An open letter to Prof. Dershowitz

The case for President Barack Obama’s reelection is factually inaccurate and uncharacteristically cursory, but most important, deeply disappointing.

Dershowitz with Obama in oval office (photo credit: Courtesy)
Dershowitz with Obama in oval office
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Professor Dershowitz, I was asked by a number of influential leaders in the Jewish community (who I believe we both respect) to please respond to your opinion piece titled “The case for President Obama’s reelection,” which appeared in The Jerusalem Post this past Friday.
I would like to state in clear and unambiguous terms my reasons for agreeing to their request, and for penning the response which appears below. Briefly stated, due to some of the roles which I have assumed in the Jewish community in America over the past 20 years, coupled with various events that I have been privy to first-hand, I felt duty bound, and I say this with a heavy heart, to warn the readers of the Post to completely discount and ignore the weak and baseless arguments that you proffer in your attempt to justify why President Barack Hussein Obama has earned your vote.
Frankly, the most accurate description of my feelings after reading your piece was enormous disappointment. My disappointment was not only because you have always held yourself out as a person who at the very least is intellectually honest, but perhaps more specifically because I have personally been privy to another side of Professor Alan Dershowitz.
You see, Professor Dershowitz, as you will probably recall, I was a student at the Harvard Law School at the same time as President Barack Obama. More to the point, however, I literally sat behind you in the Fall Semester in 1990 when you audited an elective class given by former deputy supreme court justice Menachem Elon titled Talmudic Legal Studies. What was evident to me at the time, by virtue of your line of questioning directed at Professor Elon, was that you seemed to be sincerely seeking the truth, even if such a search would have dispelled your preconceived notions about the subject at hand.
In reading your case in support of President Obama’s reelection, I can only conclude that the research on the topics on which your arguments were based must have been uncharacteristically superficial.
Your analysis, with great respect, is the antithesis of the level of due diligence and critical thinking which was so apparent in your outstanding book, The Case for Israel, as well as in your book The Vanishing American Jew which, parenthetically, included (with permission) the inter-generational demographic chart which was contained in a research article I co-authored with Richard Horowitz titled Will Your Grandchild Be Jewish? Since both space and time are limited, much to my chagrin I cannot take issue in detail with every point that you raised in your case for President Obama’s reelection.
That said, below I have refuted some of the salient points which you cited as the reasons for reaching the conclusion that you did, so that, at the very least, the readers of the Post will be better positioned to serve as an “informed jury.”
The Obama administration has strongly supported Israel’s security
The points that you raise to apparently show the Obama administration’s support for Israel’s security should be considered a floor, not a ceiling, for an administration not explicitly determined to rupture the US-Israel alliance. Congress went on the record, overwhelmingly creating an expectation of the Obama administration following suit. The levels of annual aid to Israel are set pursuant to a 10-year agreement put into place by President G.W.
Bush. Obama’s defenders constantly lower expectations, as if we should be grateful that they are doing the bare minimum to maintain a friendship with Israel.
The Obama administration has improved the standing of America around the world
Nothing could be further from the truth. How can a president of the United States, who took an oath of office “to protect and defend the United States of America and its Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic,” be trusted to uphold this oath when he apologizes to our present enemies? Obama’s so-called “lead from behind” strategy has made sure that America is at the mercy of world events.
The contempt displayed by President Obama for the foundational ideals which America historically has symbolized in the international arena, coupled by his efforts to weaken America’s intelligence apparatus and its military, has caused a precipitous decline in the position America, as the world’s only remaining super power, now commands on the world stage.
The Obama administration has revitalized the automobile industry
Of all the repeated lies by Obama that you seemed to blindly accept, it is frankly embarrassing, as one of the most sought-after lawyers in America, that you seemed to have bought the disingenuous tag line espoused by the Obama propaganda machine that Governor Mitt Romney would have simply “let Detroit go bankrupt,” meaning the auto industry would have been liquidated and denied Federal assistance.
With due respect, professor, you know full well that Governor Romney called for a managed bankruptcy with Federal guarantees and support, only without Obama’s “giveaways” to the unions.
Misleading claim that Governor Mitt Romney is seeking to Christianize America
Professor, your claim that Governor Romney will fill the Supreme Court with justices who “seek to Christianize America,” which in addition to lacking any factual basis, is pretty ironic. While Governor Romney has never attempted to proselytize or impose his views on anyone, President Obama’s agenda to secularize every aspect of American life, together with the war he has waged against religious liberty, is not even subtle.
I recall several outstanding lectures you presented to us back in Cambridge where you were at pains to underscore the fact that the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment is an inalienable right that we need to jealously guard. Am I missing something? President Obama has enthusiastically embraced Saul Alinsky’s tactics to promote his ideological agenda and his political career, including practicing one of Alinsky key maxims, “garb your action in the language of morality.”
Some cursory homework would clearly illustrate that not only are the claims that you make about Governor Romney not borne out by the facts, but furthermore, someone with your intellectual gifts must surely acknowledge that President Obama and his appointed subordinates have been imposing a secular agenda and have worked to make government the national arbiter of morality, to subordinate religious freedom to government coercion.
In closing, my dear learned Professor Dershowitz, we may not have always seen eye-to-eye on a number of philosophical and existential issues back in the day at Harvard Law School, but I have always had a great deal of respect for you. I thought of you as someone who always personified the meaning of the motto of Harvard University, Veritas, Truth. A person of truth should have the intestinal fortitude, faced with reliable facts which point to a conclusion different to that which they first harbored, to humbly reconsider.
To that end, my closing question to you, Professor Dershowitz, is the following: If I were able to show you clear, reliable and authentic evidence to indicate that your conclusion is flawed, would you be prepared, in the name of intellectual honesty, to reconsider your conclusion? I rest my case.
The writer is the managing director of CREO Select Opportunities Fund, LP.