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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The truth hurts

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz is a regular visitor to Australia, frequently interviewed in our media and prone to giving long-winded speeches on Israel.

During a recent talk in Canada, Dershowitz claimed that Israel no longer tortured Palestinians, a fact he said was confirmed by speaking to the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI). The group deny making any such statements. For the record, Israel still tortures Palestinians in detention; the evidence for this is overwhelming.

Dershowitz is a curious case. American academic Norman Finkelstein has documented the professor's difficulties with the truth and his upcoming book, Beyond Chutzpah - On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and Abuse of History, further explores the ways in which "... apologists for Israel contrive controversy. Whenever Israel comes under international pressure, another media campaign alleging a global outbreak of anti-Semitism is mounted."

Finkelstein sent me the introduction to his book late last year. It painfully explains the increasingly vicious attempts by pro-Israel supporters to silence dissent on the Israel/Palestine conflict and media culpability in this trend.


Anonymous Julian B said...

To be fair, though, this is precisely the same kind of tactic preferred by Muslim lobby groups (such as CAIR) whenever there is even a hint of an unfavourable Muslim portrayal in television, movies, etc.

Playing the race victimology card is not the sole preserve of the Jews.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005 6:54:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

True. Let me make it perfectly clear - it's not just Jewish groups engaging in this kind of behaviour, though it gets much more media coverage. Western media is notoriously against the Arab world and Islam and kind to Jews and Israel.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005 6:57:00 pm  
Anonymous Glenn Condell said...

Why can't Dershowitz apply his 'shoe on the other foot test' (Florida 2000) to the Middle East? Why can't he imagine a Reversal of Fortunes?

Chutzpah indeed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005 7:09:00 pm  
Blogger Brownie said...

Sunny von Bulow is still in her coma and nobody is suggesting the tubes be removed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005 7:40:00 pm  
Blogger syed-m said...

Alas, 'denial tactics' similar to those used by people like Dershowitz are prevalent in the 'Muslim' community. A lot of Muslims like to think that Osama, et al are merely a few bad apples in an otherwise noble, wholesome set up. Indeed.

In years to come, I think Finkelstein will be considered one of the great, most courageous Jewish historians of our times.

PS: dude, aren't you supposed to be on holidays or something? Can't help yourself eh? :-)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005 11:53:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Can't help myself, indeed.
Was in Melbourne for a few days, at a wedding, far from relaxing, now back in Sydney. The book must go on...

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 10:12:00 am  

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