Dershowitz and Abbas 521.
(photo credit: COURTESY ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ)
Harvard law professor and prominent American Zionist Alan Dershowitz presented a
plan to restart peace negotiations with the Palestinians on Sunday at the 2013
Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York.
It would be a terrible
mistake to begin talks based on the pre-1967 lines, Dershowitz said during a
panel discussion on the topic of two states for two peoples.
the Kotel [Western Wall] in the hands of the PA at the start of
Dershowitz told the audience that he had spoken with
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and suggested that a new basis for
negotiations be agreed upon in which construction would continue in the
settlement blocs but not in any areas in which there is “reasonable
Abbas signed a paper with Dershowitz that he would agree
to such a move if the Israeli side would as well, the professor
Afterward, Dershowitz asked Strategic Affairs Minister and
co-panelist Yuval Steinitz if the Netanyahu administration would support
negotiations conducted on such a basis and conducted in “good faith” with a
“tripartite settlement freeze” that would “avoid the problem of what happened
last time when [the Palestinians] didn’t do a darn thing.”
panned the idea, former national security adviser Uzi Arad told Dershowitz said
that he advised against such a move because “one does not take unilateral
decisions of any kind” and especially not “unilateral
Reciprocity is necessary in negotiations with the
Palestinian Authority, Arad said.
“Among the things I asked Abbas,”
Dershowitz added, was: “‘If this deal were made, would you agree to not bring
cases before the International Criminal Court?’ His answer was: ‘That’s a
serious question, and I’m going to give it serious consideration.’”
laughter from the audience, Dershowitz lashed out, saying: “It’s so easy to
laugh, but I have to tell you the audience today is not helpful in resolving
complex and serious issues,” which led to loud jeers and boos.
was booed loudly after telling audience members they are “part of the problem”
for laughing at his new framework for negotiations.
“You’re proving my
point,” Dershowitz hit back. “You are part of the problem, not the
Senior Contributing Editor Caroline Glick, who was also
on the panel, told the audience that she “need[ed] to catch my breath for a
second” after Dershowitz’s comments.
“It’s very nice to come in here and
smack down your audience.”
Dershowitz, she told the attendees, is “nasty
to those who disagree” with him.
“If you want to say that people who
devote their lives to defending the Jewish state are illegitimate voices, then
what do I care what you have to say?” she asked Dershowitz.
end of the debate, Dershowitz alleged that those who booed him and former prime
minister Ehud Olmert were not representative of American or Israeli Jewry and
He said he would defend his “right to tell you what I
think of you, and it’s not much.”
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