Saying No to Alan Dershowitz

10 Nov

On declining Alan Dershowitz’s challenge to debate my endorsement of Gilad Atzmon’s autobiographical The Wandering Who? (my few lines are an echo of a poem by ee cummings that I recall reading many years ago). Dershowitz’s defamatory polemic can be found in the Huffington Post, but why it was considered publishable remains for me a dark mystery. Gilad Atzmon’s response can be found on his blog for those sufficiently interested.








There is








            will not











32 Responses to “Saying No to Alan Dershowitz”

  1. Claudia November 10, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    You rock!!

  2. deepaktripathi November 10, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    Excellent response, Richard. There is no point in engaging in theatrics with known propagandists whose sole purpose is to bully, insult and and try vainly to score cheap points in an attempt to feel big!

  3. mark gardner November 10, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    The last time you blind-eyed antisemitism, (the pissing dog cartoon) you ended up apologising, saying:

    “…To be clear, I oppose any denigration of a people based on ethnicity, race, religion, stage of development, and believe in the human dignity of all people in their individual and collective identity…”

    How can Atzmon’s book (and numerous website rantings) not contravene these words?

    Learn the pissing dog lesson and actually look at what Atzmon is saying. The book is named after a notorious antisemitic character. The chapter titles continue the cold joke theme: Swindler’s List, From Purim to AIPAC, Trauma Queen, The Book of Esther Fagin vs Einstein, Credit Crunch or Zio Punch. And then, there’s the content.

    This ‘shit’ Atzmon endorsement of yours is a far graver mistake than your pissing dog cartoon.


    • Richard Falk November 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

      With regard to the cartoon it was a complete accident. I selected the cartoon only because I mistakenly thought it showed double standards in relation to the International Criminal Court. It was inserted in a post on arrest warrants for Qaddafi, and nothing to do with Israel.

      Here I read the book and felt that it was an honest attempt to come to terms with Jewish identity, although in an admittedly controversial manner. I am convinced that there was no anti-semetic intention on the part of the author, and I stand by my endorsement of the text,
      which is different from saying that I agree with it altogether.

      • Gary November 10, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

        Professor Falk

        How you can say someone mockingly referring to a “Swindler’s List” isn’t being anti-Semitic is unfathomable. I suppose if you ignore the context of 20 centuries of persecution and anti-Semitism it might not occur to you. Otherwise, you have to be pretty cold-hearted to read that moniker and not sense that the author has a deep loathing for Jews as a group.

      • Richard Falk November 11, 2011 at 5:12 am #

        I do not have the book with me here in Canada where I am living for the rest of 2011 so I cannot
        check the context of the remark. Much of Dershowitz’s attack took statements out of context and distorted their meaning. My reading of the entire book was that it represents an honest, if provocative, attempt to wrestle with doubts about his Jewish identity in the course of his
        development as a person. It is a book to be read and debated, not denounced.

      • Brad Brzezinski November 11, 2011 at 7:23 am #

        Dear Professor Falk:

        You don’t even know how to spell antisemitic (Anti-Semitic) so I suspect you don’t know what it is.

        Yes I’m being a pedant by using your spelling error but let’s face it, we live in a world where a major bloc of countries the OIC, actually makes the argument that Arabs bear the brunt of antisemitism because they are Semites. That is why I spell the word the way I do, to give it its intended meaning of Jew hatred and disassociate it from its Semitic root.

        When major voting blocs with considerable influence at the U.N. are playing semantic games with such an important issue, how can you endorse this book?

        You say Atzmon writes, “in an admittedly controversial manner.” Suppose you have the intellect to glean his true, non-Jew-hating meaning. It is quite obvious that those who do seek to promote Jew-hatred will not be bothered by nuance but seize on the opportunity this provides them.

        How can you be so irresponsible?

      • Richard Falk November 11, 2011 at 8:25 am #

        I appreciate your concerns, which have a basis in reality, but there is also the need for those concerned with genuine anti-semitism to address critically this question of Jewish identity given the behavior of Israel as the self-proclaimed Jewish state, and I believe that Atzmon is trying in his way to make those of us who are Jews to look inwardly before we act outwardly. I believe this is an overdue adjustment for a variety of reasons.

  4. Argaman November 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Professor Falk – have you considered that this response to Dershowitz presents you in a much worse light than him? Isn’t it beneath your dignity to reply in such a manner?

    • Richard Falk November 10, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

      You may be right, but his column was such a mixture of half-truths and outright distortions
      that I felt offended. All I did was to encourage the reading of a book, admittedly controversial,
      but deserving debate not this kind of denunciation, not of the book itself, but of its endorsers.

      • Oregon Jack November 13, 2011 at 1:15 am #

        You owe Mr. Dershowitz no more than the few words you chose. Even one word of truth would surpass his output. As a defense atty he stated himself that 95% of a defense attorney’s clients are guilty which makes him an ideal mouthpiece for Israel. Dershowitz not only plagiarizes but does so from from cartoonish distortions of Israeli mythistory, creating amplified and even more twisted distortions, and does so with brazen chutzpah. It is impossible to have an honest debate with a liar, denier and manipulator, and to attempt it only provides a forum for generation of confusion in an uninformed public – which of course is the nefarious objective.

  5. Zarina Bhatia November 11, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Well said, Richard Falk

  6. Broadside Balladeer November 11, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    Richard Falk’s lifelong record of exposing war lies and crimes stands in stark contrast to Alan Dershowitz’s mad dog attacks on anyone who criticizes Israel’s genocidal attacks on the Palestinians, always with the charge of “anti-semitism” to anyone who stands for decency and human rights. So who is really slinging shit here? It’s way past time to dismiss subjects as taboo or to defend a wall street system whose armies are extended way beyond the shores of reason and justice. I have not even heard of this book til now. But I sense that it must contain some uncomfortable truths to generate these slanders against the integrity of Mr. Falk.

    • Oregon Coast November 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

      It is an excellent book for provoking thought, on topics that need to be stripped of their taboo status, and discussed as adults. I fully understand the good professors referral on slinging shit, as so many people stand across from each other and sling fistfuls of their own ideologies at each other, most of which is certainly scat.

      The good professor is somewhat of a humanist, and being such, he might have a tendency to look past the mental constipation of ideologists, and suggest writings that might loosen such mental blockage. Burn or ban books at your own peril, one day you may look around you and wonder how things could have gotten so bad.

      • Richard Falk November 12, 2011 at 11:03 am #

        Thanks, Oregon Coast, for this perceptive comment! If we want the benefits of a free society
        we have to feel free to read what we wish..

  7. Kamal Hassan November 11, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    The honorable Richard Falk, is well known for his courage and honesty, on the other hand Alan Dershowitz is known of the complete opposite, Dishonest and dishonorable.
    As aPalestinian refugee and a peace activist, I am extremely proud in what Richard Falk stand and have stood for fordecadess. Thank you professor Falk for who you are…

  8. Mariah November 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    Brilliant response, thank you Richard Falk! Class act. You know the difference between human rights advocacy and entertainment.

    • Richard Falk November 13, 2011 at 8:21 am #

      Mariah: Thanks for these supportive words, which are much appreciated, maybe even
      needed! Richard

  9. rehmat1 December 13, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    Dr. Falk, Israel’s Zionist propagandists are devoid of sense of morality or rationality. In Canada we face this truth almost every day at compuses, in politics and in religious domain. I don’t know if you heard about University of Toronto coming under fire last year for awarding a Master’s degree to a Jew female student Jennifer Peto – for her thesis which claims that the Jews practice racism against non-Jewish communities…

  10. rehmat1 December 13, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    Dr. Falk do you know the UN Watch has blasted you for this hilarious poem? I have written about this and UN Watch’s previous rants against you. You may like to check it out on my blog below:

  11. Alexander van Broek March 21, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    Mr. Falk: I am interested in your development as an intellectual. How, and when, did you become so passionately committed to the destruction of any positive aspect to Jewish identity and history.


  1. UN official Richard Falk posts profane poem about Alan Dershowitz at View from Geneva - November 10, 2011

    […] the UN Human Rights Council’s permanent investigator of Israeli violations, has published a profane poem.  Screenshots […]

  2. Anti-Semite & 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Richard Falk will not debate Dershowitz #jcot #supportisrael | Glory to man in the highest - November 14, 2011

    […] Saying No to Alan Dershowitz «         […]

  3. Zionist Bad Press Is All You Need - November 16, 2011

    […] to respond to Dershowitz’ drivel and Falk dismissed the Zionist ‘celebrity’ smear as defamatory polemic. If Dershowitz had one drop of dignity in him, which I doubt, he would have done the decent thing […]

  4. The Progressive Mind » Zionist Bad Press Is All You Need | Veterans Today - November 16, 2011

    […] to respond to Dershowitz’ drivel and Falk dismissed the Zionist ‘celebrity’ smear as defamatory polemic. If Dershowitz had one drop of dignity in him, which I doubt, he would have done the decent thing […]

  5. Wise words | - December 8, 2011

    […] Saying No to Alan Dershowitz ( […]

  6. Richard Falk chased by pro-Israel UN Watch | Rehmat's World - December 11, 2011

    […] November 10, 2011 – the UN Watch website blasted Richard Falk for posting a hilarious poem in reponse to Israel-Firster Alan Dershowitz’s slanderous article in Zeoconservative […]

  7. Richard Falk chased by pro-Israel UN Watch | Rehmat's World - December 11, 2011

    […] November 10, 2011 – the UN Watch website blasted Richard Falk for posting a hilarious poem in reponse to Israel-Firster Alan Dershowitz’s slanderous article in Zeoconservative mouthpiece, […]

  8. Doors of Perception By Paul Balles “In America, President Obama’s major problem is also one of perception. He needs to recall the public’s perception of him when they elected him.” | - December 26, 2011

    […] Saying No to Alan Dershowitz ( […]

  9. Max Blumenthal: Torture, violence advocate to keynote anti-BDS event Alan Dershowitz, Supporter of bulldozing Palestinian towns and torturing criminal suspects, is coming to campus | 2012: What's the 'real' truth? - February 3, 2012

    […] Saying No to Alan Dershowitz ( […]

  10. Jewish UN Watch’s anti-Sudan campaign | Rehmat's World - September 1, 2012

    […] November 10, 2011 – the UN Watch website blasted Richard Falk for posting a hilarious poem in reponse to Israel-Firster Alan Dershowitz’s slanderous article in Zeoconservative mouthpiece, […]

  11. Stand With Us protests coming Falk lecture at SDSU - San Diego Jewish World - April 2, 2014

    […] Richard Falk, “Saying No to Alan Dershowitz,” November 10, 2011, at […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: