Dershowitz Welcomed by protests at Rutgers University
by Ian Chinich
A group of protesters gathered on May 8 in front of the Rutgers University auditorium where Alan Dershowitz was scheduled to speak. He was invited to Rutgers to deliver the key note for the 60th anniversary of Israel celebration. The protesters, many of whom were involved in Rutgers Against the War/ Campus Antiwar Network held signs such as “Jews Against the Occupation”, “Settlements = Ethnic Cleansing”, and “End Israeli Apartheid”. Several of the attendees took literature, but many were hostile. After one Jewish protester tried to hand an attendee lit, the attendee threatened to spit in his face. Likewise, one of the Palestinian protesters encountered racist comments.
The highlight of the night was when Dershowitz came out to speak to the protesters. He approached with the police watching and said “Its good you are bringing up the Nakbah because I am going to mention it in my speech. The Nakbah is self inflicted!” Dershowitz then refused to respond to incredulous replies. When asked about his statements supporting torture he offered, “I dont support torture. I believe the government should get a warrant first.” He then started to walk away. One of the protesters replied, “Should they get a permit before they bomb palestinian villages?”
Though most of the attendees were over the age of 60, they could not ignore the growing size of university based protests against the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the involvement of an increasing number of supportive American Jews.