THE BLOG
11/11/2007 08:49 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Alan Dershowitz: Was He Against Nazi Practices Before He Was for Them?

Welcome to the desert of the real in which a Jewish man can cite Nazis in defense of torture tactics. I was raised on the Holocaust. I went to a highly religious school where many of my teachers and guest lecturers were Holocaust survivors.

My family talked about the Holocaust at every opportunity, remembering those who were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered, including members of my family. I lived under the Soviet regime, which also tortured and murdered.  I have never met or spoken with any Jew who has ever defended torture, no matter who the "scapegoat" is.

Apparently, there are some Jews who are more than willing to become the very monsters they abhor. This mentality I do not understand and never will.

Take for example the latest Alan Dershowitz column in the Wall Street Journal. Aside from getting the new meme on Mukasey about how the Democrats are beholden to MoveOn.org - echoed by meister Rove, President Bush, Dick Cheney, and the right wing propaganda machine as if one ring ruled them all - Dershowitz actually writes this:

"There are some who claim that
torture is a nonissue because it never works--it only produces false
information. This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent
members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the
locations of their closest friends and relatives."

This statement defies logic. Even if in some instances Nazi tactics worked, why would anyone endorse them for any reason, especially a Jewish man? Dershowitz, and others like him - Joe Lieberman, et al - do not speak for Jews, nor do they speak for Israel. In fact, the far right regime that has co-opted Israel and the US both is not representative of Judaism or Christianity for that matter. Whatever or whomever it is they represent, it is not the Israeli people or the American people. It is as though a multi-national organized crime syndicate has taken over both countries and is using the cover of religion as a shield against criticism.

No Jew, at least no Jew in touch with Jewish values, would ever support torture. When torture becomes policy for politically influential American and Israeli Jews, then the whole of our history becomes polluted with monsters whose crimes we lose the right to condemn.  It is the responsibility of other prominent Jews in both countries to take our religion back from these political parasites, because if we don't, their handy work will create the kind of antisemitism not seen since WWII. Ever since this morally repugnant right wing extremism has in a "paper coup" taken over both Israel and the United States, antisemitism has skyrocketed

"To look at the global situation, racism and xenophobia had become more
acute, particularly antisemitism. Worldwide, there had been 590 cases
of deliberate violence and vandalism against Jews, an increase of 31
per cent from the previous year, with the most incidents in Europe and
the Middle East."

If Israeli citizens will not demand a more moderate government, then Jews around the world will have to ask the hard question: what is more important, the country of Israel or the Jewish people as a a whole?

And if American Jews do not demand that right wing political prostitutes, Jews in name only, stop the US march toward world domination, then American Jews might have to ask themselves a hard question as well: Is the United States more important than our traditions, morals, values, and history as a Jewish people?

In both cases, Jews of the world have to stand up against torture that other, more visible Jews in the US and Israel publicly endorse. We have to do this because we are a good people, a victimized people who know what torture is, and because we know that someday in the future we might, once again, be on the other side of this debate.