iOS app Android app

Alan Dershowitz
GET UPDATES FROM Alan Dershowitz
ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ is a Brooklyn native who has been called “the nation’s most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer” and one of its “most distinguished defenders of individual rights,” “the best-known criminal lawyer in the world,” “the top lawyer of last resort,” and “America’s most public Jewish defender.” He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Dershowitz, a graduate of Brooklyn College and Yale Law School, joined the Harvard Law School faculty at age 25 after clerking for Judge David Bazelon and Justice Arthur Goldberg.
While he is known for defending clients such as Anatoly Sharansky, Claus von Bülow, O.J. Simpson, Michael Milken and Mike Tyson, he continues to represent numerous indigent defendants and takes half of his cases pro bono.

Dershowitz is the author of 20 works of fiction and non-fiction, including 6 bestsellers. His writing has been praised by Truman Capote, Saul Bellow, David Mamet, William Styron, Aharon Appelfeld, A.B. Yehoshua and Elie Wiesel. More than a million of his books have been sold worldwide, in numerous languages, and more than a million people have heard him lecture around the world.

His most recent nonfiction titles are Trials of Zion (October 2010, Grand Central Publishing), Rights From Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights (November 2004, Basic Books), The Case for Israel (September 2003, Wiley), America Declares Independence, Why Terrorism Works, Shouting Fire, Letters to a Young Lawyer, Supreme Injustice, and The Genesis of Justice. His novels include The Advocate’s Devil and Just Revenge. Dershowitz is also the author of The Vanishing American Jew, The Abuse Excuse, Reasonable Doubts, Chutzpah (a #1 bestseller), Reversal of Fortune (which was made into an Academy Award-winning film), Sexual McCarthyism and The Best Defense.

Entries by Alan Dershowitz

My Response to the Charge That I Didn't Show 'Compassion' to a Woman Who Falsely Accused Me of Rape

(1) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 11:16 AM

In an article in the Huffington Post, Anna Joseph and Kerry Richards accuse me of not showing compassion toward a 31-year-old woman who deliberately, willfully and mendaciously accused me of raping her on more than six occasions nearly fifteen years ago. I have deep compassion for victims of...

Read Post

The Release of Jonathan Pollard Is a Matter of Justice

(1) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 5:12 PM

With President Obama's call for a "pause" in the floundering if not failed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, the U.S. gambit to use the promise of Jonathan Pollard's release as an incentive for talks has arguably now ended. The injection of Pollard's release -- the former U.S. naval intelligence analyst...

Read Post

Samantha Power Will Wow Them at the United Nations

(133) Comments | Posted June 5, 2013 | 6:12 PM

President Obama's decision to nominate Samantha Power as the United States representative to the United Nations is right on. Power is perfectly suited to stand up to the United Nations' notorious double standard and inversion of human rights. She is not a diplomat by nature, and that is precisely what...

Read Post

Jews Who Boo Efforts to Make Peace

(193) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 6:24 PM

There are a small number of extremely vocal right-wing Jews who believe that retaining the entire West Bank is more important than trying to make peace with the Palestinians. Some of them believe that God gave the Jewish people the West Bank and it is a sin to give any...

Read Post

Why Wasn't Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Indicted as a Terrorist?

(133) Comments | Posted April 22, 2013 | 5:35 PM

The Obama administration's decision not to indict Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as a terrorist calls for an explanation. Nearly everyone expected him to be charged with terrorism under the Federal Terrorism Statute, but instead he was charged with killing someone by using a weapon of mass destruction. The question is why.

Read Post

As Israelis Mourn, Jordanians Glorify

(10) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 12:01 PM

Israelis are now transitioning from their annual day of remembrance to the day they celebrate their independence. But even in celebrating 65 years of statehood, Israel never forgets the sacrifices it has made over the course of its existence.

As Israelis mourn the 25,000 soldiers -- young men and...

Read Post

Assessing President Obama's Trip

(90) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 4:36 PM

Now that President Obama is on his way back from his trip to the Middle East, its potential impact can be assessed. All in all it was a success, despite some pitfalls.

Whenever a high ranking American dignitary visits Israel, there is concern that something will happen -- new settlement...

Read Post

Of Course Hamas Killed the Baby

(10) Comments | Posted March 14, 2013 | 2:47 PM

The recent disclosure that Omar Misharawi, the baby son of BBC reporter Jihad Misharawi, was actually killed by an errant Hamas rocket rather than by an Israeli missile, should have absolutely no moral implications. Of course the baby was killed by Hamas. He would have been killed by...

Read Post

The Pinkwashing Campaign Against Israel: Another Conspiracy Theory

(22) Comments | Posted March 1, 2013 | 2:57 PM

The accusation that Israel is "pinkwashing" its bad treatment of Palestinians by its good treatment of gays is a new variation on a discredited old theme. The core characteristic of anti-Semitism is the assertion that everything the Jews do is wrong, and everything that is wrong is done by the...

Read Post

Did Brooklyn College's Political Science Department Violate the First Amendment?

(17) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 12:47 PM

The co-sponsorship by the Brooklyn College political science department of an anti-Israel event, from which pro-Israel students were excluded, may have violated the First Amendment. Had the event been sponsored only by student and outside private groups, their decision to exclude pro-Israel students and to prevent the distribution...

Read Post

The High Cost of Defending Israel

(80) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 3:29 PM

Whenever I speak in support of Israel or in criticism of its enemies, the dogs of defamation are unleashed against me. The attacks, all from the hard left, seemed coordinated, focusing on common ad hominem themes. They accuse me of being a plagiarist, a supporter of torture, a right wing...

Read Post

Ed Koch: The Death of a Liberal Israel Lover

(19) Comments | Posted February 4, 2013 | 3:04 PM

The passing of Ed Koch marks the beginning of the end of an important era in American Jewish life. Koch represented a time when support for Israel was a quintessentially liberal cause.

When Israel was established in 1948, it had the enthusiastic backing of the hard left...

Read Post

Does Brooklyn College Pass the 'Shoe on the Other Foot' Test?

(41) Comments | Posted February 1, 2013 | 1:17 PM

The decision by the Brooklyn College political science department to endorse the BDS movement -- which includes the boycotting of Jewish-Israeli academics -- has been "justified" on freedom of speech and academic freedom grounds by the Chairman of the department. Brooklyn College's President has said that departments have...

Read Post

Brooklyn College Political Science Department's Israel Problem

(25) Comments | Posted January 30, 2013 | 2:20 PM

The international campaign to delegitimate Israel by subjecting the Jewish state -- and the Jewish State alone -- to divestment, boycotts and sanctions (BDS) has now come to the most unlikely of places: Brooklyn College. The political science department of that college has voted to co-sponsor a campaign event at...

Read Post

Israeli Elections and Palestinian Negotiations

(169) Comments | Posted January 24, 2013 | 9:11 AM

The American politician Tip O'Neill once famously observed "that all politics is local." Had O'Neill been an Israeli, he might have added: "but local politics often has international consequences." The as yet uncertain results of the Israeli election have considerable implications internationally. They suggest a movement toward the center and...

Read Post

President's Nomination of Hagel May Encourage Iran's Nuclear Ambitions

(6) Comments | Posted January 7, 2013 | 11:42 AM

President Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense risks increasing the likelihood that Iran will develop nuclear weapons. It poses that risk because Hagel is well-known for his opposition both to sanctions against Iran and to employing the military option if necessary.

These views are...

Read Post

Legal Implication of the United Nations Resolution on Palestine

(117) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 4:14 PM

The General Assembly vote declaring that Palestine, within the pre-1967 borders, is a "state," at least for some purposes, would have nasty legal implications, if it were ever to be taken seriously by the international community. It would mean that Israel, which captured some Jordanian territory after Jordan attacked West...

Read Post

Hamas' Tactic: Require Israel to Cause Civilian Casualties

(102) Comments | Posted November 19, 2012 | 10:59 AM

As the rockets continue to fall in Israel and Gaza, it is important to understand Hamas's tactic and how the international community and the media are encouraging it. Hamas's tactic is as simple as it is criminal and brutal. Its leaders know that by repeatedly firing rockets at Israeli civilian...

Read Post

Following the Elections, Mideast Peace Negotiations should Resume

(13) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 3:00 PM

I was invited to meet with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority just before he spoke to the General Assembly of the United Nations. I came to the meeting with an agenda: to persuade him to sit down with the Israelis and resume negotiations without first requiring the Israelis to...

Read Post

Honoring an anti-Semite?

(1) Comments | Posted October 9, 2012 | 10:12 AM

At a time of increasing anti-Semitism in many parts of the world, it is deeply disturbing that the city of Clifton, N.J., -- in the shadows of New York City -- is considering naming a park after a virulent anti-Semite and racist named Chester Grabowski, who died in April.


Read Post