Round Two: Dershowitz Explains Why France’s Softness on Terrorism Was Wrong


For the second consecutive night, legal scholar and commentator Alan Dershowitz appeared on MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” to discuss the flaws with France’s policy on terrorism.

On Thursday’s episode, Dershowitz and O’Donnell engaged in an impromptu heated debate on the issue, which led to Dershowitz’s Friday appearance. In that appearance, Dershowitz explained why French policy in the past could have been reviewed as the nation rewarding terrorism.

“[M]y point is when you reward any terrorist, you reward all terrorists,” Dershowitz said. “You can’t pick or choose the way France has historically done. For years, France was releasing all the Middle East terrorists that they were arresting because they were trying to protect their own homeland. They were saying as long as terrorists don’t attack us, we’re going to get in bed and play footsie with terrorists. They wanted to export terrorism and they ended up importing terrorism — very, very selfish.”

“Now, the point about Palestinian statehood, as you probably know, I support Palestinian statehood, as long as it’s based on a negotiated two-state solution,” he continued. “What I was opposed to is what France did, voting in the United Nations unilaterally to accept the Palestinian state, which included Hamas. Which France recognizes as a terrorist organization. And when you reward Hamas, you reward all terrorists. When you reward any terrorist, you reward all terrorists.”

“I wrote a whole book about that and mentioned it yesterday,” Dershowitz added. “My book ‘Why Terrorism Works’ the thesis is you can’t pick and choose the way France and many other h other western European countries do. The point i was making was a very general one, that you cannot reward any terrorists, lest all terrorists become incentivized. I think that’s been the problem around the world today. I think almost every country picks and chooses. Decides which terrorist it’s going to get in bed with, which terrorist it’s going to oppose. I commend France for what it did today.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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