PHILADELPHIA – Alan Dershowitz, a staunch Democrat and emeritus law professor at Harvard University, stated in an interview on Sunday that the decision by Hillary Clinton’s vice president pick, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, to boycott Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress was a “mark against” the candidate.
Still, Dershowitz maintained that the Clinton-Kaine ticket was “far better for America and for Israel” then the Donald Trump and Mike Pence ticket.
Dershowitz also sounded off about the decision by Kaine and other prominent democrats to support the international nuclear deal with Iran. Kaine helped generate support for the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran by whipping senators into opposing a vote that prevented the Senate from blocking the deal.
Dershowitz was speaking in an interview on this reporter’s Sunday night talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990 AM.
The Times of Israel reported on Kaine’s advocacy against Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress in March 2015 in which the prime minister warned about the dangers of the Iran deal:
Kaine worked behind the scenes to try to delay the speech, but when that failed, was among the first Democratic senators to announce that they would not attend the address.
In a statement explaining his position, Kaine said that “as a long-time supporter of the US-Israel relationship, I believe the timing of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress — just days before Israeli elections — is highly inappropriate.”
Arguing that holding the speech as planned would give an “appearance of US favoritism in a foreign election,” Kaine complained that “there is no reason to schedule this speech before Israeli voters go to the polls on March 17 and choose their own leadership.”
Dershowitz was asked whether pro-Israel democrats should think twice about supporting Clinton’s VP pick in light of Kaine’s opposition to Netanyahu’s speech.
Well, I’ve never ever seen the perfect candidate when it comes to Israel or the United States or anything else. I vote for the candidate who I think is most likely to be good for America; to be good for world peace.
In fact, I’m writing a book about the coming election; an eBook that will be out probably by Labor Day in which I have a check list of 15 factors that I check off when I decide who to vote for for president and vice president.
Of course, one of the factors is support for our allies, especially Israel. And on that factor I was not particularly enthusiastic about any person who didn’t go and listen to the speech by Netanyahu. I wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal criticizing those who refused to attend the speech. Whether it was Senator Franken, Senator Warren or Senator Kaine.
So from my point of view, the failure to attend the speech by Benjamin Netanyahu is a mark against. And Senator Kaine himself said, he acknowledged that he would have to pay a price, that people would be angry at him for not attending. And I think that’s the case.
Still, Dershowitz stated he believes the Clinton-Kaine ticket is better for the U.S. and Israel.
“But on balance I do think that the ticket of Clinton and Kaine is far better for America and for Israel then the Trump-Pence campaign. So I am going to vote for the Clinton-Kaine ticket. Notwithstanding my criticism of the Iran deal. Notwithstanding my period of criticism of people who didn’t attend the Netanyahu speech. I look at the whole picture and on the whole picture, what I want for the world is stability, certainty, predictability.”
Dershowitz was asked to respond to Kaine’s activism in support of the Iran nuclear deal, an agreement that critics argue is dangerous for U.S. and Israeli national security.
“I’m concerned about anybody who supported the Iran deal. I wrote another book a few years ago called The Case Against the Iran Deal in which I criticized not only the content of the deal but the way that it was done. Particularly the filibuster by the Democrats that would prevent any discussion. Because Democrats knew that it would be defeated by the majority in the Senate as it was defeated by an overwhelming majority in the House.
“So yes, I am very critical about the way that the Iran deal was handled. And I am critical of those who supported the Iran deal. Some of my closest political friends supported the Iran deal. Everybody who was considered to be vice president by Clinton, whether it be Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, all supported the Iran deal. And that is a factor. But it is certainly not the only factor in deciding my vote. Nor is it the only factor in deciding which candidate would be better for Israel.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.