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Monday, April 26, 2010

Dershowitz's challenge to J Street

Alan Dershowitz challenges J Street's Jeremy Ben Ami:
Now it's my turn to answer Ben-Ami's direct question to me. Of course there is an American national interest in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Every country in the world has some national interest in bringing peace to that region. But I believe that the new emerging policy of the Obama Administration exaggerates the extent of our national interest in forcing a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that J Street has encouraged that exaggeration by claiming that it is "critical" to American strategic interests. I believe that very little will change in the Middle East, with regard to the major threats we face from Iran, Al Qaeda and Islamic extremism, by a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, desirable as that would be. And, of course, much depends on how the conflict is resolved--whether a resolution encourages or discourages further attacks against Israel, and whether it increases or decreases the likelihood of future wars. A "bad" peace that does not assure Israel's security will not serve either American or Israeli interests.

I do not believe, as Ben-Ami does that, "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [is] a centerpiece of [extremists] recruitment." The centerpiece is Israel's very existence, as well as American presence on Muslim land. I do not believe that Israel is the reason for "the rising influence of Iran in the region and its quest for nuclear weapons." Nor do I believe that resolving it would help to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

This leads me to my final challenge to J Street: Do you believe that if America fails to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and if the Israeli government makes a considered decision that it must use military action, as a last resort, to prevent Iran from being able to deploy nuclear weapons, that Israel would have the right to engage in preventive self defense by attacking Iran's nuclear facilities? I am not asking whether Israel should or should not consider such attack, since I lack the military expertise to make that decision, as do you. I am asking whether Israel should have the right to make that decision. And I'm asking whether you believe the United States should seek to prevent Israel from acting on that decision as an absolute last resort?


At 8:06 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

We gotta see whether ol' Jeremy Ben Ami considers it a risible challenge. Israel's right of self defense should not be subject to a veto from anyone. That just goes without saying that the Israelis are best suited to address the existential conflict facing them.

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh please...what is alan trying to accomplish?

any group that invites a blogger like richard silverstein to speak at one of its events, is not worthy to engage in any debate

and what is the point of posting it on huffington? so as to bring the jew haters of the far left out of the woodwork?


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