Dershowitz Scolds ZOA For ‘Flapping’ For Trump
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Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz was jeered at the Zionist Organization of America’s annual dinner on Sunday for suggesting that the organization must be a home to “all Zionists, not just right-wing Zionists.”
“ZOA must be a home in which (Theodor) Herzl and (Louis) Brandeis would be as comfortable as (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky; in which (David) Ben-Gurion would comfortable as (Menachem) Begin, and in which (Isaac) Herzog would be as comfortable as (Benjamin) Netanyahu,” Dershowitz said in a speech, after receiving the “Mortimer Zuckerman Award” at the ZOA’s annual Louis D. Brandeis Award dinner held at the Grand Hyatt in New York. “I don’t ever want to see the ZOA – and I am not suggesting this is happening – become the mirror opposite of J Street because that causes tremendous division within the Zionist community.”
Dershowitz suggested that Jewish American organizations should focus on consensus issues within the mainstream of Israel and most in the American Jewish community, such as the Iran deal, combating the BDS movement, opposing unilateral actions at the UN, protecting Israel’s security, and fighting anti-Semitism. “Those are issues we can be united about,” he said. “They are enough to keep us busy forever.”
“Why do we have to get into issues that divide the Jewish community, that divides the Israeli community?” he asked.
Dershowitz stressed that Israel must always remain a bipartisan issue, especially during presidential elections. “We should never, ever have a presidential election which is a referendum on Israel. Why? Because we can lose.”
The liberal professor, who acknowledged that he voted for Hillary Clinton, drew loud boos from the crowd when he reminded them that Clinton won the popular vote and that 150,00 votes reallocated differently in Pennsylvania and Florida would’ve produced a different electoral college result. “One thing we cannot accept is, we put Israel’s fate in the hands of an election system,” he said. “We must always make sure that both parties and candidates for both parties support Israel, so we will not be in a situation where one party loses the election, it would be bad for Israel.”
“The Zionist Organization of America should not take sides on Israeli domestic politics or on American domestic politics,” Dershowitz said, criticizing the crowd’s “flapping” for Donald Trump’s victory.
“Thank God we have Donald Trump,” Klein declared in his opening remarks.
During the invocation, Dr. Alan Mazurek celebrated the fact that “Once again, the prime minister of Israel will enter through the front door of the White House,” saying the Trump’s election was divine intervention.
Klein took to the podium to respond to Dershowitz, noting that the organization had honored in the past Democrats like Bob Menendez, Chuck Schumer, and criticized Republicans like President George W. Bush and former Secretary of State’s Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice “when they said things that were hostile to Israel.”
“We are not about left or right,” he stressed. “ZOA is not Republican or Democrat. We are about what is best for Eretz Yisrael.”
Speaking to Jewish Insider following the event, Dershowitz asserted, “What I don’t like is when you come to an event and it becomes a political rally for one political candidate rather than another. I would hope that an organization like ZOA if Hillary Clinton would have won the election, would be just as welcoming to her because that’s what bipartisanship really connotes. And the fact that I was booed when I made a statement of fact that nobody can dispute, showed me at least the mindset of some of the people in the audience.”