In a recent piece, claims Dershowitz:
"He cannot possibly believe that Israel used the thousands of rockets that Hamas directed against its children as an excuse, or a cover, for its real goal, namely to kill as many Palestinian civilians as possible."Of course, it would be outrageous if Goldstone believed that. But, once again, it's a lie. In the report, Goldstone claims that
what occurred in just over three weeks at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 was a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.Punishing, humiliating and terrorizing are not the same as killing. Dershowitz knows it, but prefers to transform an accusation that is made by Goldstone, but which is not outrageous, into another accusation that is outrageous, but not made by Goldstone. Sorry, Alan, we've caught you with your pants down again.
See also Jerry Haber's minutious destruction of Dershowitz's "response" to Goldstone, on which his blog article is based.
As an aside, I was amused to see that, according to Dershowitz,
Goldstone (...) refused to credit eyewitness reports published by refutable newspapers, and even admissions by Hamas leaders.
Well -- if the newspapers were "refutable," Goldstone was right not to credit their reports, wasn't he? A few hours after the article was published on Dershowitz's blog, a reader spotted the mistake and commented,
24 | Arnold - Canada, Thursday Feb 04, 2010
Editing error: paragraph 5, line 4: should be "reputable" rather than "refutable".
The misspelling was corrected (but I preserved the cached version with the mistake here).
It's not the first time that Dershowitz struggles with the English language. A few months back he debated arch-Zionist hawk Melanie Philips over whether Obama adequately passes the loyalty (to Israel) test. Philips argued Obama is bent on Israel's destruction. Dershowitz's (correct, in this case) position was that Obama would eventually "see the light" (i.e. understand the power of the Jewish lobby) and back down from pressuring Israel. In that debate, the "civil rights champion" argued:
This is simply not the Barak Obama that I know and voted for. No one who fits this characterture would have gone to Sderot (...) No one who fits that characterture would have appointed Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State, Dennis Ross (...) as an advisor on Iran and Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff.
Making charactertures of American presidents is indeed horrible. But I'm a linguist, and in my professionally distorted view, grotesquely misspeling the word caricature is even more horrible.
Dershowitz's trouble getting fairly common words straight may have cost him the book censorship he sought circa 2005. When the University of California Press was about to publish Norman Finkelstein's Beyond Chutzpah, a neat exposé of Dershowitz's bogus scholarship, Alan tried to stop the book from coming out by writing to California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the crucial paragraph, the expert appeals attorney warned:
I know that you will be interested in trying to prevent an impending scandal involving a decision by the University of California Press to publish a viciously anti-Semitic book by an author whose main audience consists of neo-Nazis in Germany and Austria. The book to which this is a sequel was characterized by two imminent historians as a modern-day version of the notorious czarist forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Of course, Gov. Schwarzenegger refused to censor the book. Among other factors, he must have taken into account that Finkelstein was slammed by imminent (i.e., soon-to-be, but not yet so) historians. If they had been eminent historians, who knows, maybe the book would have never seen the light of day.
Some people wonder how it is that Harvard continues to proudly display a professor who openly endorses crimes against humanity, such as torture or collective punishment. I, for my part, would be pleased to see the university fire Dershowitz on far simpler grounds -- his illiteracy.