Half-wits, Dim-wits and Dershowitz
Okay, yes, that's a little bit harsh. But only a little-bit. Because it's well-earned by his own hand.
Oh, my. If Alan Dershowitz hasn't been getting many party invites before back in Martha’s Vineyard, his Wall Street Journal op-ed on Monday won't help. It's titled, "Elon Musk Is Right About George Soros—and Not Anti-Semitic."
And no, I'm not kidding. He really wrote that. Honest.
Putting aside other points to debate that Dershowitz want to argue on behalf of some of Musk's statements being "right" and "not Anti-Semitic," what the once-admired attorney much too conveniently is happy to overlook and give a kindly pass to is when Musk says (among other things) about Mr. Soros such deeply anti-Semitic smears as “He wants to erode the very fabric of civilization. Soros hates humanity.”
Gee, hmmm, I don’t know, but to me that’s pretty hard to ignore when trying to insist someone is "right" and "not anti-Semitic". But then, hey, that’s me.
(I was going to add that after saying that George Soros “wants to erode the very fabric of civilization” and “hates humanity” Musk didn’t bother to give any evidence to explain how he knew this was so. But then I figured the statement was pretty damning all on its own, without even having to add “Oh, yeah?? Prove it.”)
There are certain basics in communication that are pretty well accepted, and as an attorney, I’m sure that Alan Dershowitz knows them. And one of the most basic – that I’m sure he's most-especially aware of – is that agreeing with someone on one point does not even remotely mean ALL things that person has said are therefore correct.
So, the fact that Alan Dershowitz wants to insist (rightly or rightly) that one point or another that Elon Musk has made about George Soros are true does not even remotely mean all things Musk has said about Mr. Soros are therefore correct and not at all anti-Semitic. Like, for instance, as just a starting point, that George Soros “wants to erode the very fabric of civilization” and “hates humanity.”
I am sure there are a great many things that Nick Fuentes – the white supremacist who Kanye West brought to dinner at Mar-a-Lago with Trump – has said about Jews and Black people that were completely valid (like, to make up one, “Jews don’t believe in Jesus Christ.” Or "Blacks work hard"), but to extrapolate that to then say, "See! Nick Fuentes is right about Jews and Black people and not a white supremacist in the slightest" misses the entire point by ignoring all the virulent white supremacist things Fuentes has, in fact, made a career saying. Like telling Jews to "get out fuck out of America.” And "You serve the devil. You serve Satan. ... I piss on your Talmud." As well as complaining about "flooding the zone with "ni**er votes".
I am going to guess that even Alan Dershowitz would agree that things like that totally dismiss any – no, sorry, all – of the lovely, accurate things Nick Fuentes has said in his life. And that Fuentes is, in fact, a white supremacist.
Yet he gives a pass to Elon Musk because Musk said a few things about George Soros that Dershowitz (rightly or wrongly) agrees with.
In fairness to Dershowitz, he has maintained the ability for using hyperbole to make a point, which is always a top quality when trying to explain why someone’s anti-Semitic attacks should be ignored.
In fact, his over-exaggerated comment, “The Hungarian-born billionaire has done more than anyone to turn Americans against Israel” was so important to Dershowitz that he made it his sub-headline. ("More than anyone," not bad. If that won't get your cockles up, what will?!) Two things leap out here –
First is that I would suggest that America has not actually turned against Israel at all. Some Americans have, but then some Americans are actually anti-Semitic. And some Americans hate foreign aid to any country. And some Americans strongly support Israel, but don’t like the current extreme-right conservative leadership in Israel. But overall, America has very strong support of Israel. Including support from the religious right who absolutely love Israel with a fervent passion, though that’s because of it being the home base for End Times when all Jews will be consumed in flames unless they convert to Christianity. More to the point, even if Alan Dershowitz wants to argue that George Soros doesn’t support the current extreme-right leadership in Israel (which is the case for many Americans having zero to do with George Soros), I would suggest that the extreme-right, Trump-supporting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has done significantly more than not just George Soros, but everyone to turn those Americans who are against the current regime in Israel against it.
And second, Dershowitz’s oh-so adorable use of “Hungarian-born billionaire” to describe George Soros not only leaps out in attempting to smear him with images of xenophobic hatred, and outrage against totalitarian Nazis and oligarchs, but also ignores calling Elon Musk the “South African-born one-time richest man in the world.”
Gee, go figure.
In the end, Alan Dershowitz’s op-ed says far more about the descent of Alan Dershowitz than it does about George Soros or Elon Musk, the man who yesterday helped promote for president of the United States a governor who is banning books, removing Black history from education, undermining women’s health, blocking health care for transgender children, making it illegal to mention LGBTQ people in schools, tricking undocumented immigrants for deportation to other states, using the power of his political office to try to destroy a corporation for disagreeing with his law against gays, and outlawing how people dress when reading books to children...who Alan Dershowitz says is "right" and not anti-Semitic.
The one good thing, though, about Alan Dershowitz complaining about not getting invited to parties for his growing outlandish positions is that it means more food for the rest of us.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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