Yesterday, I had the great honor of hearing Alan Dershowitz speak at UCLA, on the topic of his new book The Case for Israel. As usual, he was eloquent and made alot of sense. Some of his most interesting points were as follows:
– If you scratch an anti-Israel person, you will find beneath the surface an anti-American person
– If you scratch an anti-Semitic person, you find beneath the surface an anti-Christian person
– America cannot, on one hand, fight terror, and on the other hand, reward terror vis-a-vis Israel
Which is not to say that I agreed with everything he said. For instance, he claimed that Israel should build the security fence, but only in sensitive areas, leaving out the sections which would encroach into palestinian territory. Yet I fail to see how leaving out sections of the fence would prevent suicide bombers from entering Israel. Furthermore, he seemed to contradict himself when he claimed that the pro-palestinian views of US universitiy professors may result in the next generation of Americans taking a more pro-palestinian position, but then subsequently said that he does not think that US students would be brainwashed into thinking a certain way by their professors.
Dershowitz also spent some time explaining the ridiculous allegations of plagiarism made against him by the likes of Norman Finkelstein, explaining them in the context of a concerted campaign to silence pro-Israel speakers.
All in all, Dershowitz showed why he is one of the most brilliant minds in the world today. And although I do not agree with all of his views, I admire the way that his mind works.