(JTA) — Alan Dershowitz, the famed civil libertarian and champion of Israel, has become one of President Trump’s most reliable defenders — to a point. He agrees with the president that a special counsel should never have been appointed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. He appears regularly on Fox News to argue that if the Trump camp colluded with Russia, it would be “terrible, but not a crime.” And he insists that if the shoe were on the other foot, and a special counsel were going after a Democratic president, liberals would be fighting it tooth and nail.
Now Dershowitz is complaining that his views have made him a pariah — at his favorite summer getaway. In an article for The Hill, Dershowitz, the former Harvard Law professor, writes that in defending “Trump’s civil liberties,” he has been shunned by liberals, particularly on Martha’s Vineyard, where he has a home.
“The divisions have gotten so bad that many on both sides refuse to speak or listen to those on the other side. Either you are for Trump or against him, and that is all some people need to know to make judgments about you,” Dershowitz wrote, adding “I know this because I have experienced this firsthand on Martha’s Vineyard. I am not a Trump supporter nor am I member of the Trump administration.”
Later in the piece, Dershowitz once again references Martha’s Vineyard, noting that his opposition to Trump’s politics “is not good enough … So they are shunning me and trying to ban me from their social life on Martha’s Vineyard.”
And if anyone didn’t hear him the first two times, he returns to the theme in discussing a call by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., to harass Trump administration officials.
“Right now I am speaking up in disagreement with Maxine Waters,” Dershowitz says in closing. “She — like those who shun me on Martha’s Vineyard — is part of the problem rather than the solution.”
Although The Hill published Dershowitz’s article on June 27, it only began to gain traction this week, with notable figures mocking the academic on Twitter.
“Please say a prayer for Alan Dershowitz. His friends on Martha’s Vineyard are being mean to him,” Tommy Vietor, a former Obama administration aide and founder of the anti-Trump Crooked Media, wrote sarcastically.
Jeet Heer of The New Republic drew a facetious comparison with historical figures who suffered for their political beliefs.
“Socrates was forced to eat hemlock. Ovid, Dante, & Emma Goldman were sent into exile. Margaret Sanger was jailed. Rosa Luxemburg, Gandhi and Martin Luther King were killed. Spinoza was excommunicated,” he tweeted. “Alan Dershowitz can’t find anyone to dine with at Martha’s Vineyard.”
Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, drew a comparison with Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
“Dear Alan Dershowitz,” Lieu wrote. “You seem bothered your friends in Martha’s Vineyard no longer invite you to nice dinners. I note the @POTUS you defend has ripped away babies & kids from parents. Over 2,000 kids have not been reunited & some may never be. Have a nice July 4th.”
Dershowitz himself responded on Twitter on Tuesday, writing two tweets.
“I’m reveling not whining. I’m proud of taking an unpopular, principled position that gets me shunned by partisan zealots. It’s not about me. I couldn’t care less about being shunned by such people. It’s about their unwillingness to engage in dialogue,” he wrote.
“It’s bad enough when college students demand trigger warnings and safe spaces to avoid hearing views with which they disagree. But it’s worse when it comes from professors and media people,” he added. “It’s a dangerous sign of the times.”