ahmadinejad and haredi j.
(photo credit: AP)
The following is the first post of a new JPost.com blog featuring leading American attorney and stalwart defender of Israel Alan Dershowitz
By this time, everyone knows that Jews for Jesus are not really Jews. They are Christians using the cover of their Jewish origin to fool people into coming to their proselytizing services. But many people still think that the seven bearded enemies of Israel - members of an extreme cult called Neturei Karta - who accepted an invitation from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to come to Iran's Holocaust denial festival, are also real Jews.
Still others believe that supporters of Hizbullah and Holocaust minimizers like Norman Finkelstein - who uses his Jewish birth to cover for his anti-Semitism - are real Jews. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I now propose a new vocabulary for describing these imposters. From now on, the Neturei Karta should be known as Jews for Ahmadinejad, and Norman Finkelstein and his ilk should be known now as Jews for Hizbullah.
The Neturei Karta describe themselves as part of the "Orthodox Jews United Against Zionism." In reality, they are a tiny sect that is unwilling to recognize Israel's right to exist as a secular state. According to the Neturei Karta, Jews may not reoccupy Jerusalem until the Messiah arrives and God explicitly allows the establishment of a Jewish nation grounded in halacha, or Jewish religious law.
The Neturei Karta are so incensed by a secular Israel that their principal mission is to align themselves with people and organizations such as Yasser Arafat, Hizbullah, and Ahmadinejad in order to do whatever they can to help eliminate Israel. They number no more than a few thousand people.
Noam Chomsky probably deserves a category all his own. In light of his having written an introduction to a book by Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson - who also spoke at the Iranian hate-fest - Chomsky should now be known as a Jew for Holocaust Deniers. Chomsky has claimed that he was only defending Faurisson's freedom of speech, but that defense rings hollow.
In the first place, Chomsky is not remotely a civil libertarian. Civil libertarians defend everyone's freedom of speech and conscience, whether they agree with the content of that speech or not. Chomsky, on the other hand, defends only those with whom he agrees.
Second, Chomsky did, in fact, defend the substance of Faurisson's Holocaust denial. He called Faurisson as "a sort of relatively apolitical liberal," praised his "extensive historical research," and characterized his assertions about the Holocaust as historical "findings." He also said that he did not see any "hint of anti-Semitic implications" in Faurisson's claim that the so-called Holocaust was a fraud perpetrated by the Jewish people.
Finkelstein's wholehearted hatred of Jews and support for Hizbullah is well documented and easily accessible. He is a denouncer of all Holocaust victims -calling survivors "frauds" and "hucksters" - while appropriating Nazi language himself when he characterizes American Jews as "parasites." He wears his vileness on his sleeve. For a quick overview of his positions, please see a chapter of my book The Case for Peace.
Just like consumers of food and tobacco products must be warned by labels, so too, consumers of propaganda should be warned by appropriate labeling. And just as a person can renounce his citizenship by deed or word, so too can a person renounce his ethnicity in the same manner. I hope my labeling of anti-Semites of Jewish heritage will put to rest any misconceptions that these fringe hate-mongers are representative of or speak for anyone but themselves.
Alan Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard. His most recent book is Preemption: A Knife that Cuts Both Ways (Norton, 2006).