Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Books: "War Against the Jews" By Alan Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz, one of the most celebrated lawyers in the world and was the youngest full professor at Harvard Law School, where he is now the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus. He is known as one of the fiercest defenders of Israel, especially since it suffered the worst day in its history, October 7, when it's civilians were viciously attacked by Hamas terrorists. In the aftermath of the attack, Dershowitz wrote the new book, War Against The Jews: How to End Hamas Barbarism and it will be released today, Tuesday, December 12. His 2019 book, Defending Israel: Against Hamas and its Radical Left Enablers, is also available in paperback today.

War Against the Jews: How To End Hamas Barbarism

By Alan Dershowitz

Hot Books; hardcover, 224 pages; $29.99; available today, Tuesday, December 12th

Alan Dershowitz wrote this of-the moment book to explain why the horrific Hamas attack on October 7, and Israel's justified response, changed everything with regards to Israel's place in the world.

It has changed Israel's relationship with the United States, especially with regard to the possibility of direct American intervention in its war in Gaza, and pressure the United States is putting on Israel.

Along with that is the dangerous attitudes among America's future leaders on today's college campuses toward Israel's possible destruction. This is what prompted the Congressional hearings with the leaders of Penn, Harvard, and MIT last Tuesday, and their reluctance to criticize those pro-Hamas protests created a furor that led to resignation of Penn leadership and the other two universities facing heat. There also have been media biases that have been exacerbated with Israel's vulnerabilities. 

October 7 required Israel to consider using its nuclear option, with regard to destroying Iran's nuclear weapons program, and deploying its nuclear arsenal as a last resort to assure its survival. Predictions about the future of the region are nearly impossible now, except that imposing instability is inevitable.

The future of peace between Israel and its Arab and Muslim neighbors, which was looking better than ever with the Abraham Accords, is now clouded. Also, proposals for a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict have been diminished.

The brutality of October 7 has united Israelis and Jews around the world like never before, despite deep divisions among them politically, religiously, and ideologically.

"Nothing will ever be the same," Dershowitz writes. "It is remarkable that a ragtag band of murderous terrorists, conducting the largest pogrom against Jews since the Holocaust, could change so much in so little time.

"There will be occasions in the future to assess how this perfect storm of Israeli vulnerability could have occurred. But for now, the focus must be on Israel's survival, and the steps it must take to restore its deterrents, to save as many hostages as possible and to destroy Hamas. Nothing is off the table. The best laid plans of mice, men, soldiers, and political leaders have gone awry.

"This is a new beginning, and there is no assurance that it will have a happy ending...

"On October 7, 2023, more Jews were murdered in any one day since the Holocaust. It was worse than a war crime. It was a pogrom, reminiscent of anti-Jewish massacres through history that culminated in the Holocaust. The numbers were not comparable only because Hamas lacked the ability to annihilate Israel's 6.8 million Jews. If they could. they would. And it would receive the support and acclaim of millions of students and other anti-Jewish bigots throughout the world, who would blame Israel and the Jews."

Dershowitz spends the second part of the book on what Israel was going through in the months leading up to the October 7 Hamas attack. The Netanyahu government had put forward many proposals for "judicial reform" that created considerable divisions among the Israeli people. The divisions that were created were deeper than thought, and reflected strong opposition by a significant number of Israelis against the right-wing Likud government, and the extremists Netanyahu had to put in the Cabinet to get a majority of the Knesset to form a government.

"Whether these developments contributed in any way to the decision by Hamas to attack is unclear, especially in light of the reality that the attacks were planned well before these divisions became manifest," Dershowitz writes. "What is clear is that the Hamas attack put the divisive domestic issues on the back burner. Nonetheless, the divisions are real and will remain an important reality going forward. It is important, therefore, to understand these factors even while they remain background to the current war in Gaza."

While discussing what led up to the attack, the destruction of it and the war that followed, Dershowitz does propose a path forward in this detailed case for Israel's survival. 

Defending Israel: Against Hamas and its Radical Left Enablers

By Alan Dershowitz

Hot Books; paperback, 336 pages; $19.99; available today, Tuesday, December 12th

Alan Dershowitz delivers this comprehensive history of modern Israel from his perspective as one of the country's most important defenders. He has been a staunch supporter both in public and private, and has held meetings with high-level international figures that include every US president and Israeli leader of the past forty years.

The state of Israel is his "most challenging client," and through personal insights and unreported details, Dershowitz offers insights into the high-profile controversies and debates that he has taken part in over the years. Along with that, he offers a pragmatic look at the future, which holds true after the October 7 attacks.

This is a balanced defense of the Jewish homeland on numerous points, which includes criticisms Dershowitz has had on Israeli decisions and policies that he believes to be unwise. This comes at a time when Jewish Americans are increasingly uncertain as to who is a supporter of Israel and who is not.

"In the original introduction to Defending Israel, I worried that 'Israel's future is at great risk because of diminishing support from young people - soon to be our leaders - especially on the hard left,'" Dershowitz writes. "When I offered this dire prediction in 2019, I had no idea how much worse it would become in such a few short years.

"This 'blame Israel and the Jews' response to terrorist attacks is part of a long-standing pattern that I have documented in my previous books including Defending Israel. Hamas and other terrorist groups understand and exploit this pattern: they attack Israeli civilians, knowing that Israel will respond; Israel does respond, killing civilians who are used as human shields by Hamas; much of the world blames Israel for its response while forgetting the original terrorism or the human shields; and Hamas ends up benefitting from its deliberate, unprovoked, and unlawful attack on civilians. Because it benefits from this deliberate pattern, Hamas repeats the attacks, causing the deaths of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians. Yet despite the obviousness of this despicable tactic by Hamas, much of the world continues to point the blame at its victim - Israel."

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