Alan Dershowitz – an emeritus law professor at Harvard University, high profile member of the O.J. Simpson defense team and staunch Democrat – is speaking out in response to strong rhetoric against Breitbart Chairman, Steve Bannon.
“It is not legitimate to call somebody an anti-Semite because you might disagree with their policies,” said Dershowitz.
Going on the record with Breitbart, Dershowitz shared strong feelings about Bannon and how he’s being talked about in the media.
“I think we have to be very careful before we accuse any particular individual of being an anti-Semite,” said Dershowitz. “The evidence certainly suggests that Mr. Bannon has very good relationships with individual Jews. My former researcher, Joel Pollak, is an Orthodox Jew who takes off the Jewish holidays, who is a committed Jew and a committed Zionist, and he has worked closely with him. He has been supportive of Israel.”
“So, I haven’t seen any evidence of personal anti-Semitism on the part of Bannon. I think the Breitbart headline about a conservative republican being a renegade Jew was ill advised, but it doesn’t suggest to me anti-Semitism. It suggests to me a degree of carelessness.”
Dershowitz continued, pointing to the issue of bigotry on both the left and the right.
“I think the larger problem – and it’s a very complicated one today – is how you assess a person who himself might not have negative characteristics, but who has widespread appeal to people who do. And I think that problem exists on the right and the left,” said Dershowitz.
“I think there are left-wing candidates who appeal to some of the worst bigots on the hard left. Anti-Semites on the hard left. Anti-Israel people on the hard left. And I think the same thing is probably true of some very right-wing conservatives who appeal advertently or inadvertently to people whose values they probably themselves don’t agree with.”
As Daily Business News readers are already aware, president-elect Donald Trump named Bannon earlier this week as the chief strategist for the new White House administration.
When asked about whether or not the claims against Bannon demeaned the term anti-Semitism, Dershowitz felt that they did.
“I think so. And I think one has to be very careful about using the term anti-Semitic in two ways. One, I don’t think anybody should be called or accused of being anti-Semitic unless the evidence is overwhelming. And then the second, more subtle and difficult issue is what about characterizing supporters or people who follow them? Subtle distinctions have to be made,” said Dershowitz.
“One has to be concerned about any group, right or left, that has widespread appeal to bigots. And I think they have to look in the mirror and ask themselves why. And that’s a legitimate point to make.
But it is not legitimate to call somebody an anti-Semite because you might disagree with their policies. Or because in one instance, like in the Bannon case, an aggrieved wife in a divorce may have said something which he himself has denied having said. I think you always have to have a presumption of innocence and of good faith. And so, I am not prepared to accept those conclusions based on the evidence that I have now seen.”
Morton A. Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) also issued a statement.
“It is painful to see Anti-Defamation League (ADL) president Jonathan Greenblatt engaging in character assassination against president-elect Trump’s appointee Stephen Bannon and Mr. Bannon’s company, Breitbart Media,” said Klein.
“ADL/Greenblatt essentially accused Mr. Bannon and his media company of ‘ Anti-Semitism ‘ and Israel hatred, when Jonathan Greenblatt/ADL tweeted that Bannon ‘presided over the premier website of the ‘alt right’ – a loose-knit group of white nationalists and anti-Semites.”
Klein shared that the organizations own experience with, and analysis of, Breitbart articles confirms Bannon’s friendship and fair-mindedness towards Jewish people and Israel.
“To accuse Mr. Bannon and Breitbart of anti-Semitism is Orwellian,” said Klein.
“In fact, Breitbart bravely fights against anti-Semitism. Here are a few of the many examples:
Stephen Bannon joined ZOA in fighting the anti-Semitic rallies at CUNY by requiring his Breitbart reporters to call CUNY officials and Gov. Cuomo aides urging them to do something about it.”
A View from the Manufactured Housing Industry
MHProNews and MHLivingNews publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach provided insight as to why keeping a clear mind about president-elect Trump is critical to the MH industry.
“The anti-Trump forces have already shown their willingness to play loose with the truth, and to throw around terms such as racist, bigot, misogynistic and xenophobic to try to stop the candidate turned-president-elect,” said Kovach. “Yet people that know Mr. Trump and his business history shows he is more equal opportunity than his former presidential rival was.”
“There are many possible benefits to a Trump presidency for manufactured housing, our customers and the nation,” Kovach said. “Open minded, objective industry members must be vigilant in not letting unjust slurs stop him from achieving policy objectives that will benefit the vast majority of the public.”
The a new Masthead column from Kovach, featuring industry feedback, is posted here. ##
(Image credits are as shown above.)
Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.