The Dersh fights back


As we noted in an earlier post, Alan Dershowitz has been taking heat for his recent column defending President Obama.

Among those taking aim is British columnist Melanie Phillips:

Alan Dershowitz is one of the most prolific, high-profile and indefatiguable defenders of Israel and the Jewish people against the tidal wave of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish feeling currently coursing through the west. So a piece by him in the Wall Street Journal giving expression to the rising anxiety being felt about Obama by American Jews naturally arouses great interest.

But just like the majority of American Jews, getting on for 80 per cent of whom voted for Obama, he is a Democrat supporter who is incapable of acknowledging the truth about this President. For most American Jews, the horror of even entertaining the hypothetical possibility that they might ever in a million years have to vote for a Republican is so great they simply cannot see what is staring them in the face — that this Democratic President is lethal for both Israel and the free world. And in this article Dershowitz shows that he too is just as blind. …

In response, The Dersh writes:

… Phillips, for all her good work in Great Britain on behalf of Israel, has absolutely no understanding of American politics. She would turn Israel into a wedge issue, in which Republicans were seen as the supporters of Israel and Democrats as its enemy. This is precisely what has happened, with disastrous results, throughout much of Europe. In most European countries, the left-wing political parties are anti-Israel, often virulently so. The right-wing political parties are generally more supportive of Israel, though not nearly as supportive as they should be in many instances. Because young people tend to be more liberal than their elders, support for Israel throughout Europe, has also become a generational wedge issue, with younger people opposing Israel far more than older people. 

This is precisely the situation American supporters of Israel want to avoid. We do not want to replicate the horrible situation that currently exists in Phillips’ Great Britain. We want Israel to remain a bipartisan issue and an issue that does not divide generations. During the Bush administration, Republican support for Israel – which they linked to their failed Iraq policy – alienated many younger and more liberal voters who despised Bush, Cheney and their policies.

Among the reasons that I supported Obama, having first supported Hillary Clinton, is because I believed, and continue to believe, that a young, extremely popular African American President who supports Israel, even if he disagrees with its policies regarding settlement expansion, would be far more influential with mainstream Americans and with people throughout the world than an old conservative republican, who also supported Israel. That is why I gave, and continued to give, President Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt in his dealings with Israel. I take him at his word that he seeks to bring about peace, by means of a two state solution pursuant to which all the Arab states recognize Israel’s right to thrive as a Jewish democracy, while agreeing that any Palestinian state must be demilitarized and incapable of waging war or terrorist attacks against Israel….  

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