Where are the Jews to defend Alan Dershowitz? This is the question that was presented by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and to be quite frank, it’s a very good one. Let me be very clear. If there was clear evidence that Mr. Dershowitz was guilty of the accusations of sex with an underage girl, there would be no defending him. However, if ever there was a time to invoke the great American principle of “Innocent until proven Guilty”, now is the time.
I am often disgusted by the mentality in parts of the Arab world that promotes accepting immoral behavior by those who share a common hatred for Jews and westerners. It’s acceptable to treat women poorly, steal, rape and murder, as long as the core of your philosophy speaks to the destruction of Israel and western society. Jews don’t think that way. If Alan Dershowitz is indeed guilty of this crime, his status in the Jewish community will drop significantly. He can defend Israel all he wants, attack the enemies of the Jewish people till he is blue in the face, but if he is indeed guilty of statutory rape he will lose the respect and status of most of the community. And rightly so. However, with all that he has done, with all the clearheaded defense of Israel, and his staunch advocacy of the Jewish people and Jewish state, we owe it to him to accept him on his word unless there is evidence to the contrary.
I do not believe in sticking one’s head in the ground and ignoring harsh realities. However, it is a lot easier to accept that one person is lying than that many are lying. This accusation comes from one woman making accusations against many. Whether some or all of these accusations are true, there is no question that this woman has to be at least somewhat disturbed, be it from crimes committed against her or by her very nature. I believe all the accusations must be investigated and that any and all guilty parties must be held accountable. That does not necessarily mean that any of the allegations are true.
Alan Dershowitz is our Jewish brother. He is our American brother. While other high-profile Jews and Americans remained silent this past summer, Mr. Dershowitz spoke loudly in defense of Israel. Let’s not forget that the allegations against Israel were also mostly fabricated. Why would it be so difficult to believe allegations against one of Israel’s most high-profile and intellectually capable defenders would be fabricated as well? This is a man who has defended us loudly and proudly. He deserves our support. He’s earned it.
I have no problem with people jumping ship if the allegations are shown to be true, but unless that happens we owe it this man to not only treat him like family, but to treat him like family we have liked and respected. That means the burden must fall on the accusers to prove his guilt, not on Mr. Dershowitz to prove his innocence.
We owe that to our brother.
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