Dershowitz at Berkeley

Transcript of a fine speech by Alan Dershowitz at UC Berkeley on May 29, 2004:

a young student came to me from Harvard College and asked me for forgiveness. I said, “What do I have to forgive you for? I don’t even know you.”

He said, “I never speak up on campus, in my classroom, in my dormitory, at dinner. I never speak up in favor of Israel even though I’ve been there on Operation Birthright and I know the facts and hear the lies.”

“Why not?” I asked.

He replied, “Because if I am perceived as pro-Israel, pro-Zionist, in favor of Israel, I won’t be able to get dates with young girls.”

It was as simple as that. It’s not cool to be a “Zionist.” It’s not cool. I thought I should start a program at the Harvard campus: “Date a Zionist Tonight!” That’s the way he put it — Not cool to be a Zionist. It’s really a problem.

I decided to make it cool again to support Israel and show you can support Israel from a progressive, liberal perspective. Indeed, I support Israel not in spite of my history as a human rights activist, but because of it. I support Israel because I support female rights, women’s rights, feminism, and the Palestinian Authority does not.

I also support gay rights. I saw a student at a college campus hold up a sign that said, “Gays For Palestine.” I said to him “Imagine what would happen if you carried that sign in Ramallah. You’d be killed.” I support Israel because I support gay rights. Recently a progressive congressman, Barney Frank from Massachusetts, worked with me and Israel to grant asylum for 40 Palestinian gays.

Read the whole thing.

More in (1 of 724 articles)

Today's Top Stories 1. Did Israel carry out an airstrike on Hezbollah positions in Syria yesterday? Syrian opposition sources say ...