Alan Dershowitz vs. Gilad Atzmon – A Talmudic Deliberation
By Gilad Atzmon
Ethnic cleansing advocate Alan Dershowitz is campaigning today for the release of arch spy Jonathan Pollard. In a commentary published on the repulsive Jewish media outlet The Algemeiner, Dershowitz argues “the time has come…for the United States to do the right thing with regard to Jonathan Pollard.”
Dershowitz’ argument is amusing as usual. “Pollard poses no continuing danger to America, since he has not had access to our secrets for nearly 30 years.”
Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor, should know that people occasionally remain locked behind bars for the crime they committed in the past rather than the crime they may not commit in the future.
For some peculiar reason Dershowitz also equates between Pollard and the Palestinian freedom fighters (whom he calls ‘murderers’), due to be released by Israel. “Unlike the Palestinian prisoners who are to be released, he (Pollard) has expressed regret over his actions and has sought forgiveness.” Dershowitz obviously fails to realise that freedom fighters and political prisoners don’t tend to ask for forgiveness. Their action is the outcome of a legitimate struggle against oppression. However, Pollard, who was involved in an act of treason, falls into a different category altogether. Dershowitz and Pollard should accept that the act of asking for forgiveness doesn’t necessarily lead to a pardon.
Dershowitz believes that the USA should release Pollard in an attempt to persuade the Israelis to ‘vote for peace.’ “The Israeli public will have to vote for any deal struck between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators,” contends the ‘best Jewish Lawyer in the world.’ The Talmudic reasoning is quick to follow – “the outcome of such (Israeli) referendum will depend on whether Israeli voters believe that their security has been assured and that the United States continues to stand behind them.” So here we are, America should let off an arch Israeli spy so the Israelis can vote for peace.
I think that Dershowitz’ Talmudic orientation is indeed very impressive. However, being myself a product of Talmudic upbringing, I would actually go along with Dershowitz’ suggestion. I would propose that the USA releases Pollard immediately under a strict provision – If the Jewish State votes peace as Dershowitz promises, Pollard would remain free. But if the Israelis fail to provide, if they vote against peace (as they usually do), then Pollard would be locked behind bars again as stipulated by his life sentence.
Such a condition would make the Israeli spy into a negotiation bargain for peace. If the Israeli people really want Jonathan free, as Dershowitz insists, they would have to choose peace for the first time.
I would love to know how Dershowitz can rescue his troubled case now.
The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics, available on Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk
Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli-born British jazz saxophonist, novelist, political activist and writer.
Atzmon’s album Exile was BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. Playing over 100 dates a year, he has been called “surely the hardest-gigging man in British jazz.” His albums, of which he has recorded nine to date, often explore the music of the Middle East and political themes. He has described himself as a “devoted political artist.” He supports the Palestinian right of return and the one-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
His criticisms of Zionism, Jewish identity, and Judaism, as well as his controversial views on The Holocaust and Jewish history have led to allegations of antisemitism from both Zionists and anti-Zionists. A profile in The Guardian in 2009 which described Atzmon as “one of London’s finest saxophonists” stated: “It is Atzmon’s blunt anti-Zionism rather than his music that has given him an international profile, particularly in the Arab world, where his essays are widely read.”