…and numerous other topics during a fascinating interview. Here is the transcript of the podcast:
Mohler: Thinking hard about those kind of issues leads me to a questions that’s drawn not so much from the kind of academic discussion or even the context of litigation but rather international relations. President Barak Obama recently set forth his plan for the achievement of a stable Middle East peace, and in it, he for instance called for Israel to return to the 1967 boundaries to use the language which the president employed. I know as a friend of Israel you have to have a strong opinion about that.
Dershowitz: I do. The ‘67 borders were invitations to war. And of course they produced one war after the other. And why you would return to artificial borders that make Israel vulnerable to attack would make the Ben Gurion airport three miles away from Palestinian rockets. And make Israel have only nine miles in width at its narrowest point. Nobody seriously is considering returning to the ’67 borders. Now the president did say with land swaps but you shouldn’t need land swaps for Israel to preserve the Western wall, the holiest point of Judaism. The Jewish quarter of Jerusalem which has been continuously in Jewish hands since 3,000 years ago. The access route to the Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital those are a part of Israel even thought they were captured in a defense of war, captured back in a defense of war in ’67 when it comes to some of the settlements, yeah land swaps make sense, but the Palestinians gave up something in return and they have to give up their alleged right of return. Bringing back, bringing 4 million great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces of people who left as a result of the war started by the Arab states in 1947, 48, and 49. So I thought it was one sided presentation. I thought it also made it harder for the Palestinians to negotiate. President Obama basically gave the Palestinians what they wanted namely return to ’67 borders without requiring the Palestinians to give up what they need to give up and that is the right of return. They have to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. They have to renounce violence do all of those things and you can’t have unilateral peace. Israel tried that with Gaza, and it didn’t work. They just gave the Gaza up and 10,000 Jews had to leave Gaza. What did they get in return? 10,000 rockets. Most recently an anti-tank missile aimed at a school bus that had forty-six students in it. Fortunately they were discharged minutes before and only one student was killed—only one student. My God I can’t even say that, one young person was killed because the Palestinian Hamas aimed rockets deliberately to maximize the killing of school children. And they justify it to this day. So you can’t make peace with Hamas. Hamas is the kind of terrorist organization that has to be dealt with the way the United States dealt with Al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. But when Israel dealt with Hamas that way and targeted for assassination its military leaders, it was criticized by many around the world to praise the United States when it did the same thing. So we see the double standard is alive and well and used against the Jewish state very often throughout the world.
Mohler: Now how does that play out in the modern American University. I wanted to speak about Europe, but one of the things you have been very brave to address is the lack of free speech, is the lack of respect for a pluralism of ideas and frankly you’ve indicted many of the leading educational institutions of this country with a very blatant anti- Semitism.
Dershowitz: Well, the University of California which has a significant number of Jewish students has not protected the free speech of Jewish kids who are pro-Israel. Most recently of course we know that the University of California at Irvine that Michael Oren who is a very moderate academic Israel ambassador to the United States was invited to speak at the university. And a group of Muslim students decided to shut him down. Decided to not allow him to speak and fortunately after many disruptions they were finally removed from the audience and he was allowed to continue his speech. But when the prosecutor decided to prosecute these people who were trying to censor a speaker many people came to the defense including the American Civil Liberties Union came to the defense of these censors. You know I’ve been an active member of the ACLU for nearly half a century; it’s the first time I remember the ACLU defending censorship and coming to the support of people whose goal was to prevent a speaker from speaking and to prevent audiences from listening. They never would have done this had the shoe been on the other foot. Had there been Jewish disrupters or evangelical Christians, disrupters trying to prevent a Hamas speaker from speaking on campus they never would have come to the defense of the censors they would have come to the defense of the speaker. But the ACLU made the terrible mistake of coming to the defense of the censors in this case.
Here is the MP3 podcast link: