The issue of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel was recently covered in an Op Ed commentary piece in the Richmond Times Dispatch and is being debated within many governments, universities, professional associations, and state legislatures. We have to ask why? What is the root cause? What has Israel done to be such a target?
In a recent on-line video Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz sheds light on this growing movement. Here are some excerpts:
“Name a single country in the history of the world faced with internal and external threats comparable to those faced by Israel that has ever had a better record in human rights; a better record with compliance of the rule of law; a better record of concern for civilians? I have been asking that question now for 20 years – probably to a million people around the world, and I’ve never gotten a single person even to stand up and name a country, because you can’t do it.”
He noted, “No one has ever come with a name of a country that has a better record than Israel when faced with comparable threats. Now if that’s true, then why have there been more resolutions condemning Israel at the United Nations, at the Human Rights Councils at various human rights organizations? Why have there been more resolutions directed against the best country than the worst countries?
“That doesn’t reflect on Israel-that reflects on the sorry nature of human rights in the world today. Rene Cassin, Eleanor Roosevelt, the people who formulated human rights are turning over in their grave by the way in which the human rights agenda has been hijacked by some of the worst human rights offenders to exculpate and prevent themselves from being prosecuted by turning false attention to Israel. If only the rest of the world had as good a human rights record as Israel as had since its creation over the last 63 years, we would be a much more peaceful world, we would have less need for aggressive human rights organizations.”
Dershowitz continued, In the 1940s we said never again and the tragedy is what we have seen instead all over the world has been again and again and again, in Darfur, in Cambodia, in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, again, again and again. And what has the world done? It’s condemned Israel. Consider 1975 – Cambodia was murdering between 2-3 million people. And what was the UN debating? Zionism as a form of racism. There wasn’t a single resolution in the UN regarding Cambodia during the genocide. The same thing was true in the 1990s, the same was true in the first decade of the 21st century.
“So, when we celebrate human rights we have to look at all the human wrongs in the world. Because human rights should be a reaction to human wrongs. And what we have seen instead is the human rights agenda has been hijacked by those who perpetuate human wrongs and the victims, the real victims have not been Israel. Israel can deal with its problems and defend itself.
“ The real victims have been the 6 million people who have been killed since we said never again and preventable genocides because human rights which should be directed against those kind of genocides instead is always focused on the one nation that has the best human rights record in the world when faced with comparable threats. Israelis ought be proud of their record, they are going to improve it, nobody has a perfect human rights record, but all human rights have to be used comparatively.
“And so as we look to human rights and celebrate them, I think one has to look to Israel as a model and has to look at the United Nations and other organizations as a model of what not to do, how not to respond to the problems of the world today.”
Alan Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurther Professor of Law at Harward Law School. A native of Brooklyn, he is a graduate of Brooklyn College and Yale Law School. He joined the Harvard Law School faculty at the age of 25 after clerking on the United States Supreme Court. He has been called “Israel’s single most visible defender - the Jewish State’s lead attorney in the court of public opinion.” He is the author of numerous articles and books on Israel, the Middle East and Jewish affairs.
As always, contact me at (804) 545-8622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.