Dershowitz: Qatar activists only interested in Israel condemnation

Protesters walked out of a lecture by Prof. Alan Dershowitz at the Qatar campus of Northwestern University in Doha on Sunday night.

March 7, 2018 03:38
2 minute read.
Alan Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, May 7, 2017. (photo credit: SIVAN FARAG)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


NEW YORK – Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said pro-Palestinian activists who interrupted his lecture in Qatar were not interested in a fair exchange of ideas and orchestrated the demonstration only because he supports the State of Israel.

Protesters staged a walkout while the distinguished litigator delivered a lecture titled “Law and Media” at the Qatar campus of Northwestern University in Doha on Sunday night.

In a statement provided exclusively to The Jerusalem Post, Dershowitz explained that the premeditated protest had nothing to do with the substance of his ideas.

“The walkout and protest were well planned. They weren’t protesting my ideas. They were protesting me because I’m a Zionist,” Dershowitz said.

“They didn’t care that I support a two-state solution. They oppose Israel. They were not interested in hearing any facts that favored Israel. The government and university handled it well. There was no effort to shout me down, unlike in some US universities.”

The lecture, which was later posted to social media, was first interrupted when two men walked pass Dershowitz as he was delivering his remarks. In a video of the lecture, one of the men can be seen unfolding a Palestinian flag and draping it over his shoulders.

The demonstrators were then followed by two women, one of whom told Dershowitz, “Zionists are not welcome here.”

That prompted a number of other individuals in the audience to rise from their seats and leave the auditorium to a supportive round of applause.

The event was held at Education City, a sprawling campus that houses half-a-dozen US universities – Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth and Northwestern.

According to the pro-Palestinian website Electronic Intifada, Dershowitz accused the protesters of censoring his lecture and abridging his right to speak as an invited guest of the Qatari government.

Northwestern later stated in an email sent to students that it was not responsible for “hosting or sponsoring the lecture by Professor Dershowitz,” adding that the Qatar Foundation backed the lecture at the Northwestern University auditorium.

“In an email sent by [Qatar Foundation], it mistakenly stated that NU-Q was hosting the event. We ask that that be corrected,” Everette E. Dennis, the school’s dean, added in the statement.

The Qatar Foundation is a semi-private nonprofit organization founded in 1995 by then-Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and his second wife, Moza bint Nasser.

The protesters were reportedly members of the Qatar Youth Opposed to Normalization organization, which rejects all ties with Israel and supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against it.

After Dershowitz concluded his lecture, activists took to social media to express opposition to Qatar-Israel relations, using the hashtag “Do not defile Qatar with normalization” in Arabic.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

US Ambassador David Friedman
April 24, 2019
Friedman to 'Post': U.S. thinking ‘out of the box’ with Trump peace plan