The highly visible attorney seeks “to influence, in a positive direction, [the] discernible shift away from bipartisan support for the Middle East’s only democracy and America’s most reliable ally.”
Never one to shy away from attention, Dershowitz (The Case Against Impeaching Trump, 2018, etc.) has always liked a good argument, and he has found plenty of fodder in Israeli policies over the decades. Mostly, he has taken on the role of “defending Israel in the court of public opinion,” mainly in terms of defending Israel’s security and right to exist. The author writes clearly about how important the founding of the state was to him and his Zionist family: “There was never a time that Israel was not part of my consciousness.” In the late 1960s and early ’70s, Dershowitz was a part of many hot-button cases, including those involving anti-war protesters and capital punishment. (Later, of course, he was part of the “dream team” assembled to defend O.J. Simpson in his murder trial.) In fighting for Israel on the public stage, the author has often condemned the legitimization, by some elements of the political left, of Palestinian aggression—yet he also defends “the right of those who demonized Israel…to express their hateful views.” This distinction of basic civil rights has become personal in recent years, as students on college campuses have attempted to ban Dershowitz from speaking engagements. While the author maintains that “criticizing Israel’s settlement and occupation policies is fair game,” he is appalled by the disproportionality of world condemnation, as was expressed in the 2008 Goldstone Report by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, which Dershowitz skewered. Recently, he writes, “the degree of condemnation and demonization is all out of proportion to what is warranted,” especially regarding what he sees as a “new anti-Semitism” sweeping American campuses. Unbowed and proud, Dershowitz leaves readers with a singing endorsement of “the most successful new nation that has been born—really reborn—during the past century.”
Sure to provoke a good deal of hissing as well as applause.