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Roger L. Simon

The Good Dershowitz vs. The Bad Jimmuh

April 8th, 2013 - 10:55 pm

I am less interested in whom to blame than I am in the larger issue — that a major Jewish university could actually honor a man who calls Israel an “apartheid state,” indeed may have done more than anyone to mainstream that concept through the title of his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

We are only a couple of days past Holocaust Remembrance Day so you will excuse me if this controversy throws me back to my childhood when I first became aware of that horrifying event. That awareness came via the Auschwitz numbers tattooed on the arms of the nurses in my father’s medical office, something very hard for a seven-year old New York boy to wrap his mind around.

I wondered then and still do how anyone could have allowed this to happen. In another part of his interview, Dershowitz pointed out that “Carter during his presidency sat idly by while 2 million Cambodians were killed by Pol Pot.” But that, reprehensible as it was, is not what interests me here. What interests me is how Jews could give an award to such a person. What strange delirium compels it?

And that throws me back not to my own childhood (the 1950s) but to the 1930s when, as we all know, many of the seeds of the Holocaust were being planted (those seeds that had not been planted centuries before that). It strikes me that some German Jewish intellectuals of that time might well have sought to honor the equivalent of Jimmy Carter.

Purely accidentally I am in the midst of reading a book about that era — A Terrible Splendor — that narrates the famous 1937 Davis Cup match between the German Gottfried von Cramm and Don Budge. Von Cramm, evidently quite a handsome and charming man, was also a homosexual, a group, as readers no doubt know, not loved by Hitler who sent them to the camps with the Jews, gypsies, and, later, the Catholics. The German tennis star’s sexual proclivities were apparently well known to the Gestapo and he was quite literally playing for his life as he battled the American at Wimbledon.

The book’s author — Marshall Jon Fisher — does an excellent job of drawing portraits of the people confronting those incredibly difficult times. Some kept their moral compass. Others didn’t. Just like ours.

I think we can say that Alan Dershowitz has largely kept his moral compass. Jimmy Carter is another matter. The folks at Yeshiva University — students, faculty, and administration — would be well advised to search inside themselves for where they stand. And why.

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Nice try, Dershowitz, but this would not be a fair debate given Jimmy Carter's double digit IQ.

Why don't you challenge someone like Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz or Eric Cantor to a debate as to why YOU and so many American Jews helped elect and re-elect the most clueless and incompetent president in US history. And don't tell me Obama is "brilliant" because all that will prove is that he is deliberately destroying everything that made this country great, and a weak and feckless America doesn't help Israel in the long run.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Roger, as a Jewish person could you please explain something to me in light of the Holocaust Rememberance Day? Jews say "Never Again" why is it that so many support the disarming of themselves and others who would fight for and with them against such tyranny. Did they learn nothing from the disarming of Jews by Hitler? How about the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto who finally fought back? Why do so many Jews work towards their own destruction here and in Israel? For a purportedly intelligent people that's the stupidist thing I could imagine them doing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When speaking of Jimmuh, don't forget his diehard pro Palestinian/anti Israel stance or the book he wrote he titled Apartheid

Or when he teaches Bible to children in Sunday school, he finds in the text the 'rational' basis for his own anti-Semitism.

Or his mother's astute observation:

Sometimes I look at my children and think..."Lillian, you should have stayed a virgin."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (51)
All Comments   (51)
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It's truly scary that YU wants to give Carter an award, when all he deserves is a Bronx cheer.
However, I'm sure Henry Ford would not be happy with the liberal Ford Foundation. Nor would Dr Albert Barnes be happy with the Barnes Foundation completely disregarding his legal will.
I wonder if alumni contributions were a consideration in YU's awards process.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Alan Dershowitz also stood up for George Zimmerman in the Treyvon martin case, which I also give him a lot of credit for. Unlike many leftists he is occasionally capable of standing up to his fellow leftists when he thinks it is right. A rare quality among the left, when they usually march in lockstep, and will tolerate evil from their own that they would never tolerate from a conservative.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dershowitz isn't so much a leftist as an old-school liberal. The latter can often be worked with.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
ISTR communist Jews hunting down religious Jews in the early Soviet Union and shutting down synagogues. Left wing political affiliation may be a stronger force than ethnic solidarity.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There's been so much speculation here about why American Jews are so wedded to the Democrat Party but no one's mentioned that part of the reason is a reaction to the monumental anti-Jewish sentiment among the WASP aristocracy, when there WAS such a thing as a Wasp aristocracy. This prejudice among Protestant Republicans began in the 19th century and continued until WASPs became a despised group in the '60s.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I had two encounters with President Carter's peacemaking in 1994. In one, he negotiated the surrender of the junta controlling Haiti as my unit was in the process of invading the country. This saved a few US lives and quite a few Haitian lives in a conflict that could have spiraled into another guerrilla war. Also in 1994, the US approached armed conflict with North Korea to the point where my unit sent advanced parties to the Korean pennisula in preparation. President Carter had negotiated that stand down as well. I won't argue his other actions, but it is possible to award a person a peace prize for something that doesn't involve Isreal.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The country and Jimmuh Cahtuh would both be better off if he had stuck to growing peanuts. His brother Billy had more sense, and that's not saying much.

Billy once appeared on I think (may have been some other talk show) Johnny Carson. Carson asked Billy the difference between a redneck and a good ol' boy. Billy said rednecks drive pickup trucks with rifle racks and KKK stickers, drink beer, and throw the empties out of the truck window. He went on to say good ol' boys ride around in trucks with rifle racks and "Jesus Saves" stickers, and put the empty beer cans in a paper sack.

Billy may not have been so dumb after all. :-)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Nice try, Dershowitz, but this would not be a fair debate given Jimmy Carter's double digit IQ.

Why don't you challenge someone like Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz or Eric Cantor to a debate as to why YOU and so many American Jews helped elect and re-elect the most clueless and incompetent president in US history. And don't tell me Obama is "brilliant" because all that will prove is that he is deliberately destroying everything that made this country great, and a weak and feckless America doesn't help Israel in the long run.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There is a strain in Christianity I think of as "dumb compassion." It confuses spiritual self surrender with self punishment. The error of ascetics of all religions. American Christians of certain stripes seek absolution, or perversely a kind of moral superiority, by surrendering, or appearing to surrender their own interests to those of pretty much anyone else. The more adverse to their own interests the "anyone else" is, the more virtuous they feel in surrendering their interests to them. I have always thought Carter was Exhibit A for dumb compassion. Add to that his descent into bitterness after the American voters so decisively threw his sorry butt out of office in 1980, and he felt perfectly comfortable altering his own dumb compassion formula to surrender the interests of his country instead of his own, while retaining the moral preening part for hi
mself.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Dumb compassion", like "masochistic omnipotence" (i.e. the belief that all bad things are due to you/your ethnosocial group) is a special case of inverted narcissism.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well said. I think there's a great tendency to mistake spiritual exercises for absolute commandments. I don't think you can have wisdom without compassion, but it's certainly possible to practice compassion without wisdom. "Love your enemy" doesn't mean "Let your enemy murder you."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How did that idiot Carter ever get nominated, never mind elected? Really. I was too young to vote then.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Same way Obama did. He came along at a stressful, divisive time. He projected an image to people. People projected their hopes and needs onto him. He encouraged them to do so, and they voted for him.

His image was that of a humble, square-dealing, Christian (this was before rampant atheism really took hold) country farmer, highly intelligent but not "sophisticated" - a Washington outsider who wasn't tainted by all the disgusting mess that had been going on in the capitol and elsewhere. People were tired of Vietnam, Watergate, the energy crisis, gas lines, the Arab-Israeli conflict, terrorism, hijackings, and general "malaise" as Carter called it. Things sucked. People thought Mr. Humble was the answer to their prayers. Carter was the escapist president.

And the Republicans had no one. Their brand was damaged by Watergate and not helped much by Ford.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I can't figure out Dershowitz. Sometimes he's great and sometimes he's a fanatic "Liberal" even when it means contradicting his better statements. His suggestions to Israel only endanger the country. He's not consistent.
Carter is a very dangerous man. What could be behind YU's Law School giving him that award?
http://shilohmusings.blogspot.co.il/2013/04/yu-cardozo-law-school-wheres-tzeddek.html
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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