Jerusalem Post 50 Most Influential Jews: Number 38 - Alan M. Dershowitz and Irwin Cotler

Pursuing justice.

By
September 29, 2016 16:16
2 minute read.
Alan M. Dershowitz and Irwin Cotler

Alan M. Dershowitz and Irwin Cotler. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
X

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 analyses 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 uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • 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

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

They are, perhaps, the two most eloquent international advocates for Israel and human rights – and they are good friends. One of them, Alan Dershowitz, even nominated the other, Irwin Cotler, for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

As jurists, political liberals, brilliant public speakers and prolific writers who care about civil rights everywhere, they are respected not only in their home countries – the US and Canada – but throughout the world.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Dershowitz dedicated his 2015 book, Abraham, “to Irwin Cotler – a modern-day Abraham – and to all courageous lawyers, Jewish and non-Jewish, who boldly confront injustice and who aggressively demand a single standard of justice.”

“Abraham, the world’s first Jew, was also the world’s first lawyer, arguing with God on behalf of the doomed sinners of Sodom,” Dershowitz writes at the beginning of the book. “He was thus the first in a long line of Jewish lawyers.”

Dershowitz and Cotler are probably the most famous contemporary Jewish jurists. They are often the first to jump to the defense of not only Israel, but of political prisoners and oppressed people around the world.

Dershowitz, 78, spent most of his career at Harvard Law School where, in 1967, at the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor of law in its history. He held the Felix Frankfurter professorship at Harvard until his retirement in December 2013.

In the interim, as a criminal appellate lawyer, he was involved in some high-profile cases, including Mike Tyson, Patty Hearst, Claus von Bülow and OJ Simpson.



He was once described by Newsweek as America’s “most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer and one of its most distinguished defenders of individual rights.”

A strong supporter of US President Barack Obama, Dershowitz broke ranks to speak out forcefully against last year’s Iran deal. In his new book on the American presidential election, Electile Dysfunction: A Guide for the Unaroused Voter, he argues that the 2016 race “is the strangest presidential election in my memory. Despite the polls, the outcome is utterly unpredictable.”

Cotler, 76, a former justice minister and attorney general of Canada, served as a member of Parliament of Canada from 1999 to 2015. An emeritus professor of law at McGill University, and pro bono counsel to political prisoners, including imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi and Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo He recently founded the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights “in remembrance of the Swedish hero of humanity who demonstrated how one person with compassion to care and the courage to act can confront evil, prevail, and transform history.”

Related Content

Jerusalem Post News
July 19, 2018
This week in 60 seconds: Knesset passes controversial Jewish nation-state bill

By JPOST.COM STAFF