Prof. Alan Dershowitz, visiting in Israel, says 'rule of law' must adapt itself to fight the terror threat. He bemoans American Jewry's lack of connection with Israel, and calls on U.S. Jews to visit Israel.
Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard University and an outspoken advocate for Israel in books, articles, lectures and debates, has set two goals for his current visit to Israel: He's here to show support for the residents of Sderot and Ashkelon, and to teach classes and give lectures on how to fight the war against terrorism within a revamped rule of law.
The rules currently favor the terrorists over the democracies, and the rules have to change.
Speaking with IsraelNationalRadio's Yishai Fleisher, Dershowitz said, "I will be teaching how the rule of law has to change, to adapt to the new realities of suicide terrorists who use human shields and thus place democracies in a difficult situation. They take advantage of our higher morality, forcing democracies to choose between doing nothing or inevitably killing civilians. The rules currently favor the terrorists over the democracies, and the rules have to change."
On-Line Rally for Sderot
Dershowitz said he will be participating in a large American Jewish Congress conference this week at which these issues will be discussed. "Some of the world's most important and influential jurists will be there, such as Irwin Kotler, who was Attorney General and Minister of Justice in Canada, former Israeli Supreme Court justices, and Americans as well. It will be an interesting attempt to redefine jurisprudence."
Prof. Dershowitz will also be visiting Sderot later this week, taking part in what organizers expect will be the largest-ever on-line rally. The rally will begin at 5 PM New York time (11 PM in Israel) this Thursday night, at www.togetherforisrael.org, and will switch back and forth between Israel, New York, Los Angeles and other sites around the world. Those involved, including Dershowitz, are hoping to have a million people click and sign on during the rally.
A Target on His Back
"I'll be under the rockets in Sderot myself, with a big target on my back," Dershowitz said, "just like all the other citizens of Sderot. I want to feel what it's like to be in Sderot and Ashkelon at these times, with the terrorists playing Russian rocket roulette with the lives of Israeli citizens. Israel should adopt a zero tolerance policy for rockets. I have written that every rocket that flies from Gaza into Israel is a violation of UN Charter Article 51 - an armed attack giving Israel the full and complete right to proportional self-defense."
"Why must it be proportional?" Fleisher interjected, to which Dershowitz responded, "Proportional doesn't mean equating lives; it just means that if they fire a rifle at you, you can't nuke them. It also doesn't mean that for every life taken, you can take one life, as the international community absurdly believes. It simply means that you don't react totally out of proportion, and neither do you look at the actual damage caused, but rather, you look at the risks of an attack. If each rocket can potentially kill 100 people, then just because they missed, it doesn't remove the risk that had been there. Israel doesn't have to wait until inevitably a rocket hits a school bus or a kindergarten or an ambulance; it can look at the risks, not just the actual consequences."
Though he supports a strong Israeli response against terrorism, he is not politically right-wing. Dershowitz has stated that his book The Case for Israel "is a pro-Palestinian as well as pro-Israel book, because it favors an economically viable Palestinian democratic state, with good health care, education, opportunity, and freedom for the Palestinian people."
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