Goodman: FromPacificORadio this is
I’m AlanDershowitz, and in my new book,
CaseForIsrael, I try to make a progressive case for a twoStatesolution, and I
insist that if palestinian leadership reallywants palestinianState more than they want to see the end of the jewishStateOfIsrael,
this centurylongconflict which could have been resolved a long ago would
finally be resolved.
I’m NormanFinkelstein. I readAlanDershowitz’sbook
twice. I carefullychecked the sources. And to my impression the book does raise
serious questions about his academic intergrity, his intellectual honesty, and
a series of question about whether he’s even qualified to teach
Goodman: Why don’t we start with you laying
out the thesis of your latest book, theCaseForIsrael.
6. Dershowitz: I wanted to write a progressive liberal case for the twoStatesolution, which I think that most israelis favour and have favoured for a long time. I dedicate the book to professorAaronBarak, the president of theIsraeliSupremeCourt and for a reason. Because I argue in the book that no country inHistory faced with comparable threats both external and internal has ever tried to hard to comply with the rule ofLaw. I compareIsrael favorably to theUnitedStates. In this regard: its court intervenedactively in support of palestinian rights. Even during fighting in war time during theJeninevents the israeli courts enjoined the israeli military from engaging in certain actions which in its view violated the rule ofLaw, TheIsraeliSupremeCourt had banned the kind of rough interrogationtechniques that are now being employed by theUnitedNations inGuantanamoBay. Israel is theonlycountry in modernHistory that has never-deliberately- and -explicitly-retaliated against those who attack its civilian targets. For example, during theSixDayWar in1973War, the1948War, it’s own residential areas were bombed by-Egypt, -Syria, -Jordan, 1600 shells lobbed into westJerusalem. Israel never bombed-Aman, -Damascus or Cairo, they have of course bombed areas of-Beirut in the process have killed innocent civilians. That is deliberatelytargeting civilians and going after the way theUnitedStates did inIraq, which I am verycritical, but nonetheless with theUnitedStates did going after military targets, knowing that they’re going to kill civilians in the process. And so myself, I oppose the settlements, alwaysopposed the settlement since1967. I opposed the occupation. I think Israel made in my view a terrible view in my view what it should have done is made border adjustments pursuant toUNResolution242 which I actuallyconsulted withJusticeGoldburg, he was the ambassador totheUN was involved in the process of that 242resolution, which presupposed some territorial adjustments. The problem is Israel should never have occupied people. Land is different from people. And today I think unilaterally what it ought to do eventually is if it can’t kind the peacepartner to make some unilateral changes, small ones. End the settlements, in fact my peace proposal is that Israel ought to have schedule for ending settlements. That is a schedule for saying, On so and so date, the settlement ends conditioned on bestefforts by the palestinians to endTerrorism. That would create incentive to ending terrorist acts. By the way you nevercondition anything on the end ofTerrorism, that gives terrorists a veto. What you condition it is on making good faith efforts and if we can get Israel to end the settlements and occupation and palestinian leadership to stop usingTerrorism as a tactic, I think finally something could have happened in1917, twoStatesolution, in1937 when the commission recommended noncontiguous jewish homeland and israelis accepted it and the arabs rejected it. In1947 when theUN allocated that portion ofPalestain that had majority of jews in it to a jewishState, and the portion ofPalestain that had palestinian majority in it to an arabState, could have had a twoStatesolution. Could have had a twoStatesolution in-2001 and -2000 when Barak and PresidentClinton offered to be sure noncontiguousState on 90% of theWestBank and capital and Jerusalem with the 35billionsUSD refugeepackage. When Arafat responded by violence, came back to the table, maybe we’ll negotiate for more. The twoStatesolution is inevitable. It’s going to happen. Theonlyquestion is how long it takes to happen. My hope is that we can have a reasonable serious debate about the future; about the rights and wrongs, I think the rights and wrongs on both sides. But I’m nervous because I heard from my debating partner in the beginning what sounded like it was going to be simply an ad hominem attack on me as to whether I’m qualified to teach atHarvard. I would hope we could elevate the discussion keep it on the merits. I won’t attackMr.Finkelstein on his merits of his position. Let people read his book and judge for themselves. And if he would refrain from personal attacks on me, let people judge the book on the merits I think we can move the ball forward have a reasonable, serious debate. I think it would be interesting to know where we agree and disagree. What facts we share in common, what facts we have different views on and whether they’re empirical and could be subjected to reasonable resolution, where we haveMoraldisagreements, I reallythink that in the end today you read the news aboutIsrael is other good news. There is a prisonerexchanges between Hezbollah and Israel which Israel would get back oneperson, civilian who was captured byHezbollah in exchange for Israel giving back 400 or so prisoners. There’s movement forward. Let’s notdestroy that movement forward by getting involved in meaningless ad hominem discussion, let’s see if we can elevate the debate see if we can really move forward to the two state solution that I think virtuallyeverybody in the world today wants.
Goodman: ProfessorAlanDershowitz, author of theCaseForIsrael.
NormanFinkelstein, your response.
8. Finkelstein: I appreciateAlanDershowitz’sseriousness at least in these remarks. I have no intention whatsoever of getting involved in an ad hominem debate withMr.Dershowitz. I’m interested in the facts. I was asked to come in and discuss his new book. I went home, purchased onecopy, in fact I purchased twocopies. I read the book verycarefully. I did what someone serious does with a book. I read the text, I went through the footnotes. I went through it verycarefully. There’s onlyoneconclusion one can reach having read the book. This is a scholarly judgment, not an ad hominem attack. Mr.Dershowitz has concocted a fraud. In fact, Mr.Dershowitz has concocted a fraud, which amazingly in large parts, he plagiarised from another fraud. I found that prettyshocking, shocking coming from aHarvardprofessor. I find it shocking coming from any professor.
Dershowitz: We have to cut off I just want to
warn everybody here that although I’m not a litigious person when you make
Finkelstein: I’m proceeded to.
Dershowitz: When you make allegations of
plagiarism that’s a. It has great legal implications. And I can’t obviously sit
quietly by and.
Finkelstein: You shouldn’t. I agree. Well,
that’s Let’s look at the evidence.
Dershowitz: Of plagiarism.
14. Finkelstein: Let’s look at the evidence. In thefirsttwochapters of your book, you extensivelyreproduce all ofJoanPeters’spages in her book. I read it carefully. In1984.
Dershowitz: Show me onesentence.
Finkelstein: I am going to show you I think I
have. I made available the charts to you.
Dershowitz: You’ve shown me nothing. Let’s
start with that. That’s a categorical lie. What you’re hearing now on radio is
a claim that Mr.Finkelstein made available to me certain charts. That is a lie.
Finkelstein: Mr.Dershowitz, I think you had
about fiveminutestime I wasn’t looking at the clock. If we’re going to have a
civil debate, you’re going to have to remain.
Dershowitz: It’s not going to be about me.
Let me be veryclear about that.
no interest in you, Mr.Dershowitz. None at all. I’m interested in the scholarship, I’m interested in the
facts, I’m interested in your book. In1984, oneJoanPeters
published a book calledFromTimeImmemorial. The book was universallyrecognised
by serious scholars to be a fraud. Without
wanting to toot my own horn, I’m widelyrecognised as the person who exposed the
fraud. I know that book inside out. I read it at least fourtimes, I went
through all 1854footnotes. I started to read your book, Mr.Dershowitz, I then came to
chapterone, footnotes10, footnote11, footnote12, footnote13, footnote14,
footnote15, footnote16, all of the quotes are fromJoanPeters. They’re so fromJoanPeters
that you have a long quote here fromMarkTwain on pages23to24. I turned toJoanPeters
page159to60, identical quote from Twain with the ellipses in the.
21. Dershowitz: Is theTwainquote wrong?
22. Finkelstein: With the ellipses. Let me finish, sir. They’re in thesameplaces. The identical quote from Twain with the ellipses in the same places.
23. Dershowitz: It’s been quoted, as you know.
Finkelstein: Mr.Dershowitz, I.
Dershowitz: What’s your point?
Finkelstein: Let me finish.
27. Dershowitz: I would ask you a question. Is it a direct quote? Is it an accurate quote ofTwain? Did Twain say.
Goodman: ProfessorDershowitz, the way we can
have a civilised discussion here is that each person will get a chance to make
their point and won’t be cut off.
29. Finkelstein: You have a nearlyfull pagequote from oneWilliamYoung, a British consul from may1839.
30. Dershowitz: Is it an accurate quote?
31. Finkelstein: I’m going to finish, sir. On page18 of your book. I turn to JoanPeters page184, the identical quote with the ellipses I’m holding it up for the camera perhaps they can see this is the length of the quote.
32. Dershowitz: Is it an accurate quote?
33. Finkelstein: It’s in the identical place. Last point. I’m not going to go through chaptertwo where there are 29plagiarisms from JoanPeters.
34. Dershowitz: To be veryclear, it’s not plagiarism to quoteMarkTwain correctly.
35. Finkelstein: Except that you citeMarkTwain, notJoanPeters.
I’m a professor, sir, I know what plagiarism is.
Dershowitz: And plagiarism is. What is your
definition of plagiarism?
Finkelstein: We’re not going to get involved
[ ] in that now.
Dershowitz: You’re using a word you’re not
going to tell us what you mean by it?
Finkelstein: The documentation, you know what
we’ll let everybody else decide for themselves because documentation onelast
example. I want to make it veryclear, inJoanPeters’sbook, FromTimeImmemorial,
she coins a phrase. The phrase is turnspeak.
Dershowitz: She borrows it from.
Finkelstein: Sir, I’m sorry she coins the
phrase, you see, you don’t know what you’re talking about, that’s prettyterrible.
She coins the phrase, turnspeak, she says she’s using it as a play off ofGeorgeOrwell,
which is all listeners know used the phrase newspeak.
She coined her own phrase, turnspeak. You go to Mr.Dershowitz’s
book he got so confused in his massive borrowings fromJoanPeters that on twooccasions
I’ll cite them for those who have a copy of the book, on page57 and on page153,
he uses the phrase, quote, GeorgeOrwell’sturnspeak. Turnspeak is notOrwell, Mr.Dershowitz,
you’re theFelixFrankfurterchair atHarvard, you must know that Orwell would
neveruse such a clunky phrase as turnspeak.
Dershowitz: I like it.
Finkelstein: Well, maybe you like it.
Evidently JoanPeters liked it. But GeorgeOrwell neverheard of it to the best of
Goodman: We have to break for stations to
identify themselves. Sixtyseconds. When we come back, ProfessorDershowitz can
respond. We’re talking toProfessorAlanDershowitz author of a new book it’s
called theCaseForIsrael, and debate withNormanFinkelstein. You’re listening
toDemocracyNow. Stay with us.
More music here from the lateFrankLowe as we
continue our debate onAlanDershowitz’s new book called theCaseForIsrael. AlanDershowitz
is ProfessorOfLaw atHarvardLawSchool. In discussion withNormanFinkelstein who
teaches atDePaulUniversity in Chicago. His book, ImageAndRealityIsraelpalestinianConflict
and TheHolocaustIndustry. ProfessorDershowitz, your response to this veryserious
charge of plagiarism.
46. Dershowitz: It’s a frivolous charge, of course. What happened was this. Of course I read thePeters’sbook, anybody writing a book on theMiddleEast anybody would. I alsoread theMythsAndFacts, a book put out originally byAIPAC then published-separately and -independently probably 30or40 other books which use thesamequotes, they’re veryextensively used quotes byMarkTwain, because MarkTwain traveled toPalestain, MarkTwain is a veryprominent american writer. What he saw inPalestain is veryrelevant to the debate. He saw barren lands, didn’t see a palestinian community. He saw empty roads and he writesextremelyvividly and onescholar is entitled to read a book as I did, Peters’sbook and to find quotes in the book and check them against the original quotes. And find them to be accurate and then do what I did, I don’t know whether or not Mr.Finkelstein read footnote31 that appears on page246 which says, the research of french cartographer, Vital”Cuinct”, relied on for the. I may have mispronounced it.
Finkelstein: No, you misspelled it.
48. Dershowitz: See JoanPeters, FromTimeImmemorial, then Peters’s conclusions and data have been challenged and then I quote from-Said and -Hitchens, I do not in any way rely on them in this book. In other words, what I did, and it’s verycommon for scholars to do that. As I read her books, I readMr.Finkelstein’scriticism of them I came away from enough doubt about the conclusions that although I don’t regard the Peters’sbook in any way as a fraud, I think it was well intentioned effort to recreate and verydifficult to recreate the verydifficult to recreate events that existed in 1890 and 1900. Did I find her quotes which have been as I said usedextensively byFactsAndMyths and other publications, to be quite compelling. This book and none of my writing, I don’t purport to be independent historian who goes back to theMiddleEast and reads original documents. I am making a case. I’m doing what a lawyer would do and what lawyers do is they find sources, they check the sources, I had a researchstaff that obviouslychecked the sources. I haven’t heard a word fromMr.Finkelstein suggesting that the quote fromMarkTwain is not an accurate quote. If Peters had made up a quote that hadn’t existed. MarkTwain had never written and then somebody borrowed the quote without going to check back on whether MarkTwain had said that, obviously that would be a serious charge. I’ve done nothing like that. The vast majority of my book deals with current situations. In fact, I start my book by saying there has to be a statute of limitations on grievances. I don’t try to base theCaseForIsrael on the fact that jews lived inPalestain before the birth ofJesus or the fact that jews were expelled from what is now Israel in72AD, and I argue that palestinians can’t really make the case against the twoStatesolution based on historic claims that go back onehundredyears but first couple of chapters which are quite brief, I recount never purporting to be creative or original in the recounting, I recount what has been accepted as traditionalHistory. That includes the fact that the land particularly what is now what would be westernPalestain, what was the part ofPalestain allocated toIsrael in the1947Division was land that before the jews got there in the first aliyah in1880 in the beginning of the20thcentury was land that was coming into disuse. Now these are controversial, by the way, there are some palestinians who say you shouldn’t trustMarkTwain. Some palestinians say you shouldn’t trust the various english travelers. Reasonable people could disagree about that. I quote those sources, I lay them out there for people to read so that they can evaluate the claims that Israel was established on the basis ofColonialism. I make the following argument which I’d love to hearFinkelstein rebut. You can’t be a colonialist country unless another country sent people there as soldiers to take over that country. For example, France sent its settlers toAlgeria. England sent settlers toIndia. Dutch and other countries sent their settlers to parts ofAfrica with guns to take over. What did the jews do during thefirst- and second-aliyah. They escaped from countries that were persecuting them. They escaped from-Russia and -Poland, -Lithuania. They didn’t come at the request of those countries, if you claim people were colonialist you have to say on whose behalf they were working. The jews weren’t working on behalf of Russia or Poland or Lithuania. They came as refugees, much like americanjews came as refugees toAmerica. The ones who went toPalestain went with rakes and hoes to try to build the land, to try to join collectively with the local population. They did in fact improve the land as the result of work projects in westernPalestain many Arabs from easternPalestain moved there, I cite statistics, Peters cites thesameStatistics in fact showing that in various the fact that I can’t remember the exact numbers, jews moved there attracted 300or400, you may disagree with it. But those are the data that I presented and we can reasonably disagree with that. Now, I just want to make onepoint aboutMr.Finkelstein’sresearch. I don’t want to get ad hominem I don’t want to get into this debate. But for example, I do quoteMr.Finkelstein at onepoint I think only once in the book. That is he makes an argument inEdwardSaid’scollection that to judge the1947partition theonly fair way to do it is to look at either all ofPalestine, which I don’t know whether he needs to include what became Jordan, trans-Jordan or not or you have to look at what became of Israel after the1948War. I disagree with that. What I say respectfully in the book is that when you look at the fairness of the1947petition, you only look at the land that was allocated to theStateOfIsrael. In that land, jews were clearly a majority according to theUNcensus to be sure once the Arab nations attacked Israel, once the palestinians attacked Israel there was a war and Israel secured more land which was regularized by a crease fire in1949. What Mr.Finkelstein does is he counts that land and says, Look how much they got and look at the proportion of Jews and palestinians, that’s not the correct demographic to look at. So we can have reasonable.
Goodman: Let’s get the response to that.
Dershowitz: Stay away from the ad hominems
and get to the merit of the case.
Finkelstein: ProfessorDershowitz, I’m not a
professor atHarvard, but I do.
Dershowitz: You seem to resent that a lot.
Finkelstein: I do teach elsewhere. And when
we discuss issues like falsifying information, plagiarising, lifting whole
cloth from other books, I’ve neverheard that called ad hominem for a serious
scholar and a serious academic, those are veryfundamental issues.
Dershowitz: But when they’re false.
Finkelstein: If they’re false, then you
dispute them. To characterise them as ad hominem seems really out of court for
56. Dershowitz: You said, I don’t deserve to teach atHarvard, that sounds pretty.
57. Goodman: ProfessorDershowitz, letNorman make his case.
58. Finkelstein: You raise that issue, then I’ll address it then returning to the substantive issues of your book.
59. Dershowitz: First, tell me why I shouldn’t be teaching atHarvard.
60. Finkelstein: On page207 of your book, you say that “to deliberately misinform, miseducate, and misdirect students is a particularlynasty form of educational malpractice.”
61. Dershowitz: Of which I accuse(NoamChomsky and others).
62. Finkelstein: I consider what you have done in the book to be a paradigmatic example of misinforming, miseducating and misdirecting. Allow me to finish.
Goodman: Let him make his point.
64. Finkelstein: Allow me to finish, Mr.Dershowitz. I’ve been veryrespectful of your time. On page213 you discussedHolocaustfraud byRobertFaurisson and you write, quote, “There was no extensive historical research” referring to his book.
Dershowitz: That’s right.
66. Finkelstein: “Instead there was the fraudulent manufacturing of false antiHistory”.
Dershowitz: That’s right. And Chomsky wrote
Please don’t bring in Mr.Chomsky.
He can defend himself. We’re talking about you and your book. It was the kind of deception referring toFaurisson’sbook that
let me quote clearly, “for which professors are rightlyfired”.
69. Dershowitz: I stand by that.
70. Finkelstein: “Notbecause their views are controversial,” let me underline this again, “but because they are violating themostbasic canons of historical scholarship.”
Dershowitz: Let me respond to that. You
compare me to Faurisson.
Finkelstein: I didn’t ask.
Dershowitz: You made up the story that theHolocaust.
74. Finkelstein: I’m referring to your standards. I have no interest inFaurisson now, I’m talking about your standards. “To miseducate, misinform and misdirect to violate the standards of historical scholarship are grounds for expulsion.”
Finkelstein: It’s not an ad hominem argument,
it’s using your standards.
Dershowitz: No, it’s an ad hominem.
Goodman: I’m going to interrupt here because
I want to get to some of the main points of your book. Also we were intrigued watchingScarboroughCountry when
the offer that you made. Let’s play it for a moment.
[Clip] Dershowitz: Tell you what. I will
give10.000USD to thePLO in your name if you can find historical fact in my book
that you can prove to be false. I issue that challenge, I issue it to you, I
issue it to thePalestinianAuthority, I issue it toNoamChomsky, toEdwardSaid, everyword
in my book is accurate and you can’t just simply say it’s false without
documenting it. Tell me onething in the book now that is false? [End of clip.]
Goodman: Okay. Let’s go to the book. TheCaseForIsrael,
81. Dershowitz: Let me tell you what he came up with. This is reallyfascinating if you show the rest of the clip. He said onTelevision, I saw a photograph or a videotape of Israeli soldiers aiming their guns at that, whatever 12yearold boy who was caught in the crossfire and killed and I actually upped the offer to25.000USD if he could produce a photograph or if he could produce proof that he had seen that. Why was I so confident? Because germanTelevision did a verythorough study of that oneparticular incident. Let’s just spend oneminute on that. What happened is when that child was killed in his father’sarms, the nation ofIsrael went into almost universal mourning, it was as if they were sittingShiva on one of their own children. A child had died it looked as if possibly israeli soldier might have shot him. When you contrast that to how palestinians respond to a child dying inIsrael fromTerrorism dancing in the streets, it’s a verystriking comparison. Then germanTelevision did a study, they found out that the israeli soldiers were positioned in a way that it was physicallyimpossible for the bullet from israeli soldier to have hit that palestinian child and it was virtuallycertain that the bullet had come from a palestinian gun. In my view, that’s not particularlyrelevant when a child is caught in crossfire. It’s a tragic death resulting from the crossfire. Which bullet actuallyhit  was notrelevant, but that was the answer that he came up with.
83. Finkelstein: Well, first of all I want to clarify the monetary issue. Is it now 25.000USD?
Dershowitz: 25.000USD on that issue.
Finkelstein: Just on that issue. In general 10.000USD.
Dershowitz: Let me be clear.
Finkelstein: We just saw the tape. I think
Dershowitz: I made it veryclear I said
afterward a material willful distortion.
Finkelstein: I don’t want afterwards.
ProfessorDershowitz, it’s on tape. We just saw it. We’re nottalking about a
spellingmistake. We’re nottalking about a minor.
Goodman: All right. Let’s talk about.
91. Finkelstein: Serious material. Let’s start. Numberone, I’m going to first deal with just concrete facts which are notparticularlycontroversial, which can easily be confirmed. On page80 of your book you write, according toBennyMorris between april and june.
Goodman: BennyMorris is an israeli historian.
93. Finkelstein: I have a copy of his book here, which I’ll hold up. 2.000 to 3.000 palestinians were made refugees during thesecondstage of the flight. Here is the book in front of you. Page256, can you read what the sentence says.
94. Dershowitz: Let me read you what I say in my book, in some areas arab.
95. Finkelstein: Please don’t read the whole paragraph.
96. Dershowitz: Let me put in the context. Chomsky says that Morris does notbelieve that any arab leaders told the palestinians to leave. I say, in some areas I quote from Morris, “in some areas Arab commanders ordered.
Finkelstein: I’m notdisputing that.
98. Dershowitz: To clear the ground for military purposes to prevent surrender. More than half dozen villages, et cetera, were abandoned during these months as result of such orders. Elsewhere in east Jerusalem in many villages around the country, the Arab commanders ordered women, old people and children to be sent away out of harm’s way. Indeed psychological preparation for the removal of the dependents had begin in 1947-48 when the Arab high command and Arab League periodically endorsed such a move in contemplating the future ofPalestain.” And I say therefore, Chomsky is simplywrong when he says that there’s no evidence, he says again in another point, nobody today believes that any of the refugees were told to leave. And so I dispute that by quotingMorris himself.
Finkelstein: You seem to have an obsession
withMr.Chomsky, but he’s nothere. I’m here. Let’s look at thenextsentence.
Dershowitz: Actually, I thought I was going
to be debatingChomsky today. I was surprised.
Finkelstein: Let’s be serious.
Dershowitz: I agree with you.
103. Finkelstein: Read thenextsentence. Morris estimates in your book I have right in front of me. Nextsentence.
104. Dershowitz: Morris estimates that between 2.000 and 3.000 arabs fled their homes during this phase of the Arabinitiated fighting.
Finkelstein: Can you please read what Mr.Morris
Dershowitz: You’re talking about.
Finkelstein: Please read what he wrote?
Dershowitz: If I have the whole book I will
find for you if you want to take time.
Finkelstein: Can you read the sentence?
110. Goodman: I’m looking at page256 ofBennyMorrisbook, RighteousVictims, AHistoryOfTheZionistArabConflict.
111. Finkelstein: He is referring to phasetwo now same one as you. Go ahead.
112. Goodman: “Altogether about 200.000 to 300.000 Arabs fled their homes”.
113. Finkelstein: There is a big difference between (2.000 and 3.000) and (200.000 and 300.000).
could check this many times, Mr.Dershowitz. But you are really going to have to
pay the 10.000USD. I hope you allow me to earmark it forJenin. I would like to
give it toJenin.
talking about a variety of.
Finkelstein: This is not the OJTrial. This is not theOJTrial.
We’re not going to play a game.
116. Goodman: Is your point. What you are saying NormFinkelstein is that, in AlanDershowitz’sbook theCaseForIsrael, he says 2.000to3.000?
117. Finkelstein: It’s 200,000to300,000.
Goodman: Your response to that?
Dershowitz: I argue that 700.000 Arabs.
Finkelstein: Don’t change the subject, Mr.Dershowitz.
Dershowitz: I’m not changing the subject.
Finkelstein: We’re talking about phasetwo.
April through june. Please don’t play this game.
123. Dershowitz: Obviously, the phrase 2.000to3.000 arabs refers either to a subphase or is a typographical error.
Finkelstein: This is why lawyers have a bad
reputation. Because you are playing a game now. I’ve read the book twice. In
fact, I’ve read the book sixtimes, because I’ve readPeters fourtimes and yours
twice that makes sixtimes.
Dershowitz: Did she make this point?
Finkelstein: Of course.
Goodman: I’m going to interrupt a second,
because stations have to make their point, which is they have to identify themselves.
We’ll come back if you can stay with us for the show, we will continue this
discussion. Our next guest, we’ll ask him to wait. We’ll do the interview after
the program, I think this is tooimportant. We’re talking toAlanDershowitz. His
new book is called theCaseForIsrael, he is debatingNormanFinkelstein, his books
are theHolocaustIndustry and ImageAndRealityOfTheIsraelPalestineConflict. Stay
Goodman: I’m AmyGoodman, and we’re talking
withProfessorAlanDershowitz. His new book is called theCaseForIsrael. MarioCuomo
writes, “AlanDershowitz’s detailed and penetrating analysis of the issues that
fuel the continuing war inIsrael should be read by everyone.” NormanFinkelstein’sbook,
theHolocaustIndustry, has a recommendation on the back byRaulHilberg, who is
the leadingHolocausthistorian in this country. And he says, “When I
readFinkelstein’sbook at the time of the appearance, I was in the middle of my
own investigations. I came to the conclusion he was on the right track I refer
now to the part of the book that deals with the claims againstSwissbanks.” I’m
jumping ahead. He says, “I am by no means the only one who in the coming months
or years will totallyagree withFinkelstein’sbreakthrough.”
129. Dershowitz: Let me focus on the2.000or3.000. This is such an obvious point. What is the context I’m arguing. I’m arguing that lots and lots of arabs in distinction to what Chomsky said were told to leave by their arab commanders. Obviously it’s in the interest of that argument to maximise the number who would leave. Only an idiot would deliberatelyminimise the number who’d leave.
Goodman: Let’s refrain from ad hominem
I’m talking about myself now.
I would have been an idiot had I used 2.000 when actual
number was 2to300. If you wanted to make an accusation, you would say instead
of saying 2to300. He said 4-500.000. Remember the argument, the argument I’m
making is that lots of the palestinian refugees left, left as the result of
orders from their leaders during this period of time. So my incentive if we
take Mr.Finkelstein would be to exaggerate the number. Now he accuses me of
reducing the number by100fold. Obviously there are onlytwo possible
132. Finkelstein: You asked me for factual errors.
Dershowitz: Why would anyone make a factual
Finkelstein: I don’t know.
Dershowitz: That would hurt their position.
It’s thestupidest allegation.
Finkelstein: Mr.Dershowitz, with all due
respect, with all due respect, I cannot understand for the life of me why someonewith
your reputation and with your accomplishments would cobble together a fraud.
That to me is themostperplexing question.
Dershowitz: Let me ask you a direct question.
Goodman: We only have tenminutes. We want to
go to content.
Dershowitz: Am I right or am I wrong that it
would serve the interests of my argument to overstate rather than to understate
Finkelstein: Mr.Dershowitz, there is no
argument there. There are no arguments in your book. Your book is a collection
of fraud, falsification, plagiarism and nonsense.
Goodman: We’re going to close both
microphones. We’re going to go through this in a civilised way over thenexttenminutes.
You have laid out a challenge, ProfessorDershowitz, onScarboroughCountry,
the program onMSNBC. You said, If anyone can find factual error in the book,
we’re not talking spelling errors, that you will give10.000USD. Sorry?
Dershowitz: I’m prepared to do that.
143. Goodman: Now I’m going to interrupt. This is a major challenge you put it out onTelevision. NormanFinkelstein, you have laid out oneerror. Whoever is interest it served, you did respond. You said 2to3.000 quoting, citingBennyMorris, the Israeli historian in fact he said 2-300.000arabs.
144. Dershowitz: Let me make the point that I do make an argument.Here is the argument I make. I make the argument that the issue is a complex one of the refugees that in fact many of the refugees of the 700.000.
145. Goodman: But, you’re citingBennyMorris. He made a different point than you did.
146. Dershowitz: He made a point that strengthens my argument.
147. Goodman: But it’s wrong in your book. Whether or not it strengthens.Whether or not it serves your argument.
148. Dershowitz: Let me be veryclear. If you make, I do make an argument. My argument it’s veryserious, that many of the palestinians were told to leave by the commanders. If, in fact 200.000 were told to leave instead of2.000, that strengthens my argument. That is the argument that I make. If the book says 2.000to3.000, there were onlytwoexplanations. Either it is a typographical error or I have to check the book obviously, I was referring to a smaller phase. But it would be ridiculous for anybody to understate when the purpose would be to overstate.
Goodman: Okay. Let’s leave that and go to
150. Finkelstein: What I’m going to do for the interest of time and trying to be respectful ofProfessorDershowitz is I’ll simplyquote your statements in the book one after another slowly. You can simply stop me and say, I can prove that or I have the evidence, okay? Simple. Page206 you write, “Israel is theonlycountry in theMiddleEast to have abolished any kind of torture in fact as well as inLaw.”
152. Finkelstein: Let’s start with that one.
TheIsraeliCenterForHumanRights InTheOccupiedTerritories has
a website. I follow it quite closely. I went to the website and I checked under
the heading for torture. I would ask again AmyGoodman rather than myself to
simply read thefirstsentence for thelatestissue of that and if she wants to
Goodman: It’s calledB’TselemIsraeliInformationCenterForHumanRights
Finkelstein: Please keep in mind he said, Mr.Dershowitz
said “in fact as well as inLaw”.
Goodman: Thefirstheadline says, “Torture. Interrogation by torture is absolutelyprohibited by
Israeli and InternationalLaw. Despite this, israeli securityforces breached the
prohibition and torture palestinians during the interrogation.”
Dershowitz: I don’t agree with that. We have
a reasonable dispute about that. What Israel does and
what Israel did until1999 was what theUnitedStates is now doing onGuantanamoBay.
That is they put people in uncomfortable “shabach” positions, they put hoods
over their head, often foul smelling hoods, they play loud music, there’s a
cover story in theAtlanticMonthly this month which talks about rough
interrogationtechniques. It describes what theUnitedStates is doing and it says
that Israel used to do that, some possibility it continues to do it. That’s
simply not the kind of torture that InternationalLaw prohibits and in fact my
point is, In Jordan torture is routine, inEgypt it’s routine.
158. Dershowitz: TheIsraeliSupremeCourt already took an extraordinarilycourageous decision in1999, it’s online, in which JusticeAharonBarak said that asDemocracy we must tryTerrorism with onehand tied behind our back, but in the end we have the upper hand. Because we comply with the rule ofLaw. Israel is to be commended for its attempt to regulate and control the torture of
Goodman: You stand by your statement that
they do not torture. NormanFinkelstein.
160. Dershowitz: And that theSupremeCourt has abolished it, and if anyone were to engage in an act that gave the possibility of torture, they would be in contemptofcourt.
Goodman: You have sixminutes. Less than sixminutes
Finkelstein: AmnestyInternational, whom I
know you think is an untrustworthy source, HumanRightsWatch, B’Tselem, they all
Dershowitz: And they’re wrong.
Finkelstein: Israel stillcontinues to
practiceLaw. You can say they’re wrong, but let’s be clear. Sir, I’m not going
166. Dershowitz: What do you define as torture?
167. Finkelstein: I’m not an an expert in the topic.
168. Dershowitz: Certainly not. Yet, you’re making accusation.
169. Finkelstein: I don’t make the accusation, Mr.Dershowitz, you’re confusing things. I go to the mainstream respectedHumanRightsorganisations, and I look at what they say.
Dershowitz: Let me talk aboutAmnesty.
Goodman: You have a number of points here. We
have fiveminutes to go.
Dershowitz: I need to respond.
Goodman: You did respond. You have thirtyseconds
174. Dershowitz: AmnestyInternational.
Finkelstein: I am quotingB’Tselem.
176. Dershowitz: Recently said that AharonBarak should not receive an international prize, because he doesn’t believe inHumanRights. He is oneof thegreatest [advocator] ofHumanRights, they also.
177. Goodman: AlanDershowitz, let me ask you a question. I’m going to interrupt, because you’re on another point. B’Tselem, you just think it’s wrong. NormanFinkelstein, next point. We have fourminutes to go.
178. Finkelstein: Numbertwo, you write on page126 “there is no evidence that israeli soldiers deliberatelykilled even a single civilian inJenin.”
180. Finkelstein: Now, Mr.Dershowitz, I lookedcarefully at your book. You don’t likeAmnestyInternational.
181. Dershowitz: I’m a member and contributor toAmnestyInternational.
182. Finkelstein: And you don’t particularlylikeB’Tselem.
183. Dershowitz: If I were an israeli, I’d belong toB’Tselem. So don’t characterise my views, you don’t know my views.
Finkelstein: I read your book. Or the book
you purport to have written.
Dershowitz: Now you claim somebody else wrote
Finkelstein: I hope so. For your sake, I
trulyhope you did not write this book.
Dershowitz: I proudlywrote it.
think the honourable thing for you to do would be to say, I didn’t write the
book, I had no time to read it. I’m sorry.
Dershowitz: I wrote everyword of it.
190. Goodman: Okay, you made the point aboutJenin and whether or not the israeli soldiers.
191. Dershowitz: Deliberately shot a civilian.
192. Finkelstein: Let’s quoteHumanRightsWatch. They put out an extensive report on Jenin. Now, HumanRightsWatch, you no where in the book mention, nowhere. Let’s see what HumanRightsWatch concludes, quote, “there’s prima facie evidence that Israel committed, quote, war crimes inJenin.” Further, quote, I want everyone to listencarefully, “many of the civilian killings documented byHumanRightsWatch are mounted to unlawful or willful killings by theIDF.” Please listen to the words. Willful killings. And then. And then.
193. Dershowitz: I’ve listened to the words, and I deal with this verydirectly in my book.
194. Finkelstein: Then HumanRightsWatch copiouslydocuments multiple cases of willful killings byIsrael. What did Mr.Dershowitz write? “There’s not a single case of”.
195. Dershowitz: There’s not a single case of. Not only inJenin. Let me tell you why I make my point. Because there is absolutely no incentive for-theUnitedStates or -Israel or for any other Democracy ever willfully to kill an innocent civilian. Everytime an innocent civilian is killed, it hurtsIsrael, hurts it domestically and. Let me finish my point, it hurts it internationally. Everycountry engaged in urban guerillawarfare will inadvertentlykill civilians. But the veryidea that an israeli soldier who are trained in the idea of the holiness of arms, who get better training about avoiding civilians.
Goodman: We have oneminute.
197. Dershowitz: Who are punished for civilians.
Goodman: LetNormanFinkelstein respond, you
are making the point that in general you wouldn’t think they would.
Finkelstein: A verylovely BarMitzvahspeech.
Dershowitz: That’s a little ad hominem, I
201. Finkelstein: HumanRightsWatch wrote, quote, “among the civilian deaths were those ofKamalZgheir”, listen carefully “a fiftysevenyearsold wheelchairbound man who was shot and run over by a tank on a major road outside the camp on april10 even though he had a white flag attached to his wheelchair.” That sounds prettydeliberate to me, Mr.Dershowitz.
Dershowitz: If it’s true.
Finkelstein: If it is true? The whole world
is lying. OnlyJoanPeters tells the truth.
204. Dershowitz: First of all, JoanPeters has neverwritten about this issue. This issue is one where not only israeli military but UnitedStates has investigatedJenin, theUnitedNations has investigatedJenin.
Dershowitz: Some of the.
Finkelstein: Did they make up that example?
Let’s get this clear. Did HumanRightsWatch make up that example?
Dershowitz: No, that was.
208. Finkelstein: Mr.Dershowitz, this is disgraceful. You’re shaming your institution. [Provided that they give a shit, he does.]
Dershowitz: Not a single one.
Finkelstein: Did HumanRightsWatch make that
up? Did it make it up?
Dershowitz: Let me continue.
Goodman: On that note, we’re wrapping up the
program. ProfessorDershowitz, let me ask this question. Did you investigate theHumanRightsWatchreport?
Dershowitz: Of course
I did. I read it.
Goodman: You found that to be incorrect.
Dershowitz: Not only that, theUnitedStatesGovernment
found that to be incorrect.
Goodman: On that note we have to wrap up the
show. Thank you both for being with us. AlanDershowitz, theCaseForIsrael.
NormanFinkelstein, theHolocaustIndustry. You decide. Our website
www.democracynow.org. I’m AmyGoodman, thanks for joining us.