Alan Dershowitz
Professor, Harvard Law School
00:53

Why do you defend Israel?

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Everybody should be subject to one standard, Alan Dershowitz says.

Alan Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School. In addition to his teaching, Dershowitz is a prolific author who makes frequent media and public appearances, and who is known for his commentary on the Arab-Israeli conflict as well as his work on numerous high-profile cases. As a criminal appellate lawyer, Dershowitz successfully argued to overturn the conviction of Claus von Bulow for the attempted murder of his wife, Sunny. He also served as the appellate advisor in the criminal trial of O.J. Simpson.

Dershowitz joined the faculty of Harvard Law School as an assistant professor of law in 1964. He was made a full professor of law in 1967, at the age of 28, becoming, at that time, Harvard's youngest full law professor in the school's history. Dershowitz is also the author of more than 20 works of fiction and non-fiction, including Blasphemy: How the Religious Right is Hijacking the Declaration of Independence (2007), The Case for Israel (2003), the bestseller Chutzpah (1991), and Reversal of Fortune (1986), which was made into an Academy Award-winning film. More than a million of his books have been sold worldwide and in numerous languages.

Dershowitz joined the faculty of Harvard Law School as an assistant professor of law in 1964. He was made a full professor of law in 1967, at the age of 28, becoming, at that time, Harvard's youngest full law professor in the school's history. Dershowitz is also the author of more than 20 works of fiction and non-fiction, including Blasphemy: How the Religious Right is Hijacking the Declaration of Independence (2007), The Case for Israel (2003), the bestseller Chutzpah (1991), and Reversal of Fortune (1986), which was made into an Academy Award-winning film. More than a million of his books have been sold worldwide and in numerous languages.

Transcript

Question: Why do you defend Israel? 

Alan Dershowitz: My speaking up on behalf of what I think is a kind of worldwide bigotry against the Jewish state; not that it shouldn’t be subjected to criticism, but by subjecting it to a double standard.

For example, the British boycott which lets Iran, and Cuba, and the Sudan, and China off the hook and only focuses on Israel, where Arab academics have greater academic freedom in Israel than they do in any Muslim or Arab state.

So I’ve been spending a lot of time, again, trying to subject this criticism of Israel to a single standard, which is part of the whole jurisprudential framework. Everybody should have a single standard.

 

Recorded On: June 12, 2007


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