was pointing out that he explicitly stated that his sole objection was to departmental sponsorship of the event and that his essay was mostly focused on that issue. Before he explicitly stated that, by the way, he said the following: “I have no problem with a DBS campaign being conducted by radical students at Brooklyn College or anywhere else. Students have a right to promote immoral causes on college campuses. Nor do I have a problem with such an event being sponsored by the usual hard left, anti-Israel and anti-American groups, such as some of those that are co-sponsoring this event.” He is explicitly stating that while he is opposed to the message that is likely to be expressed at the event, he is not opposing the right of student groups to hold the event.

    Clearly, you disagree with Dershowitz’s views and some of his tactics, but to assert that they amount to “coercion” is histrionic. And he certainly should not get to decide the content and format of speech at Brooklyn College events, but he never claims that he should have that ability. I don’t know a tremendous amount about Alan Dershowitz, so I am evaluating his editorial based on what he said. It seems that you, on the other hand, are comfortable attributing views to him that are in contradiction with his explicitly stated views, based on your overall impression of him.

    • Samir Chopra says:

      Kevin,

      I included that characterization to, er, characterize Dershowitz, to indicate my opinion of his scholarship. Perhaps that might let my readers know what I think of the target of my critique. I then also offer arguments to refute his claims. They can evaluate both and see what sways them more. I have some faith in their ability to pull the two apart. As for ‘childish name-calling’, well, I agree that pro-torture plagiarists who abuse their power, level incoherent and inflammatory charges of anti-semitism and attempt to intimidate the exchange of ideas make me use strong language. Perhaps that’s what they deserve?

      In parting, you characterize my reaction to him as ‘histrionic’. Let me help you with something: there is a thing called power and there are people who have it, and have access to it, and can exert it, in order to make outcomes come out the way they want them to. When they do that and exert themselves against people whose opinions they disagree with it’s called ‘coercion’.

      I am now repeating myself so I should sign out with a ‘Done’.

      • I just remembered the name of the fallacy that I had in mind: poisoning the well. Commentators on Fox News do it all the time. Philosophy professors shouldn’t.

      • Samir Chopra wrote: “…there is a thing called power and there are people who have it, and have access to it, and can exert it, in order to make outcomes come out the way they want them to.”

        This statement is an apparent attempt to depict your demonetization of Dershowitz as parrhesia. It is not parrhesia unless
        1. the person at which your criticism is directed has the power to harm you, and in this case has no such power, and
        2. your statements are true, and your arguments are valid, which (as we have bee discussing) you have not established.

        It is my observation that BDS lives by depicting criticism of its positions as attempts at suppression of their right to free speech, even though it is very obvious that their right to speak is fully intact. I consider this clever BDS tacit as at best self-contradictory, and at worst sophistic, the argument being: BDS speech must be free, and so criticisms of BDS are (it is claims) inconsistent with BDS free speech. The result is the BDS stance that only their own side gets to exercise free speech. This argument of theirs does require some impressive argumentative footwork, but the intention is really a BDS effort to suppress free speech, and not to maintain it.

  9. I have the impression that not everyone understands the importance of the point made by Kevin Murtagh in his first comment, which is so balanced and so well thought out that it almost deserves to be framed and put on the wall. Samir Chopra leads his criticism, and has based his criticism of Dershowitz, on an ad hominem criticism, which is by definition a logical fallacy. Even if it were true that Dershowitz actually was a “pro-torture plagiarist” that would do absolutely nothing to show his argument about this BDS event at Brooklyn College is false. I find it disheartening that a person who apparently teaches philosophy at Brooklyn College could write such nonsense.

  10. Ad hominem arguments (be they abusive or circumstantial) are not “by definition” logical fallacies, as they are not formal logical fallacies but of the informal type, which means one has to evaluate the argment before deciding whether or not it is indeed fallacious: there are, in fact, nonfallacious ad hominem arguments, as when questions of personal conduct, character, motives and so forth are directly or prominently germane to the issue(s) at hand. We might of course want to describe such arguments as presumptively dangerous (or guilty till proven innocent) for several reasons and often ad hominem arguments are, in fact, fallacious, but the presumption is rebuttable and a specific analysis of the argument (including consideration of the dialogue type or dialogic context of which it is a part) is needed to determine whether or not there is fallacious reasoning in any given case.

    In the case of Dershowitz, an avowed statement of principle, for instance, that his “sole objection is to the official sponsorship and endorsement of DBS by an official department of a public (or for that matter private) college,” may not altogether be a trustworthy or accurate account of his motivation for involving himself in this affair, given our knowledge of his role in previous arguments or affairs involving this or that aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We may want to know if he’s had the same or similar objections in the past when the opportunity presented itself or whether or not he himself, as representative of his university, was involved in events which involved a similar or identical kind of official sponsorship or endorsement. Were he to be inconsistent or engage in contradictory behavior in this regard, an ad hominem argument to that effect may not be fallacious. History informs us that Dershowitz lacks the capacity to put a premium on honesty, truth telling, or the slightest pretense to impartiality or objectivity when it comes to discussing the behavior of the state of Israel vis-a-vis the Palestinians or its Arab citizens or surrounding Arab neighbors. For instance, Dershowitz is infamous for proclaiming that the Israeli killings of Palestinians cannot be compared to those of Palestinians killing Israelis owing to the fact that the former are of a categorically purer type: “unintended,” inadvertent,” and “caused accidentally,” despite the ovewhelming evidence of human rights organizations (inside and outside Israel) to the contrary. In Beyond Chutzpah (cited above), Norman Finkelstein systematically refuted this and other claims made by Dershowitz in his book The Case for Israel (2003), and for this Dershowitiz was instrumental in forging the chain of events that led to Finkelstein’s denial of tenure at De Paul. The conclusion reached by Frank Menetrez in his analysis of the “dispute” between Dershowitz and Finkelstein is worth quoting: “Dershowiz committed academic misconduct both before and in the course of his intervention in Finkelstein’s tenure case.” Dershowitz has a proclivity for identifying articulate criticisms of Israel’s behavior as the product of a “left wing anti-Israel conspiracy,” at one time led by Noam Chomsky, the late Alexander Cockburn, and Finkelstein himself. No doubt Dershowitz is capable of identifying other leaders of this ongoing conspiracy: Richard Falk perhaps, or Ilan Pappe, Omar Barghouti, Charles Glass, Lisa Hajjar, Victor Kattan, or Rashid Khalidi, Joel Kovel, Sara Roy…. The fact that Dershowitz would substantially rely on Joan Peters’ thoroughly discredited best-seller, From Time Immemorial (1984), in his own scholarship speaks volumes: “[Dershowitz] repackaged material from Peter’s discredited best seller, From Time Immemorial and added to it his own imprimature, as a Harvard law professor, in his best seller, The Case for Israel. In short, any statements by Dershowitz can hardly be evaluated as if they were in some historic vacuum or utterly bereft of biographical and political context. It would be nice if we could take him at his word, but….

    • In philosophy,unlike in law, ad hominem arguments are considered to be logical fallacies by definition. The difference in approach is, apparently, that in law one is justified in questioning the reliability of a person who is presenting testimony. In philosophy, we are not dealing with testimony, with but statements and arguments that we must judge for truth and validity, based on the argument itself, without regard to the character of the person making the argument. For a professor of philosophy (which you are not, but which Samir Chopra is) to base an argument on an ad hominem is a error of the first magnitude.

      It needs to be remembered that, in the instance under discussion, Dershowitz is making an argument, not offering testimony. It is the argument that needs consideration, and not the man’s character. Additionally calling Dershowitz a “Pro-Torture Plagiarist” grossly distorts his actual position on the use of torture, and ignores the outcome of the review of Finkelstein’s accusations against Dershowitz that were made at Harvard.

      • I want to add one thing, speaking more directly to Patrick S. O’Donnell:

        Patrick, your statement above, that “…Dershowitz lacks the capacity to put a premium on honesty, truth telling, or the slightest pretense to impartiality or objectivity when it comes to discussing the behavior of the state of Israel…” shows what what I consider an unfortunate fundamental characteristic of BDS supporters. That characteristic is the inclination is to demonize the opponents, and to present them not just as wrong, but as flawed humans virtually to the point of de-humanizing them. This was not the approach taken by, for instance, Martin Luther King, Jr, who argued that his opponents were wrong, and that even if they were his opponents they were sill not enemies. Never did King demonize an opponent, or say the sort of thing about his opponents that you, and other BDS supporters, apparently think acceptable standard procedure. Please think about that.

      • Malcolm,

        I’m sorry you simply are ill-informed, an ad hominem is one of many informal fallacies in philosophy (in law, on the other hand, ad hominem arguments are often perfectly acceptable, as in adversarial criminal proceedings that characterize Anglian legal systems): on informal fallacies, see, for example the list provided by my late colleague and friend Peter A. Angeles in his dictionary, Harper Collins Dictionary of Philosophy (HarperCollins, 2nd ed., 1992). See too Douglas N. Walton’s Informal Logic: A Handbook for Critical Argumentation (Cambridge University Press, 1989). Walton has written entire volumes on a number of these informal fallacies and has helpful discussions of the ad hominem argument as well. A politician can make an argument and sometimes the argument is linked to his character or prior behavior (perhaps revealing inconsistency, dishonesty, and so on) which rightly leads us to suspect he or she may not be telling the truth, or doesn’t sincerely believe in the argument, is too fond of determining which way the wind is blowing, etc. Walton, for instance, provides the following example: George, a lifelong communist, criticizes the post office and puts forward a libertarian capitalist argument for postal reform. His interlocutor, Bob, proclaims, “But George, you are a communist!” Walton elaborates:

        “Let us suppose that in this case George is an avowed communist and has based his previous arguments on many standard principles and positions. Now, in many cases, calling your opponent a communist in an argument could be a fallacious type of ad hominem attack. However, in this instance, Bob seems to have a point. If George is an avowed communist, and communists are for state control and against private enterprise [at least those involving 'public goods'], then how can George consistently argue for a for-profit mail service run by private enterprise? It seems like a legitimate question. Of course, George may be able to resolve the ostensible inconsistency in subsequent dialogue. But surely Bob is justified in challenging the consistency of George’s postion at this point in the dialogue. If so, then in this case, Bob’s circumstantial argument is not fallacious. It is a reasonable use of the ad hominem argument to challenge George’s position.”

        Walton proceeds to explain why it may not do to simply evaluate the argument on its own merits (external v. internal evidence, as it were) and I’ll leave it to you to read the rest of the material.

        Finally, you obviously have not read the analyis by Frank Menetrez (appended to the latest edition of Beyond Chutzpah) or you would not write in good faith that “calling Dershowitz a ‘Pro-Torture Plagiarist’ grossly distorts his actual position on the use of torture, and ignores the outcome of the review of Finkelstein’s accusations against Dershowitz that were made at Harvard.

      • You might want to look this blog post of mine from a couple of years ago. As often happens, were I to write on the topic today, I might revise this a bit, but I think it still holds up fairly well as is, and the references at the end will enable you to see that it is incorrect to label an ad hominem argument as “a logical fallacy by definition:” http://ratiojuris.blogspot.com/2009/08/but-george-youre-communist.html

  11. It is not demonization of Dershowitz to speak the truth about him, any more than it was demonization to speak honestly about President Nixon during and after the Watergate hearings. In any case, I don’t view Dershowitz as an “opponent” in the way civil rights activists committed to nonviolence viewed segregationists and racists as “opponents.” For me, and I suspect many others, the “opponent” are those in power in Israel (and those who support them in the international community) who flout human rights and international humanitarian law, and deny self-determination to the Palestinians. You’re on a rather slippery slope here and I’m not going to join you. There are all sorts of BDS supporters (not a few of them are committed to nonviolence a la Gandhi and King) and I’ve yet to see evidence of demonization or dehumanization among any of them, at least the ones who’ve expressed their views in public fora and written arguments in favor of BDS. When Dershowitz speaks about matters of criminal defense, for instance, I often find his work of value, it’s just that his emotions appear routinely to get the better of him when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as both his published work and behavior routinely attest.

    • Patrick wrote: “For me, and I suspect many others, the “opponent” are those in power in Israel (and those who support them in the international community) who flout human rights and international humanitarian law, and deny self-determination to the Palestinians.”

      Patrick, it is musing to see how completely biased you are to one side in the Israel/Palestine dispute, while demonizing Dershowitz for the same, but leaning to the other side. To me, your whole point of view reads: ‘My side is good, your side is evil.’ There is nothing that could be further from the stance of King.

  12. [...] more direct consideration of comments on my BDS at Brooklyn College and Dershowitz posts (here; here; and here). These are now settling into a familiar pattern of repetition of the same claims again [...]

  13. Indeed. When King supported striking sanitation workers, he was completely biased on the side of the workers, and when he opposed our nation’s involvement in the Vietnam War, bias was pellucid when he proclaimed: “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without first having spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.” Being a partisan on behalf of truth, justice, equality, liberty, and solidarity is nothing to be ashamed about, and that is the only side I wish to be on. Supporting the BDS movement does not thereby imply I endorse everything Palestinians (and those who support them) have done or will do in their emancipatory struggle, but my country is on the side of the dominated in this conflict, not those dominated (it’s an asymmetrical conflict, if perchance you’ve not noticed), and we should do everything we can to work on their behalf. But it’s not my place to preach to those struggling for justice and their rights under law. I will speak out against those who deny them justice and ignore or violate their rights. Only one side of this conflict has had a full and biased hearing on its behalf in the mass media,* so it’s not surprising so many people in this country do not understand the nature of the conflict. Incidentally, some of the best scholarship on this conflict has been written by Jews who have lived or worked (or do live and work) in Israel, like Ilan Pappe, Sylvain Cypel, Neve Gordon, the late Baruch Kimmerling, Haggai Ram, Sara Roy, Oren Yiftachel, and Zeev Maoz (among others). Have you read their work? What kind of bias do they demonstrate? Should you care to immerse yourself in the relevant literature, I have a list of titles here: http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2012/11/the-israeli-palestinian-conflict-a-reading-list.html

    * See:
    •Dunsky, Marda. Pens and Swords: How the American Media Report the Israeli Palestinian Conflict. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008.
    •Falk, Richard and Howard Friel. Israel-Palestine on Record: How the New York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East. London: Verso, 2007.
    •Hafez, Kai, ed. Islam and the West in Mass Media: Fragmented Images in a Globalizing World. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2000.
    •Karim, Karim H. Islamic Peril: Media and Global Violence. Montreal: Black Rose Books, 2000.
    •Lynch, Marc. Voices of the New Arab Public: Iraq, Al-Jazeera and Middle East Politics Today. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.
    •Said, Edward W. Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World. New York: Vintage Books, 1997.
    •Sakr, Naomi. Satellite Realms: Transnational Television, Globalization and the Middle East. London: I.B. Tauris, 2002.
    •Sakr, Naomi, ed. Arab Media and Political Renewal: Community, Legitimacy and Public Life. London: I.B. Tauris & Co., 2007.
    •Shaheen, Jack G. Guilty: Hollywood’s Verdict on Arabs After 9/11. Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press/Interlink, 2008.
    •Shaheen, Jack G. Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People. Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2001.

    Visit online such sites (the list is merely representative) as Jadaliyya, Middle East Research and Information Project, Al-Jazeera, The Arabist, the International Middle East Media Center, and the Palestinian News Network for a taste of the breadth and depth of ideological framing, distortion, and propaganda.

    I suspect further contributions on my part may be to little or no avail, so please have the last word.

    • Patrick, my point concerning King, is that he never demonized his opponents, but for you and other BDS advocated demonizing opponents (such as Dershowitz ) is standard practice. Above you wrote “…Dershowitz lacks the capacity to put a premium on honesty, truth telling, or the slightest pretense to impartiality or objectivity when it comes to discussing the behavior of the state of Israel…”

      I am not sure that it is actually true of Dershowitz, but I am sure it is true of you. Your demonization of those on the pro-Israel side proves that your are fanatically wedded to your cause, and have no objectivity in that subject area at all.

  14. Patrick, you seem to be under the misapprehension that because an ad hominem is an informal fallacy it is a less serious error than if it were a formal fallacy. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact the informal fallacies have the greater potential to result in in harmful and destructive consequences in human society. That is why Samir Chopra ad homimem argument is so extremity problematic.

    Your citing Frank Menetrez as a source shows another problem with BDS advocates: their total reliance on other BDS advocates to support their own arguments. It amounts to saying: ‘I am right in saying that Dershowitz is “pro-torture plagiarist” because all the other BDS advocates agree with me.’ Those may be the only opinions on the subject you care about, but it does not make a good argument. In fact it is no argument at all.

  15. [...] a Great Purge, Dershowitz enjoys a substantial perch from which to pursue his ultimate goal, aptly summed up by Brooklyn College Philosophy professor Samir Chopra as “an end to all discussion, to be replaced by the rote recitation and memorisation of a [...]

  16. [...] from Professor Mitchell Langbert, protesting the choice of the book, and who, in reading from the Alan Dershowitz playbook, demanded ‘balance.’ Langbert also alerted Wiesenfeld to the subversive act of reading [...]

  17. […] Alan Dershowitz, Pro-Torture Plagiarist, Deigns to Lecture Us On Intellectual Honesty: When Alan Dershowitz decided he wanted to interfere with Brooklyn College’s academic departments’ rights to conduct academic events on campus, I was incensed, and said as much. The posts on this ‘BDS controversy at Brooklyn College’ also brought in a record number of comments, which should not have been all that surprising given that they were, after all, about Israel and Palestine. […]

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