Alan Dershowitz gives non-confrontational talk on Israel at Berkeley, then called a Nazi and anti-Semitically caricatured

The line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is nearly invisible—if it exists at all—but was surely crossed by the behavior of students at the University of California at Berkeley (UCB), where Harvard emeritus law professor Alan Dershowitz, a liberal Democrat, recently spoke on Israel. His October 11 talk was called “The liberal case for Israel,” and was sponsored on campus by Berkeley Law, Bears for Israel, and the Chabad Jewish Center.

As Dershowitz reported yesterday at the Gatestone Institute, his talk was not a one-sided pro-Israel talk, but called for an end to occupation as well as a two state solution:

I was recently invited to present the liberal case for Israel at Berkeley. In my remarks I advocated the establishment of a Palestinian state and a negotiated end of the conflict. I encouraged hostile questions from protestors and answered all of them. The audience responded positively to the dialogue. . . I advocated a Palestinian state; an end to the occupation and opposition to Israeli settlement policies.

But on campuses like Berkeley, that doesn’t matter, for Dershowitz is associated with defending Israel against its enemies, most famously in his book The Case for Israel (even if you’re pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel, you should read it). So, right after his talk, a poster was put up outside the Berkeley Law school with a swastika drawn over his face. Yes, a swastika—on the face of a Jew. (I can’t make out the wording or the circled bit, but perhaps a reader can help.) There’s no end to who can be called a Nazi these days, even someone like Dershowitz:

Erwin Cherwinsky, the Dean of the UCB Law School condemned the swastika, but the disapprobation kept on coming. The next day, according to Dershowitz, the cartoon shown below appeared in the Daily Californian, the UCB student newspaper. Dershowitz describes the cartoon as:

. . . an ugly caricature of me sticking my head through a cardboard cut-out. Behind the cardboard I am portrayed stomping on a Palestinian child with my foot, while holding in my hand an Israeli soldier who is shooting an unarmed Palestinian youth. Above the cardboard cut-out the title of my speech – The Liberal Case for Israel – is scrawled in capital letters.”

. . . It is shocking that this vile caricature – which would fit comfortably in a Nazi publication – was published in “the official paper of record of the City of Berkeley” (according to the Editor.) The cartoon resembles the grotesque anti-Semitic blood libel propaganda splashed across Der Sturmer in the 1930’s, which depicted Jews drinking the blood of gentile children. Canards about Jews as predators – prominently promulgated by the Tzarist forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – were anti-Semitic back then and are still anti-Semitic today, whether espoused by the extreme left or the extreme right.

There’s little doubt that this is in the genre of anti-Semitic tropes common in not only much of Middle Eastern media, but, long ago, in Nazi Germany itself as well as in modern neo-Nazi propaganda. How dare the editor of the paper print such filth this at the same time that others call Dershowitz a Nazi? If you think this is simply anti-Zionist and not anti-Semitic, you’re deceiving yourself. In fact, the Chancellor of UCB, Carol Christ (the UC system’s equivalent of the campus President), wrote a letter to the paper saying just that:

Your recent editorial cartoon targeting Alan Dershowitz was offensive, appalling and deeply disappointing. I condemn its publication. Are you aware that its anti-Semitic imagery connects directly to the centuries-old “blood libel” that falsely accused Jews of engaging in ritual murder? I cannot recall anything similar in The Daily Californian, and I call on the paper’s editors to reflect on whether they would sanction a similar assault on other ethnic or religious groups. We cannot build a campus community where everyone feels safe, respected and welcome if hatred and the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes become an acceptable part of our discourse.

Indeed, and good for her! Had a similar cartoon been published mocking a speaker who was anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian, it would have been universally condemned by the Left; indeed, the cartoonists and editors would have faced threats and physical harm. But it’s okay if it’s a Jew!

There were other letters to the paper as well, including a temperate and rational one sent by Dershowitz himself. According to him, the editors tried to censor his letter by taking out his description of the cartoon as “anti-Semitic”. But, as he notes,

As far as I know they did not edit the offending cartoon. Also, the editor claimed that the intent of the cartoon was to expose the “hypocrisy” of my talk. Yet, the newspaper never even reported on the content of my talk and I don’t know whether the cartoonist was even at my talk. The cartoon was clearly based on a stereotype not on the content of my talk.

Dershowitz is a civil liberties as well as criminal lawyer, and so he emphasizes that he’s not calling for removal of the cartoon. Rather, he takes a pretty straightforward First Amendment stand:

Nonetheless, just as I defended the rights of Nazis to march in Skokie, I defend the right of hard-left bigots to produce this sort of anti-Semitic material, despite it being hate speech. Those who condemn hate speech when it comes from the Right should also speak up when hate speech comes from the Left. The silence from those on the Left is steeped in hypocrisy. It reflects the old adage: free speech for me but not for thee.

To be sure, the students had the right to publish this cartoon, but they also had the right not to publish it. I am confident that if the shoe were on the other foot – if a cartoon of comparable hate directed against women, gays, blacks or Muslims were proposed – they would not have published it. There is one word for this double standard. It’s called bigotry.

The best response to bigotry is the opposite of censorship: it is exposure and shaming in the court of public opinion. The offensive cartoon should not be removed, as some have suggested. It should be widely circulated along with the names prominently displayed of the anti-Semite who drew it and the bigoted editors who decided to publish it. Every potential employer or admissions officer should ask them to justify their bigotry.

In his Gatestone piece (very similar to his letter to the Daily Cal), Dershowitz names the students responsible for the editorial and cartoon, including the cartoonist, the editor in chief, the managing editor, and the opinion editor, and “challenges them to justify their bigotry”.

Finally the Daily Cal editors saw reason—probably after getting a bunch of hard criticism from both the UCB chancellor and many other students and alums. The have now have withdrawn the cartoon (and apparently the editorial) and apologized, with a redaction by Karim Doumar (editor in chief and president of the paper) appearing on the page that carried the original editorial. The new piece says, among other things, this:

The editorial cartoon that ran in our opinion page Oct. 13 failed to meet our editorial standards and has been retracted.

The cartoon hearkened to clearly anti-Semitic tropes. It should not have been published, and we sincerely apologize that it was.

. . . We apologize to our readers and members of our staff who were hurt by the cartoon. We especially apologize to Alan Dershowitz for the ways it negatively impacted him both personally and professionally.

Covering a community means listening to that community and reflecting its beliefs, feelings, fears and opinions. As part of our ongoing education, we will be meeting with local religious leaders and experts to improve our understanding of the historical context behind these types of images and contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism.

Additionally, we are ensuring that a detailed knowledge of the history of harmful visual propaganda becomes an integral part of how we train our staff.

We understand and take responsibility for the harm we have caused our readers and our staff. We hear you, we accept your criticism, and we will learn from our errors.

Well, at least they didn’t make excuses.

The cartoon, now vanished, will be preserved on my page. But what still bothers me, despite the retraction, is the atmosphere of double-standard bigotry at UCB that would make students print such a vile cartoon without a second thought, despite the fact they wouldn’t show a pro-Palestinian speaker stabbing Israeli citizens (with blood!) or shooting rockets at Israel. This double standard, in which Jews are demonized while the Left gives a pass to Muslims whose behavior is as vile—or worse—is what we face on many American campuses today. Had the Chancellor not written a letter, I doubt the paper would have retracted its editorial and the cartoon. I don’t think this episode will herald a sea change among UCB students.

It’s time that the Left abandon its double standard of demonizing Israel and Jews while giving Palestine and Muslims not just a pass, but approbation—simply because they’re perceived as oppressed people of color. (Tell that to the Saudis!).  If the Left decries “Islamophobia” as bigotry against Muslims, it must do the same with anti-Semitism (remember, on per capita basis, the rate of anti-Jewish hate crime in the U.S. is twice that of anti-Muslim hate crime). The Left is acting like the group it most demonizes: Nazis. Should we now “punch a Daily Cal editor”?

Dershowitz, of course, sees the wider political implications:

This sequence of events – by hard-left students who originally protested my right to speak at Berkeley– confirmed what I’ve long believed: that there is very little difference between the Nazis of the hard right and the anti-Semites of the hard left. There is little doubt that this abhorrent caricature was a hard-left Neo-Nazi expression.

These anti-Semitic displays against me were in reaction to a speech in which I advocated a Palestinian state; an end to the occupation and opposition to Israeli settlement policies. Many on the hard-left refuse to acknowledge this sort of nuanced positioning. That is because their hostility towards Israel does not stem from any particular Israeli actions or policies. Even if Israel were to withdraw from the West Bank, destroy the security barrier, and recognize Hamas as a legitimate political organization, it would still not be enough. For these radicals, it is not about what Israel does; it is about what Israel is: the nation state of the Jewish people. To many on the hard left, Israel is an imperialistic, apartheid, genocidal, and colonialist enterprise that must be destroyed.

His last sentence shows that much of what masquerades as anti-Zionism is really anti-Semitism.

You can read more details about this episode, along with the reaction of various people, at The Washington Post. I can almost guarantee you won’t see anything about this at The Huffington Post (imagine what that odious site would have written had it been a Muslim speaker!) and I see nothing about it at the New York Times. There is, of course, plenty about it on right-wing sites like Breitbart and Fox News, which shows how this kind of anti-Semitism makes the Left look bad.

And it should. As Dershowitz said, “The silence from those on the Left is steeped in hypocrisy.”

h/t: cessar


  1. A.S.L
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    The cartoon is in the genre of political cartoons, period. One should expect that political cartoonists take a stand on a given topic and represent the people in an exaggerated manner. It isn’t anti-anything.

    • Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Oh really? How many political cartoons in public media do you see like this? Maybe in the Middle East, but not in America. As far as it being not “anti-anything”, that’s just wrong.

      • A.S.L
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        I’m not too well-versed on American political cartoons across the media. However, the Daily Californian often publishes cartoons (often of subpar quality)that fit the archetype of political cartoons (exaggerate a subject’s physical attributes place said subject in a outlandish situation that describe’s the cartoonists view of a subject).

        That the cartoonist is taking up a stance against Israeli interactions with Palestinians is obvious. We can rightfully reason that his depiction of Dershowitz is a strawman fallacy. But to say that it is a anti-Semitic cartoon (meaning he is targeting all Jews for being Jews) is inaccurate.

        • mikeyc
          Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

          You seem oblivious to the long and evil history of these kinds of depictions of Jewish people. To me the only question is whether it is deliberate or you are truly ignorant of the trope.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          These cartoons go well beyond fair comment by playing upon ancient anti-Semitic tropes — same way some anti-Muslim cartoons do against those other Semitic people, the Arabs. One can sometimes find both types of offensive cartoons (if one is of a mind and a stomach to) on neo-Nazi sites like The Daily Stormer.

        • somer
          Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          The UN accords Palestinians perpetual refugee status with assumed eternal right of return generation by generation that no other group has. Muslim ME states have refused to integrate the Palestian diaspora living in their territories in order to pressure Israel as a state. The situation of the Palestinians in Israel may not be too good, but Jews as an obvious small stateless minority have been oppressed or downright persecuted everywhere they have gone for thousands of years. Despite what some completely out there leftists claim – Jews have a great historical and blood linkage to the land of Israel. Their state has a right to survive – something which Hamas explicitly does not accept and Fatah off the record frequently asserts. Various Arab states are well known for the popularity of Mein Kampf and the profusion of Imams preaching hate against jews. And the Koran compares jews to pigs and cattle, whilst Sahih hadith tell muslims to kill all jews in the lead up to the last days before Allahs final judgement

          There’s a continuous and long standing thread in the left of concentrating on the situation of Palestinians in Israel in a way they do not concern themselves about any other group. Sneaking suspicion it has to do with their identification with Palestinians as an anti West group, especially since they are Muslim, the US was the main supporter of the creation of Israel, and Israel was later seen as a bulwark against Communism in the region etc.

        • nicky
          Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

          I can only agree it is of ‘subpar’ quality (to put it very mildly) as a drawing goes, except for the face.
          It is obvious the author cannot draw, but copied the face from somewhere. And that somewhere is (with a more than 9 out of 10 probability, I’d think) a classic anti-Semitic source.
          It is ugly and vile.

      • yazikus
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        It reminds me greatly of some of the images in the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia set that I have. I hadn’t been expecting that flavour of bigotry when I got them (naivete on my part), but given the timing and who was imprisoned it shouldn’t have surprised me. This is not your standard editorial cartoon.

      • Jake Sevins
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        In the US, this kind of “political cartoon” is unheard of outside of extremist fringe websites.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      The drawing of Dershowitz, with the ways in which the features are exagerated, is clearly in the recognized style of anti-semitic cartoons.

      • A.S.L
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        News flash my man: Political cartoons exaggerate their subject’s physical features. After seen a picture of Dershowitz and then the cartoon I found that it was a cartoon-like depiction of the man but not in an extreme manner (like his nose being so big and heavy that it touches the ground). Have you ever seen Mad Magazine depictions of political figures or people in general?

        • DrBrydon
          Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

          Yes, seems to me I have seen political caricatures once or twice. But when you caricature a person using standard racial tropes, it’s not the individual alone you are attacking. If you caricature a black politician as sambo, it’s clear that it’s a racial attack. In this case the cartoonist is clearly intent on attacking Dershowitz as a jew, not just for his opinions.

          • Posted October 27, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

            I think you hit the nail on the head. The cartoon was an attack that did not focus on someone’s political opinion but a much broader target. For me that put it in the “bigotry” category.

        • BJ
          Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

          So, would a political cartoon of a black subject with a big nose and wide lips eating watermelon also not strike you as racist because “political cartoons exaggerate their subject’s physical features”? Or are you merely unaware of the specific exaggerations of physical features used in antisemitic cartoons for centuries?

          • mikeyc
            Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

            I suspect (s)he is well aware of the history of this kind of depiction. Pretending not to gives one a way out.

          • Jake Sevins
            Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

            BJ: You beat me to it. Extremely racist depictions of blacks were common 100 years ago and would be completely unacceptable today, regardless of the cartoonist’s intention.

            This is why knowing some history matters.

            • Harrison
              Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

              I’m getting flashbacks to Ted Rall, who was pilloried by progressives for drawing Obama in the exact same style as he drew every politician in his entire cartooning career.

              I’ve been very critical of regressive anti-semitism, and I’ve no idea if the cartoonist here might be a genuine anti-semite, but I genuinely cannot even call the comic of Dershowitz a caricature because there is not even an ounce of exaggeration of any of his facial features in it. It’s a mediocre drawing, but that’s it.

              • mikeyc
                Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

                I met Dershowitz once. You’re right it’s poorly drawn but not much of a caricature. But then, it’s the caricature* of Jews that is the problem, not one of Dershowitz.

                *apparent – wiggle wiggle wiggle.

          • Craw
            Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

            Untag. I think ASL has a point here. There are no obviously stereo typical exaggerations of Dershowitz’s features. The only symbols are flags. There is no menorah, no payot, no Star of David except on the Israeli flag, no no chai, no Torah scroll, nothing.

            What are the tropes? It seems to me that the blood libel is one. But there’s no bread. It cannot be right to argue that no cartoon criticizing Israel or its defenders can show blood. So just blood alone isn’t enough. Nor is the blood on his hands enough, since anyone being accused of defending killing can be depicted as having blood on their hands.

            So what tropes, exactly, and how are they deployed here?

            The swastika poster is indubitably anti-semitic. Let’s not presume guilt by association.

            • mikeyc
              Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

              There is wiggle room for those who want to sweep accusations of anti-Semitism in tjis vartoon under the rug; without explicit comment from the paper that wiggle will always be there. But compare the depiction of Dershowitz to some of these;

              I think it likely that the paper was hoping nobody would make the connection and they could wiggle their way out of any controversy. But the parallels are too obvious (IMO).

            • BJ
              Posted October 27, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

              His facial characteristics can go either way. The depiction of a Jew with tentacles from above or behind their back killing or controlling events has deep roots.

              • Craw
                Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

                So, it’s a caricature with no exaggeration that looks like just a poor drawing. That counts as either way? How can any cartoonist less adroit at sketching than Albrecht Durer pass muster?
                As for tentacles, the conceit is acting one way behind the screen. Hard to do that without using arms or legs. Of which only one of each is shown. Is it common to show so few tentacles, or ones with palms or shoes?

        • somer
          Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          I don’t think its about exaggerations – Dershowitz features do not look particularly exaggerated – its about the insistence that he is encouraging one sided and sadistic violence against Palestinians in the bloody accoutrements of the drawing. The situation is not pretty but neither is targeted terrorism explicitly against jewish civilians and threats to the existence of Israeli Jews from all around and within – but this reality is always excluded from representation.

          • mikeyc
            Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

            What makes it worse – and undermines the position of those whose who dispute the anti-Semitic tropes in that cartoon- is that, according to Dershowitz the paper did not report on it and he noted that the “cartoon was clearly based on a stereotype not on the content of my talk”. If the cartoonist didn’t hear his talk why draw him in that manner as he didn’t advocate the bloody oppression depicted?

            • Harrison
              Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

              Look, I’m on Dershowitz’s side, but the idea that someone can’t accuse the opposition of saying one thing and doing another is silly.

              Trump talks about “draining the swamp.” Clearly the myriad political comics of him dumping more swamp water are just wrong. They’re clearly not listening to the man. What’s wrong with them?

              There are real racists and anti-semites among the regressives, but you can’t play their game and shout racist at the first provocation, or just like they’ve done you’re going to devalue the power of that accusation.

              • Harrison
                Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

                Formatting ate my [/sarcasm] tag at the end of the second paragraph.

              • mikeyc
                Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

                I’ve said too much already on this thread so will exit here – the problem I have with the cartoon is not that they are criticizing Israel or Dershowitz. I have a problem with the “optics”, as someone referred to it here. I am not the only one who sees parallels in the stylistic tropes in that cartoon with centuries of depictions of Jews. It appears that the paper itself agrees as they have acknowledged that it looks that way, have apologized and withdrawn the cartoon.

              • Craw
                Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

                The cartoon is vicious but that is no synonym for anti Semitic. Nor is their opinion privileged : it is the mind of the cartoonist we are inferring.

      • Harrison
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        I’m honestly having trouble spotting the exaggeration. It just looks like Dershowitz as drawn by someone with very little artistic skill.

        • Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          I wasn’t sure if it was just exaggerated or badly drawn, so I didn’t even mention that. Usually such cartoons show Jews with big noses, but Dershowitz of course has a Schnoz of Size in the first place.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

            Is this a “spot the Jimmy Durante allusion” contest? 🙂

            • mikeyc
              Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink


      • Jeff Rankin
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        Really? I’ve seen the cartoons you’re referring to, and I’ve seen Dershowitz. It just looks like Dershowitz in cartoon form.

        The only thing that struck me about the cartoon is how amateurish it is. It looks like a child’s drawing.

    • Rob
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      To “represent the people in an exaggerated manner” is not the same as representing people in a completely inaccurate manner.

    • Historian
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      “The cartoon is in the genre of political cartoons, period. One should expect that political cartoonists take a stand on a given topic and represent the people in an exaggerated manner. It isn’t anti-anything.”

      Your last sentence contradicts the previous one. Political cartoons have a long and distinguished history in America. Their distinct purpose is to send a message. In this case the message is anti-Israel and perhaps anti-Semitic. Those who criticize the cartoon are saying that the message is wrong, probably invidious.

      • A.S.L
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        The last sentence did not clearly convey my message: The cartoon is not attacking all Jews; hence, it is not anti-Semitic.

        While you can make a case that the cartoonist is anti-Israel, I would beg to differ. I have an Israeli born and raised colleague who has criticized the Israeli state for its actions against Palestinians along the same lines of the cartoonist’s message. I wouldn’t consider him an anti-Semite for such objections. It doesn’t seem that he is saying Israel has no right to exist and Israelis should be violently hunted down–both of which are repulsive propositions. But unless we ask him directly, we might never know.

        • Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

          That’s enough. Today is the first day you commented and already you’re trying to dominate all the threads. Read the Roolz and then just watch for a while.

          • Posted October 27, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

            The comment from you was today unless you’ve commented under another name, which is against the rules. Plenty of people have opinions differing from mine that aren’t asked to stop dominating a thread, because they don’t try to dominate a thread. Further, I’ve commented on several other readers’ remarks on this thread and others today. Read the roolz about thread domination.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      I have a collection of thousands of modern US political cartoons from mainstream sources. While I admit I mostly keep those those that support my pov, I go through a lot of others to select them. I don’t recall seeing this association of blood with Jews ever before, and I think it’s one I would have kept if I had because I would be so shocked by it.

  2. Malgorzata
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink


  3. Howard Neufeld
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    A very well reasoned and written critique of the Dershowitz episode. I agree totally with all the points you have made in this essay.

    It reminds me of my days in elementary school in Maryland, in the late 1950s/early 1960s, when kids used to blame Jews for everything. If a pencil tip broke, they would say things like “this stupid Jew pencil”, and they would blame Jews on things going wrong in their life rather than accept responsibility for their own actions.

    And when I smacked a kid for doing this once, in 3rd grade, it marked the only time I had ever initiated a fight with another student. And to Ms. Schaefer’s credit, my principal, when I told her why I did it, she let me off with no punishment. She paddled the other kid and called in his parents (from whom he no doubt learned to say those offensive anti-Semitic statements).

    Seems not too much has changed in 60 years, sadly.

    • Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      The only fight I EVER got into in my life was when a group of anti-Semitic kids in junior high, waiting at the bus stop, called me a “dirty Jew.” I don’t even remember who went after who, but it’s an episode of violence that still haunts me.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        When my ex-wife was just entering grade-school in an Irish-Catholic neighborhood in Boston, she once called another kid a “kike.” (She had no idea what the word meant, but had heard older kids in the neighborhood say it, and assumed it was a general term of opprobrium, like “dork.”) Turns out, the kid was Jewish, and his parents called her parents, who were mortified by the incident. It haunts her to this day, and any mention of it (like when I tease her about her “history of bigotry”) causes her to cringe.

      • mikeyc
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        My last name is a racial slur. I spent my adolescence with regular bloody noses and bruised knuckles. Kids can be so sweet, can’t they? You’d think with all the blood, bruises and broken noses I’d have become good at fighting. But no. Sucked at it then, won’t do it now.

      • Liz
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        That isn’t right. At all. My memories of junior high were really good. It seemed like there was a bar or bat mitzvah every other weekend. Maybe six in 7th grade and two in 8th. So much fun.

  4. DrBrydon
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    This is really a blot on The Daily Californian. This episode clearly calls into question the judgement of the editorial staff in allowing this to be published.

  5. colnago80
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I entirely agree with Prof. Coyne as to the totally atrocious behavior of certain members of the UC Berkeley student body (it is particularly embarrassing to me as a UCB graduate).

    Having said that, I have to point out that retired Prof. Dershowitz is no plaster saint. In fact, he has published a number of OPEDs in the Jerusalem Post defending actions of the president, whose behavior since he was elected is worse then anything perpetrated by the Berkeley students (they are behind a paywall so I can’t link to them). Dummkopf Donald has done virtually nothing of a positive nature since he assumed office.

    • Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Well, apparently he was subject to some strong opposing Q&A, as he recounts. That’s fine. What isn’t fine is the anti-Semitism, and the fact that the Berkeley paper didn’t even recount what he said.

      • colnago80
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Agreed. The actions of the Berkeley students and the Daily Californian that published that rubbish are totally indefensible.

        • Marou
          Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          And yet by criticising Dershowitz on entirely unrelated matters, you are mitigating the action of the newspaper editor.

  6. Norbert Francis
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Good for Dershowitz for standing up to anti-democratic and totalitarian left. Their political strategy now is to push polarization to the extreme. That’s what’s behind all the mindless name-calling: Nazi, Racist, White-supremacist. The more outrageous and ridiculous the more you can polarize, so there’s no more discussion, no more debate. It was brave of him to confront these bullies on their turf; and it looks like, by all appearance they lost this round.

  7. Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    The response of Professor Dershowitz is masterful. It illustrates perfectly how vigorously responding to hate speech is more effective than banning it.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes. He demonstrated the best way to handle these situations, as has Jerry in his discussion of the episode.

      Calmly calling out and exposing anti-Semitism or any other kind of bigotry is the best way to win the argument and retain the moral high ground.

      The same can’t be said for the “punch-a-Nazi” crowd.

  8. colnago80
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Incidentally, the fact that Dersh has published an article in a “journal” published by the Gatestone Institute is not to his credit. The Gatestone Institute is a source of fake news, such as the example below.

    • Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Are you saying here that we should take his letter less seriously because of where he published it? It’s almost identical to what he wrote earlier to the Daily Cal, by the way.

      And it’s a genuine letter, which of course wouldn’t be published on most Left Wing sites. It’s not “fake news”.

      I’m not sure what point you’re making, or how we should regard what Dershowitz said given where he published it. Could you clarify how our take on his views should be changed because it was published on Gatestone?

    • Malgorzata
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      I would rather say that it’s not to the credit of liberal press which systematically refuses (or avoid as much as they can) to publish this type of articles – defending Israel, defending free speech, criticizing far left etc. Alan Dershowitz is not the only one who has to publish in media liberals and Left are looking with disdain at.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      There’s a difference between fake news and getting things wrong sometimes, or posting an opinion that doesn’t give all sides of the story.

      That line has been confused by the current president as he does his best to sully the reputation of legitimate media outlets. Then, when the truth comes out from the Mueller investigation, a lot of his supporters won’t believe it.

      And the fact that he and his supporters are using the latest made-up conspiracy to try to damage Mueller is no coincidence either.

      Fake News is the stuff like that made up by Russian bots trying to influence the US election, such as paedophile rings in pizza shops, or a president being born in Kenya.

  9. Historian
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Thanks for making us aware of the Gatestone Institute. Its chairman is John R. Bolton, a far right-winger and a dangerous person. I am puzzled as to why Dershowitz would go to this group to publish his rebuttal. His association with Gatestone will not help his position with liberals. Certainly, he could have found a more neutral forum.

    • Historian
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      This is in reference to comment #8.

    • Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      I think the letter stands on its own. It’s pretty much the same as what he wrote to the Daily Californian earlier, so shouldn’t THAT help his position with liberals, since it’s a liberal paper?

      I doubt that a neutral forum would have published this given the material. Where would you suggest? The New York Times? They haven’t even reported on this episode. HuffPo? Not a chance.

      Frankly, I think stuff like this, given that it’s authentic, should be assessed on its own, regardless of where it’s published. It’s like saying that we should demonize any liberal who goes on the Rubin Report, since he’s interviewed some pretty dubious characters.

    • mikeyc
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      What of Bret Weinstein? He appeared on Fox news to recount his experience with those nice young people at Evervreen. Does that make him a witch too?

    • Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      I think it better to judge opinions, like people, by their content, not by the forum in which they are expressed.

      • Historian
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        In an ideal world we would judge an opinion on its merits and not where it appears. Alas, such a world does not exist; rather, how a person is perceived often depends on the “optics.” If Dershowitz tried and failed to have his rebuttal published in a more mainstream site, then it says something not good about that kind of press. Regardless of whether it is right or wrong and whether we like it or not, his association with Gatestone will not win him any applause from his fellow liberals, thereby making it less likely that liberals will buy his argument. If liberals should distance themselves from Dershowitz because of his association with Gatestone, they are making a mistake. I wish Dershowitz could have helped them to avoid making that mistake.

        • Craw
          Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          So not only can we judge a book by its cover, but we can judge it by some other book’s cover.

          • Historian
            Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

            I am not sure as to the “we” you are referring to. But, yes, a lot of people do judge a book by its cover or in this case, where an article is published. If you can provide a practical solution to this problem, I’d love to hear it.

        • mikeyc
          Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

          Your point is taken. It says a great deal about the left though, doesn’t it? No moral high ground.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Dershowitz was something of an inspiration to me before I went to law school (and I wrote a student law-review note on the self-incrimination clause that relied heavily on his early scholarship). I also agree with him in general on Israel, although his positions there are those of a True Believer rather than honest broker.

    But I think the scathing criticism he’s drawn on this from the Finkelstein and Mearsheimer factions of the Left has driven him a bit loco. Like Col. Kurtz after he headed up the Dulong River with his band of loyal Montagnards, his ideas and methods have become … unsound.

    Which isn’t to say there’s any call for characterizing him the way these Berkeley kids did. Shame on them.

  11. BJ
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I haven’t always agreed with Dershowitz, but this isn’t about his views; this is about the continuing acceptance and condoning of antisemitism on the left. These continued demonstrations of antisemitism really put the lie to the claim that social justice types merely care about and want to protect minorities, and that every time they go way too far with something (demonizing entire groups or races, standing against free speech, propping up Islam, etc.) is simply the result of their overwhelming empathy for the historically oppressed.

    • Craw
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Discovered Joys has the apposite quote on another comment below:

      “If a believer demands that I, as a non believer, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission.”
      ~ Flemming Rose

      That is exactly what SJWs are doing.

  12. dabertini
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    “The silence from those on the Left is steeped in hypocrisy.”

    And lack of critical thinking skills.

  13. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    The offensive cartoon should not be removed, as some have suggested. It should be widely circulated along with the names prominently displayed of the anti-Semite who drew it and the bigoted editors who decided to publish it.
    ~ Alan Dershowitz

    This made me think again about the pros and cons of using real names on the interwebs. People should be prepared to say what they believe and identify themselves.

    And yet… this would be asymmetric publishing because there are risks posed from those who do not support free speech (think Charlie Hebbdo).

    And yet further still…

    “If a believer demands that I, as a non believer, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission.”
    ~ Flemming Rose

  14. nay
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    What are they teaching kids in school these days? Do they know how Israel was founded? Hint: It wasn’t founded by the Jews. It was carved out by the Western powers after WWII in order to rid their own territories of Jews – but in a more humane manner than the Nazis’ Final Solution. In other words, it was Western/Liberal-Conservative anti-Semitism plus Guilt.

    The Charlottesville marchers should be shown on a split screen alongside footage of the Hitler rallies with their “Blood and Soil” chants – but I’m afraid if you asked if this is what they want to be, the answer would be “Yes”.

  15. Matt
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Dershowitz just beat the campus activists at 4D chess. I think he presented a moderate position and knew how the students would react.

    • mikeyc
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Useful idiots, the lot of them.

  16. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    When I was at Kent State in the early 1990s, the conservative student organization was trying to stop the creation of a Gay Studies department. In their alternative paper, they had a cartoon that was identical in all details to an old Nazi anti-Semitic cartoon, except the Stars of David had been replaced by a pink triangles!! It was, of course, Jewish students and faculty who caught it right away. Sheesh!

    “Free Speech For me but Not for Thee” is the title of a good 1990s book by Nat Hentoff which is still quite relevant today.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Hey, if you can’t go to college, go to Kent (is the way the other schools in the Mid-American conference used to kid your school back in the day). 🙂

  17. Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    The apology seemed pretty good. But but was a stealthy non-apology bit: “We apologize to our readers and members of our staff who were hurt by the cartoon.”

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      I’m offended by the sheer crappiness of the drawing. In the unlikely event the perpetrator has a day job, they should strive to keep it.

    • Jackson
      Posted October 28, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      I also felt the apology as written came across as insincere. The point is not that people’s feelings were hurt. There seems no justification for the cartoon as it does not relate to the talk.

  18. Lagg
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    If that’s supposed to be a caricature it’s the worst one I’ve ever seen. I shouldn’t need someone to point out to me exactly what’s been exaggerated

  19. Curtis
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    The style is not in the normal style of the cartoonist: Clearly, he was exposed to anti-Semitic cartoons and copied them.

    Two of the editors who approved this cartoon, Karim Doumar and Suhauna Hussain, have Muslim names. If they grew up in the Middle East, they presumably saw this style of anti-Semitism frequently.

  20. tubby
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Was that drawn by a university student? It’s fifth or sixth grade quality work at best.

    • Jeff Rankin
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Yes and yes.

      • tubby
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        PoMo anatomy, I guess.
        UC Berkeley’s art department looks a little dubious on casual inspection. Sketchy, even.

        • tubby
          Posted October 27, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          Figure drawing and drawing and composition used to be *senior* requirements and are now electives. This is a fine arts program to run screaming from.

  21. Jonathan Dore
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    We’re at a dangerous time in the West: 70 years have passed since the end of the War, and to people in their teens and twenties it is ancient history, distant enough that they have never personally known anyone who fought in it, or so their familiarity with its causes is significantly less than people of earlier generations. So racists tropes about Jews get trotted out again without their being aware of their long and grubby history.

  22. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    From what the paper said:

    “Additionally, we are ensuring that a detailed knowledge of the history of harmful visual propaganda becomes an integral part of how we train our staff.”

    Doesn’t that start to sound a bit like censorship? Like ‘prior restraint’?
    That is just as likely to muzzle any cartoons suggesting Muslim links to ISIS, for example. For example the sort of cartoon that Charlie Hebdo published.

    The cartoon on question is distressingly crudely drawn but the whole point of it – as I see it – is that Dershowitz is covering for the alleged crimes of the IDF. (The hand holding the victim even has ‘IDF’ written on it.) I haven’t read Dershowitz’s book so I can’t tell how far that criticism is justified in this case. He may well have a valid grievance there.

    But I can see nothing about eating babies (in fact this whole ‘blood libel’ thing is a bit of mediaeval nonsense so far as I can tell, does anyone in their right mind these days think Jews ever did that? Maybe I move in the wrong circles, because the only time I ever hear of it is on threads like this.)


    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      “does anyone in their right mind…”
      Who, where, when?
      That’s a bit of a cover all, get out of gaol free, no true Scotsman type qualifier isn’t it.
      ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ is a bestseller in Turkey, apparently.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

        Well, I was talking about the intellectual circles I’m aware of. Which is just what I take to be typical western circles. Seriously, I’d never heard such suggestions made – they seem to me to be as archaic as witch trials.

        But I can’t answer for Turkey, obviously. Or, I suppose, neo-Nazis.

        I think it’s a bit of a get-out-of-jail-free on the other side to equate anti-Zionism or sympathy with the situation of the Palestinians* with anti-Semitism. Easy accusation to make and hard to refute.

        *Sympathy does not necessarily mean sharing their beliefs.


  23. brec
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    The surname of the Dean of UCB’s law school, Erwin Chemerinsky, is incorrect in the post.

    (Moderator, if any: feel free to delete this comment after reading.)

  24. Dale Franzwa
    Posted October 28, 2017 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Great post, Jerry.

  25. GildedDogs
    Posted October 28, 2017 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    So now it’s anti-semitic to depict the IDF killing Palestinian civilians (which it has certainly been documented that they have killed civilians) and to depict Dershowitz propping up these war crimes when he has been a constant denier of the fact that Israel has done terrible things to Palestinians? This is beyond ridiculous. And it’s telling how ridiculous this is when Dershowitz could only compare it to blood libel images depicting Jewish people drinking blood. Pray tell, where does this cartoon show Jewish people drinking blood? It doesn’t and it’s in no way invoking blood libel. I thought you people were so supposed to be against PC culture where people see racism, antisemitism, etc. where there is none to be found?

    • Malgorzata
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 1:12 am | Permalink

      Denying Israelis the right to self-defense is antisemitic. You are not accusing France, Germany, Britian, Sweden or any other country who killed civilians in the act of killing people on their soil for “doing terrible things to” the attackers. You deny only Israel the right to kill murderers. You swallowed Arab propaganda hook line and sinker. the Jewish state should – just like Jews for centuries – be without arms and let itself be annihilated. Then you would cry over the terrible fate of Jews because you are not an antisemite. Well, sorry, the time you could easily kill Jews to the applause of your comrades is over.

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