Report: Alan Dershowitz Convinced Rep Rangel to Attend Netanyahu Congress Speech
Renowned lawyer and pro-Israel stalwart Alan Dershowitz said he convinced Rep. Charlie Rangel to show up for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at congress last March, the New York Daily News reported on Wednesday.
Dershowitz said he persuaded Rangel just hours before Netanyahu’s speech over “Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons,” arguing that the Harlem representative’s absence would insinuate a yawning rift between blacks and Jews.
Rangel’s about-face came after seven television appearances in which the congressman said he was planning to skip the Israeli premier’s address, according to the Daily News.
The congressman insisted that his decision to attend followed discussions with several constituents and friends arguing for and against his attendance.
“I don’t want my absence to add to what is already a shattered type of relationship,” he said on the day of Netanyahu’s speech, referring to the very relationship Dershowitz discussed.
Rangel had originally stated that he was going to skip the speech because he was “offended” that Speaker John Boehner was misusing the House “to polarize Congress.”
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and members of the Black Caucus walked out on Netanyahu before the prime minister finished his March 3 speech.
About a week before the address, Dershowitz — an outspoken supporter of Israel and Netanyahu — penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal saying he was “appalled” that members of Congress would absent Netanyahu’s speech.