Peace Breaks Out as Pro-Israel Advocates End Online Feud
Two notable American-Jewish activists, both Israel supporters – but from far ends of the political spectrum – on Friday ended a month-long feud in the media, The New York Observer said Friday.
In a serial mud-slinging match chronicled in The Observer and elsewhere, top Harvard professor emeritus and celebrity attorney Alan Dershowitz, and top public relations maven Ronn Torossian exchanged fierce invective on whether support of Dershowitz over recent unproven sexual misconduct allegations constituted a “Jewish issue.”
According to Torossian, writing in The Observer: “…implying that accusations against Dershowitz are about Anti-Semitism, or are somehow a Jewish issue,” is absurd.
He went on to write:
“I do not know him personally, but I have never been fond of Professor Dershowitz. I also do not believe he is an effective spokesman for Israel or the Jewish people. He talks of being Pro-Israel and Pro-Palestinian—a hard balance at best; and he advocates for discrimination against Jews when he proclaims that Jews should not live in Hebron.
“Furthermore, he has been an outspoken advocate for President Obama, who has been a disaster for both America and Israel. Mr. Dershowitz, to me, is no more than a well-spoken uber-liberal American Jew. I find that he is always about what is good for Alan Dershowitz. That said, he deserves, as does anyone else accused of a misdeed, the benefit of the doubt. But not for the reasons he, and some of his most vocal supporters, suggest.
“Like I said before, I have no idea whether Alan Dershowitz is guilty, and he should be given the same benefits that the American justice system guarantees to all. I simply know that defending him is not and should not be a Jewish issue.
“As a proud Jew, I find the argument that he should be protected because of his Jewishness to be despicable.”
Dershowitz, replying to a similar report in The Jewish Week, wasted no time in responding:
“I am not asking anyone to disbelieve the charges against me because I support Israel, but rather because they are provably false.
“Jane Doe No. 3 accused me of having had sex with her on a private island where I spent one day in the company of my wife, my daughter, a professor at the Harvard business school, his family. I was never away from my family. We saw no young girls on the island and I certainly had no sexual encounters with Jane Doe No. 3. She has also claimed that Stephen Hawking and I were on the island together during a sex orgy. I have never met Dr. Hawking. She has said that Bill Clinton was on the island, but Secret Service records would show that he never set foot on it.”
Dershowitz then chastised The Jewish Week over what he characterized as skewed coverage of the story, and also got in a few punches at Torossian, saying that the public relations guru “has an undisclosed motive for attacking me, which you have an obligation to publish.”
“I have never asked for any special consideration based on my support for Israel, but I think I’m entitled to basic fairness, which I did not receive in your article. You quoted my enemies without according me any opportunity to respond to them or the false charges,” Dershowitz concluded.
Finally, via “mediated private discussions” with noted Modern Orthodox rabbi, Avi Weiss, the two concluded their very public spat, in comments sent to The Observer:
Dershowitz: “I responded in anger to what I believed were inappropriate comments by Ronn Torossian and I withdraw any comments that were hurtful.”
Torossian: “Alan Dershowitz has worked his entire life for Jewish interests and his deep love for Jews and Israel is clear.”
“And then together, ‘While we have political differences, we agree that both of us have legitimate points of view and demonization is inappropriate,'” Dershowitz and Torossian concluded.
Hmm. Maybe Weiss ought to consider a stint as a broker between Israel and the Palestinians.