TEL AVIV – Self-described Liberal Democrat and emeritus professor of law at Harvard University Alan Dershowitz said he fears the liberal media in the U.S. will launch a campaign of “demonization” against President-elect Donald Trump using his personal life, saying that attacks on Trump’s wife and family only serve to undermine democracy.
Addressing a 1000-strong crowd on Monday at an event jointly organized by Globes newspaper and Tel Aviv Internationals, Dershowitz slammed the Israeli press for “relentlessly and mercilessly attacking” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family on a personal level, calling it “intolerable.”
“I’m afraid that the liberal press, which I’m a part of, will start to demonize Trump in the way that Israel does,” the lawyer said, adding that such behavior on the part of the free press undermines the foundations of democracy and is “disgraceful.”
“You can oppose [his] policies, principles, and political actions, but leave alone his personal life, his wife and family.”
Dershowitz also criticized President Barack Obama for being the only president who has managed to alienate so many leaders in the region, remarking: “Obama alienated the Israelis, the Palestinians, Jordanians, Egyptians, and the Saudis. The only country he didn’t alienate is Iran.”
Dershowitz said that during the Obama administration, it became “obvious” that the stalled peace process between Israel and the Palestinians would not be resumed.
“But I believe that during Trump’s administration it certainly could,” he said.
Dershowitz added that while he has plenty of doubts regarding the president-elect, he hopes that “in 2020 I will vote enthusiastically for Donald Trump.”
He added, “I let it be known that I will be available 24/7 to the president-elect on any issue related to Israel.”
Amid speculation that Obama may forego the U.S. veto on an anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council, the Harvard professor said that doing so would “destroy” Obama’s legacy rather than “protect” it.
“The road to peace comes through the roads of Jerusalem and Ramallah and not the UN,” he said.
He added that while he is not in favor of the settlements, they are not a “major obstacle to peace.”
Rather, it is the “failure of Palestinians to recognize Israel as nation state of the Jewish people.”
Dershowitz discussed the radicalization of both the left and the right in Europe and the U.S. He also noted that in Israel people have swung further to the right.
“But that’s a function of democracy,” he said.
On a personal note, the lawyer and author quipped that his next book would be titled, “Why I left the left, but couldn’t join the right.”