What do Glenn Greenwald, Alan Dershowitz, and the Israeli UN Ambassador have in common?

27 Feb

Glenn Greenwald will be delivering the Brooklyn College political science department’s 39th annual Samuel J. Konefsky Memorial Lecture this year.  The topic of the lecture: “Civil Liberties and Endless War in the Age of Obama.” The lecture will be held on Monday, March 4, at 1 pm.  In the Gold Room (6th Floor) of SUBO, which is the student center building, located at Campus Road and 27th Street. The lecture is open to the public.

Like Alan Dershowitz, a previous Konefsky Lecturer, Greenwald will be speaking alone. Like the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Greenwald will balance himself.

42 Responses to “What do Glenn Greenwald, Alan Dershowitz, and the Israeli UN Ambassador have in common?”

  1. hophmi February 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    As far as I know, Greenwald will not be using his platform to make tendentious arguments about why Israelis deserve to be singled out for discrimination.

    • Corey Robin February 27, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

      You actually have no idea what Greenwald is going to say. Greenwald is an advocate of a specific point of view, one that many people in the United States disagree with, not only conservatives but liberals. And the argument that most people lodged against the BDS event was that the speakers would present only side of the argument. Greenwald, I can assure you, will be doing the same; he will not be presenting the anti-civil liberties argument. In addition, Elliot Abrams will be coming to the campus in March, to speak by himself in an event co-sponsored by the political science department. Of course I expect not to hear a word of protest about that from you or anyone else who raised such concern over the BDS event. It’s fine; no need to explain. The double-standard is plain for all to see.

      • hophmi February 27, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

        Actually, my public record shows that I strongly criticized those who took the protest any further once the PoliSci department said that its policy was to sponsor pretty much whatever the students asked them to, and I have told people in my community that since then. My point to you was that the PoliSci department did a poor job of conveying that to others because they were not clear with the organizers on the difference between sponsorship and endorsement.

        I have no double standard here. My conscience is clear and I have the evidence to back it up, which I’m glad to furnish you privately.

      • Corey Robin February 27, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

        The fact that the poli sci department had a long history of co-sponsoring talks representing only one view and that we never heard from you criticizing that, and that you only jumped to criticize the lack of balance when this issue of BDS came up, speaks volumes. The poli sci department did a perfectly find job of conveying this history to everyone else — the mistake of the BDS group of changing co-sponsorship to endorsement was just that, a mistake; it was they, after all, who had offered us the alternative of doing one or the other; when we pointed out to them the mistake, they fixed it right away. In any event, as I pointed out to a commenter below, the major protagonists in this debate — Dershowitz, the City Council, and the progressive politicians (sorry, I don’t include you among the major protagonists, as much as you might want to elevate your position in all this) — all focused on the issue of balance at this one event. They (like you) never showed the slightest bit of concern about a lack of balance at previous events at Brooklyn College, even when that was pointed out to them. And now that we have additional one-sided events, they show not the slightest bit of concern. The whole issue of balance was a patently obvious sideshow. I just wish everyone would come clean on what their real standard is: it’s fine for pro-Israel speakers to have the stage to themselves (with department sponsorship) — hence no protest around Elliot Abrams or Dershowitz before him; it’s not fine for the other side.

        I’m not particularly interested in your evolving position is on this matter; I’m speaking again about the politicians and public figures who threatened my department and my college and/or attempted to force their agenda down our throats.

  2. Malcolm Schosha February 27, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    Corey I think you understand that BDS exists to promote, among other things, the blacklisting of Israeli scholars. I suppose the reason Dershowitz wanted an additional speaker at the BDS forum is because he suspected that:

    1. teachers in the Political Science Dept were promoting only one side of that issue, ie the BDS side, and

    2. he also assumed that teachers in the Political Science Dept were balancing his own views on Israel, or Glenn Greenwald’s views on Israel, with their own contrary views.

    In fact, I make the same assumption as Dershowitz, and everything you have said in your blog posts concerning BDS tends to reinforce that as a rational conclusion.

    • Corey Robin February 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

      I don’t really understand what you’re saying here, but the three most important public statements on this issue — from the City Council (the Fidler letter), the progressive politicians letter, and from Dershowitz — focused on the one-sidedness of the event. Their claim was that a one-sided presentation of views is a violation of academic freedom and that departments should not present one side of a political view. Dershowitz was especially vehement on that issue and said he would never allow such a thing. (When it was pointed out to Dershowitz that the poli sci department at the University of Pennsylvania had done just that when it sponsored a talk by him against BDS, he claimed not to have known that they were the sponsors of the talk.) In any event, as I’ve pointed out a number of times, the only time this issue of balance has arisen is in this case; no one has ever complained about any other issue. So again the double standard has been revealed for all to see.

      • Malcolm Schosha February 28, 2013 at 8:04 am #

        Corey, there is no danger that any views expressed about Israel at Brooklyn College by, for example, Dershowitz , will go unchallenged by you and others in the Political Science Dept. On the other hand, the views on Israel presented to Brooklyn College students by you and other teachers in the Political Science Dept, appear to be a totally one sided presentations of the BDS stance.

        I would suggest that the singular focus on one narrow point of view to the complex problem of Israel is problematic. Even such staunch critics of Israel as Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein have harshly criticized BDS. But I see nothing in your blog posts that suggest that you have any reservations at all about BDS goals or BDS methods.

        To state the problem, as I see it, in plain English: the Political Science Dept at Brooklyn Collage seems to be in the hands of political fanatics who are incapable of seeing any value, or any truth, in any point of view but their own. That is why Dershowitz was right to call for balance.

        Your argument against Dershowitz, in your blog post, is that he is trying to do what you do, and what BDS does: to block out all opposing points of view. But even if that claim about Dershowitz were true, your argument would still be a logical fallacy. That is because one-sided teaching of undergraduates is wrong no matter who does it. And, in any case, Dershowitz’s personal defects have nothing at all to do with his criticism of the Political Science Dept.

      • Corey Robin February 28, 2013 at 8:48 am #

        Again, your comment is such a mishmash of claims it’s difficult to disentangle what it is you’re actually talking about, much less respond to it. I will however return to the topic of this post: the question of balance on a panel that is sponsored by an academic department. At no point in this controversy did any of the major players — Dershowitz, the City Council, or the progressive politicians — claim that the political science department has a one-sided record of teaching (much less claim anything about this blog, which after all, represents my point of view and not the view of others.) The claim was that the panel organized by the students, and co-sponsored by poli sci, represented one point of view, and that fact, in and of itself, made it suspect (again, they didn’t say that because of the views of poli sci, the panel had to be balanced; they merely said the panel had to be balanced, full stop). For that simple reason, they claimed, the panel needed to be balanced by opposing views. (Again, it’s difficult even to figure out what you’re saying above, but I gather you don’t have much of a handle on what the actual arguments that were made by our department’s critics were; I suggest you re-read the documentary trail to acquaint yourself better with those arguments, as opposed to the arguments you seem now to be conjuring from your own head.) On no other occasion — not when we brought Alan Dershowitz himself in, not when we brought in other speakers — have we been asked to balance a panel. And in fact, now we are co-sponsoring a talk by Elliot Abrams, the very right-wing neoconservative, and no one is asking us to put someone else on the panel for balance. So all your hand-waving above — to whatever effect it is meant to be put — is irrelevant.

    • Barry March 4, 2013 at 11:46 am #

      “Corey I think you understand that BDS exists to promote, among other things, the blacklisting of Israeli scholars. I suppose the reason Dershowitz wanted an additional speaker at the BDS forum is because he suspected that: ”

      And Dershowitz exists to promote, among other things, torture and the supremacy of Likkud to do as it pleased.

      Now, your point is?

      • Malcolm Schosha March 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

        Everything I have seen written by Dershowitz about torture says he is opposed to torture. Could you supply a link where he says he is pro-torture? Neither have I seen anything that says he is pro-Likud. A link for that would be helpful too, something he has written himself.

      • Here, Troll “Malcom Schosha”, is one link to an essay by the esteemed Mr. Dershowitz where he gives what he calls a context in which torture could be properly administered, with the right paperwork: http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/openforum/article/Want-to-torture-Get-a-warrant-2880547.php

        So, rather than ending torture through outright ban, Dersh proposes to use the likelihood that a judge would get embarrassed at having his name on a “torture warrant” as a means of limiting the use of torture. This, in an environment where victims of “mere” eavesdropping by our goverment cannot even get justices to force the goverment to admit the existience of an eavesdropping program. Dersh’s proposed means of facilitating the use torture is nothing less than an endorsement of torture. Period.

        To call it putting lipstick on pig would be an insult to pigs!

  3. BillR February 28, 2013 at 12:23 am #

    Corey, don’t waste time on these walking untreated trauma survivors aka Zionists. They need help from mental health professionals. Only a very few are able to “minister to themselves”:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-i-am-no-longer-a-zionist-8364214.html

  4. Malcolm Schosha February 28, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    Corey you wrote: “At no point in this controversy did any of the major players — Dershowitz, the City Council, or the progressive politicians — claim that the political science department has a one-sided record of teaching…”

    You are quit mistaken. Quite of bit of the criticism involved the one-sided approach of the Political Science Dept. For instance Dershowitz (who had been a Political Science major at Brooklyn College) wrote:

    “I know that if I were a student at Brooklyn College today, I would not major in political science for fear that my support for Israel and my opposition to BDS might prejudice me in the eyes of professors whose department has endorsed BDS, thus discriminating against my point of view in the marketplace of ideas. How could I be sure they wouldn’t discriminate against my point of view in grading or recommending students? This is the real issue in the hullabaloo over the decision by the Brooklyn College political science department to cosponsor and endorse the BDS campaign at Brooklyn College.
    Nor is this only a hypothetical or abstract fear. One political science student at Brooklyn College said she was afraid to criticize her department because “that’s going to put a target on my back.” Other students talked about a “chilling effect” that the department’s decision would have on them. And yet another student said that she had “an uncomfortable feeling” about raising her hand and arguing “with a professor who voted for it” and who tried to justify his vote in the classroom.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-dershowitz/does-brooklyn-college-pas_b_2600342.html

    It is a lot easier for you to present what, at first sight, seem convincing arguments against Dershowitz if you continue to misrepresent his actual arguments.

    I had hoped that you would have some criticism of BillR for saying that the BDS critics “…need help from mental health professionals” which is a particularly deplorable, and vicious, ad hominem. Your lack of criticism of that on your own blog might make it seem that you agree with BillR, and approve.

    • Corey Robin February 28, 2013 at 10:28 am #

      The core of Dershowitz’s case, which he states in this Huff Post piece you cite, and which he stated in multiple pieces in the Daily News is this: “There are only two reasonable approaches to what departments should be entitled to do: either they should sponsor and endorse events on all sides of controversial issues, or they should get out of the business of selectively sponsoring and endorsing only one side of such issues. The approach taken by the political science department at Brooklyn College is absolutely unacceptable: namely, to endorse and sponsor only one side of a controversial issue while refusing to cosponsor and endorse the other side of the issue.” That was also, as I pointed out, the core of the City Council case and the politicians’ case. (That Dershowitz was a poli sci major — in 1959! — hardly makes him qualified to comment on the department’s views in 2013.) As for my failure to criticize BillR: Since you seem to have infinite time on your hands, I suggest you read every single comment on this blog, going back to its inception. You’ll see that I often don’t respond to comments, even when I obviously disagree with them, so my failure to criticize this one comment in no way implies an endorsement of that comment. I’m not surprised that you’d make such an inference: you seem to be under the mistaken impression, like your man Dershowitz, that failure to actively criticize x means an endorsement of x. A half a moment’s introspection would make you realize the absurdity of such a proposition.

      • Malcolm Schosha February 28, 2013 at 10:49 am #

        Corey wrote: “You’ll see that I often don’t respond to comments, even when I obviously disagree with them”

        What I have seen, Corey, on the blog posts that I have read, is that you always reply if you disagree with statements made on your blog.

        Dershowitz is not ‘my man’ (as you claim), and if I could have had a choice of an additional speaker at the BDS forum, it would have been Martha Nussbaum. You can read her argument against academic boycotts on EBSCO: http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/editorials/27392670/martha-nussbaum-replies

        .

      • Corey Robin February 28, 2013 at 10:58 am #

        “What I have seen, Corey, on the blog posts that I have read, is that you always reply if you disagree with statements made on your blog.” I’m amazed at your chutzpah. You selectively choose a few blogs to read — corresponding to what seems to be your one interest — and then have the nerve to make a claim based on almost zero evidence. Also, how do you know that I “always reply if [I] disagree”? Only if you assume my failure to reply means agreement, which of course you can’t know. This is a circular argument on your point. So, I’ll say it again: Read my entire blog, not just the few posts on Israel/Palestine that you care about. You’ll see that I mostly write on a great variety of topics having nothing to do with Israel/Palestine. And you’ll see that I mostly don’t comment on other people’s comments, even when I disagree. (Indeed, there are 4795 comments on this blog. I couldn’t possibly comment on all the comments I disagree with.) This is a simple empirical fact. It can easily be verified. You don’t even need to read all 4795 comments; just read ten percent of them or even five percent of them. I realize you’d prefer to hold onto views that fit with your preconceived notions. But the facts are the facts. There’s no point in having a discussion with you if you won’t even do the most basic homework.

        On Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 10:49 AM, Corey Rob

      • Donald Pruden, Jr, a/k/a The Enemy Combatant February 28, 2013 at 11:43 am #

        “I had hoped that you would have some criticism of BillR for saying that the BDS critics “…need help from mental health professionals” which is a particularly deplorable, and vicious, ad hominem. Your lack of criticism of that on your own blog might make it seem that you agree with BillR, and approve.”

        Corey — anyone who would write this to you is clearly tipping his hand: You are being trolled. Do you really owe anyone your disapproval at the risk of being “outed” by a troll as some kind of fellow traveler? Has anyone noticed that this species of trolling NEVER happens to right wing bloggers? How many conservative bloggers have to endure a troll who demands “balance” or “disapproval” or some kind of “corrective” to someone ELSE’S views? Why are progressives of all different stripes victimized by this species of intervention? What makes us so vulnerable to it? Can someone help me on this?

        Seriously, I think you are being trolled. Why else the “chutzpah” that you correctly note? Who is this guy to claim to you that he “had hoped you would have some criticism of BillR”? I got his “hope” right here!

        Don’t be a victim, Corey.

        I did say that I’d lay low while reading your book. I will try to keep to that. But I could not help myself on this occasion.

  5. Malcolm Schosha February 28, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    Corey, call it chutzpah if you like, but you still have nor criticized BillR for what he said, even after I called your attention to the problems with it. Why should you be surprised that I conclude he has your approval for his deplorably vicious ad hominem

    • Barry March 4, 2013 at 11:49 am #

      “Dershowitz is not ‘my man’ (as you claim),…”

      But you don’t post criticism of him, which means that you’re one-sided :)

      BTW, would a student at HLS who was anti-Zionist or simply pro-civil rights be treated fairly by Derschowitz?

  6. Malcolm Schosha February 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    Donald, what BillR wrote is: “Corey, don’t waste time on these walking untreated trauma survivors aka Zionists. They need help from mental health professionals.”

    You will note that BillR’s statement added nothing to the discussion except an insult to those who are critical of BDS, and that it is (additionally) an ad hominem argument which is inherently a logical fallacy. But you claim that I am a troll for pointing that out.

    Since the Political Science Dept co-sponsored the BDS event, Brooklyn Collage beame was responsible for providing a non-intimidating learning environment for that event, and is obligated to provide such an environment at the college as a whole. That is for all its students, including Jewish students who oppose BDS. I chose to push Corey over BillR’s comments because that comment expresses a very hostile attitude toward exactly Jews who oppose BDS, and Corey allowing that to go unchallenged on his blog seems to indicate a lack of sensitivity to that problem. The question then becomes: Is Corey any more sensitive to such hostility, when it is expressed toward Jewish students who oppose BDS, in his own classes? Has, therefore, Brooklyn College (because of the learning environment in Corey’s classes) violated Title 6 of the Civil Rights Act? That question is not trivial, and will sooner or later get answered. But it is certain from this discussion that Corey sees no reason to respond to BillR’s problematic comment.

    • Donald Pruden, Jr, a/k/a The Enemy Combatant February 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

      TROLL!

      TROLL!

      TROLL YOUR BOAT, GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM!!

      • Malcolm Schosha February 28, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

        Donald, Corey is a published scholar. But what you are putting on his blog makes it sound like an argument on Stormfront. If you have a rational argument to make, state it and I will reply.

    • Corey Robin February 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      Malcolm: You write, “The question then becomes: Is Corey any more sensitive to such hostility, when it is expressed toward Jewish students who oppose BDS, in his own classes? Has, therefore, Brooklyn College (because of the learning environment in Corey’s classes) violated Title 6 of the Civil Rights Act?” If you have one iota of evidence that I have created a hostile environment for anti-BDS Jewish students in my classes, I would ask that you submit it to me, or better yet, please forward it to the chair of my department, the dean of the humanities and social sciences, or even the provost and the president, so that there can be a formal investigation of my conduct. Otherwise, I am asking you — politely — to cease and desist from such speculation. If you continue to raise unfounded speculations, questions, or allegations regarding my conduct in the classroom — allegations, questions, and speculations that I hope you realize are of a very serious nature — I will ban you from my site. Again, if you have any concrete evidence, you need not share it with me, but please forward it to the proper authorities; I will be happy to provide you with their email addresses so that they can investigate. If you have no such evidence, stop making false allegations or raising unfounded speculations. Consider yourself warned; I will not repeat myself on this matter.

      On Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 12:55 PM, Corey Rob

      • Malcolm Schosha February 28, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

        Salve, Corey.

        As you certainly know, a complaint against Brooklyn College for violation of Title 6 of the Civil Rights Act which, thanks to the expulsion of students from the BDS forum, has become a real possibility. Brooklyn College was considered responsible for protecting the civil rights of its students once the Political Science Dept became a co-sponsor of the event.

        So you can see that I did not make this up out of my imagination. It is real issue. But if you think you will derive a benefit from banning me, that is your choice. I will say what I consider important to say, and you will respond as you judge is best.

        As I explained previously, BillR’s comment is a nasty verbal attack on Jews who oppose BDS. He could have presented a rational argument to support his pro-BDS views instead of poisoning the well with such a comment. But he chose to do otherwise. Since you refuse to say what he wrote is vicious, which it is; that caused me to doubt if you would show more concern in your own classrooms. The problem stems form your behavior on this blog, not mine. You could have removed my concerns about that by banning BillR. But instead you threatened to ban me.

    • Barry March 4, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      “Since the Political Science Dept co-sponsored the BDS event, Brooklyn Collage beame was responsible for providing a non-intimidating learning environment for that event, and is obligated to provide such an environment at the college as a whole. ”

      One, that’s simply not true, and second, Alan ‘Torture Warrants’ Dershowitz was allowed to speak, unbalanced (in all sense of the word) at Brookley College. Which you did not criticize.

  7. jonnybutter February 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    “Stromfront”? Oh please.

  8. Rob Smith February 28, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    “Donald, Corey is a published scholar. But what you are putting on his blog makes it sound like an argument on Stormfront.”

    Wow. Just wow.

    It makes sense though. Isn’t one of the goals of the trolls to disrupt open conversation, and to make it as unpleasant as possible?

    If they can convince enough people to avoid the issue in the future, and thus tacitly accept the status quo… well then, Mission Accomplished.

    • Malcolm Schosha February 28, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

      I detect a “more leftist than thou” attitude prevalant here. It is an attitude expressed by more than one person, and it is nonsense. It is an absurdly incorrect assumption that anyone who is critical of BDS is on the political right.

      Let me add that the leftists that I grew up with considered an ability to argue for their views rationally to be a integral part of their politics. Calling someone you disagree with a “troll” is not a rational argument, but just irrational name calling.

    • But that mission will not be accomplished here.

      And the thing about the present troll is that he/she tries to hide bad reasoning, threats, wounded righteousness, and false statements behind pseudo-reasonable sounding language. An example is his/her claim that the tender, iddie-biddie, widdle fee-wings of rightwing Jews need the protection of Title 6 Civil Rights law, or face loss of Federal funding. News flash: the actual language in Title 6 as regards the rescission of Federal funding says ZERO about hurt feelings or the legal consequence of the “expulsion” of persons from an auditorium.

      By the way, I read the article in the link BillR provides. It is a great article about how a young left Zionist’s political evolution pushes him even further to the left. It mixes the truly personal with the internationally political. I think it would make a fine movie – but it would likely stand a better chance of being shown in Israel than in the U.S.

      Don’t be fooled by “Malcolm Schosha”’s lingo. Its play at fake politeness only betrays good old fashioned mock-superiority over “you”. A troll is a troll is a troll.

      “Malcolm Schosha” is a troll.

      Is a troll.

      Is a troll.

      Is a troll. (bip!)

      • hophmi March 4, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

        Title VI protects ethnic, racial and religious groups from an atmosphere of intimidation on campus. It is for everyone. A complaint was filed after several incidents of violence and intimidation toward Jewish students at UC Irvine and San Francisco State. When it appears that students are being excluded because of race or religion from campus events, it is likely a Title VI violation. I don’t, for the record, believe that is what happened at Brooklyn. You’re simply lying when you suggest that Jews do not need Title VI protection when and if they are intimidated.

        I have criticized Dershowitz’s stand on the BDS event at Brooklyn. However, you’re simply misstating his view by saying he advocates torture or that his entire 2008 lecture was about defending torture or the Likud (he is a strong supporter of the two-state solution and is not in any way a Likudnik). His view is that torture will happen because the evidence shows it yields results, and that since it will happen, it is better for it to be regulated; thus his advocacy of judicial oversight. It is exactly the same position of people who believe in legalizing marijuana. Favoring the legalization and regulation of marijuana is not the same thing as supporting its use.

      • You are wrong on both counts. First, Dersh supports torture. His writing is meant to give a human rights violation the legitimacy of process. It is as simple as that.

        Second — the matter at hand concerns Brooklyn College. I repeat: the tender feelings of reactionaries DO NOT deserve Title 6 protection, and that is what is being invoked in the present case as a not-so-implicit threat. Federal funding is not contingent upon the wounded emotions of persons who oppose the BC’s sponsorship of the event under discussion here. Irvine and SF State have NOTHING to do with present discussion. If you are suggesting that Jews are being intimidated at BC, then goddamit just say so! And then document it. And state by whom, and then try to prove that I am “lying” when I tell you that Jews — or anyone’s — feelings gives them standing in court under Title 6 protection. No one’s “feelings” are a matter of Federal law.

      • Your attempt to refute me point by point are a failure, and it is clear that you understand neither I nor Corey’s positions. I tire of this exchange and it is time for me to pipe down now and to get caught up on the new issues in Corey’s blog. Some of what you write is so tempting for a response… but, no.

        You say that torture is illegal in Israel, but you don’t dare claim that it does not happen there, as it would undercut your mis-interpretation of Dersh (and of me). It is also illegal here in the U.S. and it is a crime for Americans to commit it anywhere on Earth, under international law. Tell me that, just like its being illegal in Israel, its illegality under American law means it don’t happen. Say it!

        But back to Israel. From Ha’aretz: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/autopsy-shows-palestinian-prisoner-died-from-torture-says-pa-chief-pathologist-1.505545

      • hophmi March 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

        “Your attempt to refute me point by point are a failure”

        Donald! You’re entitled to your opinion. You’re still distorting Alan Dershowitz’s view. Maybe you’re not used to having your positions challenged. I find that no matter how badly political partisan are refuted, they claim they are not refuted.

        “and it is clear that you understand neither I nor Corey’s positions.”

        It is clear that your viewpoint is the product of politics, not logic. I get it. You believe that to be against torture, you have to believe that it must be illegal in all circumstances, much as I assume you believe that to be against drug use, you must believe that drugs should be illegal in all circumstances.

        “I tire of this exchange and it is time for me to pipe down now”

        As do I. I proved you wrong a long time ago. You’re just sticking to your political orthodoxy.

        ” and to get caught up on the new issues in Corey’s blog. Some of what you write is so tempting for a response… but, no.”

        That’s because what I wrote is irrefutable.

        As I said, torture is illegal in Israel. I didn’t say it doesn’t happen.

      • hophmi March 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

        ” First, Dersh supports torture.”

        No, that is the radical-left distortion of his position. Sorry. It’s just simply not what he says. Dick Cheney supports torture. Alan Dershowitz is against torture. As I said, acknowledging that something bad will happen is not the same as supporting it. That sort of subtle distinction is lost on political radicals.

        “Second — the matter at hand concerns Brooklyn College. I repeat: the tender feelings of reactionaries DO NOT deserve Title 6 protection, and that is what is being invoked in the present case as a not-so-implicit threat.”

        As I said, I do not believe BC is a Title VI situation. Read what I write before you respond to it.

      • “..and then try to prove that I am “lying” when I tell you that Jews — or anyone’s — feelings gives them NO standing in court under Title 6 protection. No one’s “feelings” are a matter of Federal law.” is what I meant to write.

        If you are claiming that Jews are being “intimidated” in California, then why in hell are bring that into a discussion about BC?! And how in hell did we get from that to THIS?

        I read what you wrote. Lemme try this on you. How about we make it procedurally legal to re-institue chattel slavery, or the husbands right to rape his wife?? What other crime can we bring the legitimacy of legality? Bombing countries we are not at war with? How can anyone claim that one does not favor something as heinous as torture while conjuring a way to make it possible?

      • hophmi March 4, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

        “How about we make it procedurally legal to re-institue chattel slavery, or the husbands right to rape his wife??”

        How about we avoid silly slippery slope arguments? No one is for legalizing slavery.

        “How can anyone claim that one does not favor something as heinous as torture while conjuring a way to make it possible?”

        Conjuring a way to make it possible? It’s possible, and it happens.

        “If you are claiming that Jews are being “intimidated” in California, then why in hell are bring that into a discussion about BC?! And how in hell did we get from that to THIS?”

        Because you made a claim about filing claims under Title VI, and the California examples were the basis of such a filing, that’s all. Calm down.

      • “As you certainly know, a complaint against Brooklyn College for violation of Title 6 of the Civil Rights Act which, thanks to the expulsion of students from the BDS forum, has become a real possibility. Brooklyn College was considered responsible for protecting the civil rights of its students once the Political Science Dept became a co-sponsor of the event.”

        You brought up a California claim (with no citation) and the above excerpt came from “Malcolm Schosha”. Read Title 6.

        Again — Dersh wants torture, and his essay is his how-to to make it happen.

      • hophmi March 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

        “Again — Dersh wants torture, and his essay is his how-to to make it happen.”

        Again – you’re simply distorting his position.

  9. Malcolm Schosha March 4, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    DP Jr.: What Dershowitz said in the article you linked to is that he is appose to torture, but thinks it will be done anyhow, so it might be better if there was at least judicial review. That is not pro-torture. Recently, in his blog, Dershowitz wrote:

    “The second charge is that I am pro-torture, despite my repeated categorical statements in my writings that I’m opposed to all torture under all circumstances. I do believe that torture will be used, not should be used, in the event we ever experience a ticking bomb situation. Accordingly I have suggested that no torture should ever be permitted without a court approved warrant, of the type the ACLU has demanded in targeted killing cases. But to the dogs of defamation, this distinction is irrelevant. Because I am pro Israel, I must be pro torture. This is particularly ironic, since both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas routinely torture dissidents, without their leaders being called pro torture by the same hard left defamers who falsely accuse me.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-dershowitz/the-high-cost-of-defendin_b_2639907.html

    If you can link to an article by Dershowitz where he says that he is pro-torture, please do show me the link to it. All he has written on the subject, that I have seen, sayus he is oppose to the use of torture.

    Perhaps you could state clearly here, as a BDS supporter, that you are opposed the use of torture by Hamas and Fatah. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/03/hamas-torture-detainees-gaza

    • You know as well as I do that Dersh is not going to write a sentence where he proclaims his support for torture. Some have — such as a writer, published in the New York Press years ago, named “M. Taki”, whose column was titled “Torture Time”. Dersh will not bless us with anything quite so refreshingly honest.

      But his persistent claims to categorical denials are refuted by his attempts to bring a known human rights violation into the realm of regulated practice under law – instead of, say, proposing to raise the ferocity and severity of any punishment that could be applied upon any party being duly found guilty and then duly convicted of practicing this known human rights violation. He says he opposes torture – but he is willing allow it with a judge’s imprimatur. Look, he either opposes torture – period and full stop – or he supports it under limited circumstances with explanations as how it could made legal with Hollywood “ticking time bomb” scenarios to justify it, all of which simply means he supports it. Again, period.

      If international law cannot protect detainees from torture – Dersh is correct on that point – then what magic does granting torture the status of legality have that legally banning it did not? Why does Dersh pooh-pooh the law to stop torture, but turns to it to give torture the patina of legality and legitimacy? Does he really think the world so is stupid that under his legal regime – the fictional “ticking time bomb” scenario – torture’s use would be so limited, and its legal enablers would suddenly become accountable? Accountable to whom? And, gee, we find that there’s a LOT of ticking time bombs out there these days!

      And thank you for the Guardian link. So, tell me — how would he feel if Hamas or the Palestinian Authority used his legal cover for ITS human rights violations? Would he take pride in their citing him as their august authority on the legality of their activities? Wanna bet that Hamas and the PA could find their own “ticking time bombs” that loosening the tongue of a captive Israeli (as opposed to another Palestinian person) would disclose? Does he really believe that such “torture warrants” would be legitimate in nations THAT ARE NOT DEMOCRACIES, even if we pretend that actual democracies would hew to sunlight-laden due process procedures because their governments are populated by committed public servants with their eyes on public accountability as their own guide? Would a “torture warrant” be a legitimizing document issued under North Korean laws, or Iranian laws, or the laws of apartheid-era South Africa, or Chicago or Mississippi in the mid-1960s?

      Dersh has simply handed the worst regimes in the world a backdoor to human rights violations, plain and simple. What is surprising is that he never considers the consequences of such action: the victims will rebel, and they will overthrow a government that has the gall to issue “torture warrants”. I don’t have to tell you that I oppose torture (and the death penalty, by the way) BY ANYBODY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. Nothing that I write can be construed any other way.

      The issue is not Israel committing torture per se, as opposed to any other nation – it is that they do it on the American dime, thus implicating Americans in their criminal activity. We Americans have a difficult enough time making our own government accountable to it citizens. Now we have to sweat other nations committing crimes on our tax dollars and/or with our government’s tacit consent. We had (still have?) set up torture gulags in the former Warsaw Pact nations, and now have new ones in the Horn of Africa. I notice that you did not implicate another American funded torturer in the region – Egypt under Mubarak. And the latest news is that, as per an announcement made public by Secretary of State Kerry, the US is going to shove some cold hard cash in Morsi’s general direction even though the global press has fingered his regime in continuing Mubarak-ism without Mubarak. Egypt still tortures. Maybe they – and Hamas – should implement “torture warrants”, if it makes YOU feel better. Do you really think this matter of torture is just about Israel?

      Seriously?

      As for BDS, the issue there is not my support or lack thereof for that organization, but about whether or not elected officials can threaten to cut off public funding for a public educational institution for sponsoring an event that would feature a panel discussion whose discussants are members/supporters of an organization that recommends boycotting Israeli products, institutions etc. The matter THERE is whether a public university’s continued public funding is contingent on hosting only those panel discussions that meet with official approval, or risk being de-funded. The point there is whether or not public officials, abetted by Dersh, can demand “balance” on such a panel — or else. Corey has made that point a zillion times. I get it.

      Do you?

      • hophmi March 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

        “Look, he either opposes torture – period and full stop – or he supports it under limited circumstances with explanations as how it could made legal with Hollywood “ticking time bomb” scenarios to justify it, all of which simply means he supports it. ”

        You’re entitled to your opinion. I’ve explained the difference between supporting a practice and acknowledging its existence to you. Nuance tends to be lost on political partisans.

        “If international law cannot protect detainees from torture – Dersh is correct on that point – then what magic does granting torture the status of legality have that legally banning it did not? ”

        The same as it does for wiretapping and searches and seizures. It regulates a practice of law enforcement that would be heavily abused otherwise.

        “So, tell me — how would he feel if Hamas or the Palestinian Authority used his legal cover for ITS human rights violations? Would he take pride in their citing him as their august authority on the legality of their activities? ”

        Who cares? People mis-cite sources all the time. What about Dershowitz’s position suggests that he’d support it in an authoritarian state?

        “Dersh has simply handed the worst regimes in the world a backdoor to human rights violations, plain and simple. ”

        Again, this is absurd slippery slope reasoning with no factual basis.

        ” I don’t have to tell you that I oppose torture (and the death penalty, by the way) BY ANYBODY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.”

        And the worst regimes in the world will continue to torture people despite your declaration.

        “The issue is not Israel committing torture per se, as opposed to any other nation – it is that they do it on the American dime, thus implicating Americans in their criminal activity.”

        Torture is illegal in Israel.

        ” I notice that you did not implicate another American funded torturer in the region – Egypt under Mubarak.”

        I’m not aware of what that has to do with a discussion of Dershowitz’s position.

        ” Egypt still tortures. Maybe they – and Hamas – should implement “torture warrants”, if it makes YOU feel better. ”

        Since there is no reason to believe that Dershowitz’s ideas apply outside of the American context, this is a red herring.

        “The point there is whether or not public officials, abetted by Dersh, can demand “balance” on such a panel”

        That’s not Dershowitz’s position either. Dershowitz’s position (which I do not agree with) was that academic departments should not sponsor politically partisan events. The argument made by Corey and Glenn Greenwald was that he was being hypocritical because he himself had received such sponsorship. I agree with them on that point.

        As I’ve tried to point out to Corey again and again, I don’t dispute the notion that the BC PoliSci would sponsor events across the political spectrum. Nevertheless, there is something called “the appearance of impropriety” and the PoliSci department, unfortunately, did not do enough to make sure that the planners of the BDS event understood that PoliSci was not endorsing their event, because their flyers suggested otherwise, because they were the single non-partisan organization sponsoring the event, because the general public defines sponsorship as endorsement, and because he and Paisley Currah did not exactly hide their enthusiasm for Judith Butler nor mask their contempt for speakers of the opposite political persuasion, nor, as perhaps would happen in other big organizations, allow the head of the college, Karen Gould, to speak on their behalf. That’s their right, of course, but like many academics, they don’t necessarily understand the public, and the public, particularly the religious Jewish community, where most people have not been on a college campus recently, if at all, does not understand the dynamics of a college campus, where open inquiry is especially important.

        The PoliSci department has clarified its position, and I have accepted that clarification from the moment it was issued, even if others have not.

      • Malcolm Schosha March 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

        DP Jr, let me repeat my question: Can you link to anything written by Alan Dershowitz where he says he is pro-torture? I have, as you know, linked to where he says that he is “..opposed to all torture under all circumstances.”

        Corey’s argument against Dershowitz is silly, because in my view the real, underlying, issue is students at Brooklyn College’s Political Science Dept getting some minimal amount balance in that is presented to them concerning Israel. When I asked Corey if he thinks such balance is of value, even if only for undergraduates, he did not reply.

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