I am an adamant Alan Dershowitz fan. I don't always agree with him, and sometimes he does make me cringe with certain ideas and statements, however, whether you like his politics or you do not like it, one must give the man credit for intelligence and wit. One must also give him respect for the way he will stand up for what he believes in.
This week, Mr. Dershowitz has once again appeared preeminently in the world press. He wrote an incredibly good piece on "targeted assassinations" and also has appeared in regard to something else - taking a shot at the new Fuhrer, Ahmadinejad.
It started with the outgoing US ambassador to the UN (quote is from The Guardian article):
The outgoing US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, is backing a call for the president of Iran to be charged with inciting genocide because of his speeches advocating the destruction of the state of Israel.Certainly an interesting concept. Imagine that! We are going to charge someone with Genocide besides a Jew or Israeli! Wowsers!
JTA Global News Service carried as well an interesting piece about this idea. In an article entitled "Jewish leaders threaten to indict Ahmadinejad for inciting genocide" we read about the anger that this conference has engendered.
"Ahmadinejad’s incitement violates the 1948 U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, speakers said. "Yes it does. But Ahmadinejad, without a shadow of a doubt, could not care less about the United Nations or any International Law. That is kind of obvious to anyone who follows the antics of this would be Fuhrer. So let us give Boulton and Dershowitz and all the others credit for intelligence. Indeed, the worst mistake anyone could make, agree or not agree with Mr. Dershowitz, is to underestimate his intelligence and political savvy.
The one thing I liked about this report, the one thing I actually loved about this report, is that it shows a measure of understanding how to begin to make the "work the ropes" within a legal and viable format.
“We will try the law. We will try politics. We will try everything,” said Alan Dershowitz, a prominent attorney and professor at Harvard Law School. “But if they fail, we will use self-defense.”Yet this is also a "reality" conference. And it is damn good to finally see "reality" seep in to the Jewish leadership, to be honest. Usually Jewish leaders are so damn divorced from reality one thinks they were born in a vacuum.
In addition to seeking an indictment of Ahmadinejad in the International Criminal Court, Dershowitz disclosed that he and Irwin Cotler, a Canadian legislator and prominent human-rights lawyer, were preparing a brief to justify military preemption if legal efforts don’t work.
“We waited once, we will not wait again,” said Dershowitz, who like other speakers evoked the global silence as the Nazis prepared the Holocaust. “Do not expect passive acceptance of genocide. We will fight back.”
Several speakers expressed reservations about placing too much faith in the United Nations.
“When you’re thinking about remedies, don’t be naive about the United Nations,” said Ruth Wedgwood, a noted international lawyer and professor at Johns Hopkins University.We all know the UN is a useless vehicle most of the time. We also know that Israel must pay attention to this body. We also know it is sick and one-sided, eaten inside at the core and joined at its rib with one hatred - that of the State of Israel. It is good to see that we recognize the fact and also realize that Jewish leaders of this generation will not dismiss or ignore it.
She further cautioned that U.N. initiatives have a history of being turned around and used as diplomatic weapons against the State of Israel.
No longer do we shrug our shoulders in defeat.
Dershowitz stressed that the legal initiative was intended to “give the international community a chance to prove itself,” a community he noted that includes not only the United Nations but states and nongovernmental organizations.And yet of course we will fail. Iran will go nuclear. Let us simply understand that little fact. Iran is going to go nuclear. Iran has a real psychopath running the country. Not a good combination. But I see hope actually. Real hope.
If that effort fails, Dershowitz did not mince words in describing what should be done.
“If the international community fails, if this challenge is not met, we reserve the right of self-defense,” he said. “We pledge here today to do everything it takes, and anything it takes, to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We will not fail. We cannot fail.”
What Mr. Dershowitz did not say, and what should be said out loud, clearly and for the whole world to hear is this:
During the Holocaust the Jews themselves, including the pre-Israel state was mostly silent. Because the world was at War. Because the whole issue of mankind and freedom was on the table. Because...because...because. We have learned from that great statement: "Those Who Do Not Remember The Past Are Condemned To Relive It".
This time around no one is shrugging their shoulders. This time around we have learned the lesson. It has embedded on the conscience of our small nation - little blue numbers tattooed into arms - which will never leave our collective consciousness.
Hatred for the Jew and the state of Israel is not a new thing. Having such an august body stand up and declare that this will not be allowed is something that is fairly new for us. It should give us hope. With all our differences, with all our political variations, it should give us hope. We have learned not to blame God for the sins of mankind. And we have learned that we can and will stand up for our own people. And above all we have learned to never again just shrug our shoulders, turn our backs in humiliation in the face of annihilation, and shrug our shoulders in defeat.