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Solidarity groups denounce Dershowitz appearance in Vancouver PDF Print E-mail
Sep 15, 2010 at 12:00 AM

September 15, 2010

“We find it appalling that the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver is sponsoring an appearance by Alan Dershowitz, who is an outright apologist for anything and everything that the State of Israel does, to open its annual fund-raising campaign,” says Bob Rosen, spokesperson for the Vancouver chapter of CanPalNet, a Palestinian solidarity organization.

“Dershowitz played a central role in the campaign to get Norman Finkelstein dismissed from the faculty of DePaul University because Finkelstein criticized Israeli behaviour and their treatment of Palestinians,” explained Stephen Aberle, a spokesperson for Jews for a Just Peace.

“We would like to ask those who are supporting Mr. Dershowitz by attending his appearance in Vancouver whether they support his efforts to muzzle academic criticism of Israeli policies, and if so, why?” continued Carl Rosenberg, spokesperson for Independent Jewish Voices. “We think that it sets a dangerous precedent when academics are dismissed because of their political positions.”

“This man has an appalling track record when it comes to human rights issues,” says Rosen. “Dershowitz has defended the Israeli use of 'preventive detention' of Palestinian citizens of Israel and has advocated the use of collective punishment, including the destruction of villages, against Palestinian communities in response to individual acts of terrorism. This, despite the fact that collective punishment is a violation of international law,” Rosen points out.

“After 9/11, Dershowitz proposed the use of 'torture warrants' as part of the 'war on terror'. This is the idea that if the police want to torture someone to extract information, it's OK as long as they get prior approval from a judge,” Aberle says.

“Given his track record, we are appalled that this is the kind of public figure the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver chooses to be associated with,” Aberle concluded.
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The Israeli military has unleashed its most vicious air assault against the people of Gaza in decades, killing over 280 Gazans and wounding over 700. Despite claims by the Israeli leadership that they are trying to avoid civilians the attacks have been concentrated on Gaza City and the towns of Khan Younis and Rafah. Israeli television reports that Israeli troops are massing on the border "in preparation for a supplementary ground offensive".

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