US/World News

Alan Dershowitz takes on Martha’s Vineyard

By Charles Dunst/(JTA) – Alan Dershowitz, the famed civil libertarian and champion of Israel, has become a defender of President Trump – to a point. He agrees with the president that a special counsel should never have been appointed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. He appears regularly on Fox News to argue that if the Trump camp colluded with Russia, it would be “terrible, but not a crime.” Now, in an article for The Hill, the former Harvard Law professor, has written that in defending “Trump’s civil liberties,” he has been shunned by liberals, particularly on Martha’s Vineyard, where he has a home. “The divisions have gotten so bad that many on both sides refuse to speak or listen to those on the other side. Either you are for Trump or against him, and that is all some people need to know to make judgments about you,” Dershowitz writes, adding “I know this because I have experienced this firsthand on Martha’s Vineyard. I am not a Trump supporter nor am I member of the Trump administration.” Dershowitz notes that his opposition to Trump’s politics “is not good enough … So they are shunning me and trying to ban me from their social life on Martha’s Vineyard.”

In discussing a call by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., to harass Trump administration officials, he writes, “Right now I am speaking up in disagreement with Maxine Waters. She – like those who shun me on Martha’s Vineyard – is part of the problem rather than the solution.”

Some notable figures mocked the academic on Twitter. “Please say a prayer for Alan Dershowitz. His friends on Martha’s Vineyard are being mean to him,” Tommy Vietor, founder of the anti-Trump Crooked Media, wrote sarcastically. Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, wrote “Dear Alan Dershowitz, you seem bothered your friends in Martha’s Vineyard no longer invite you to nice dinners. I note the @POTUS you defend has ripped away babies & kids from parents. Over 2,000 kids have not been reunited & some may never be. Have a nice July 4th.”

Dershowitz himself responded on Twitter on July 3. “I’m reveling not whining. I’m proud of taking an unpopular, principled position that gets me shunned by partisan zealots. It’s not about me. I couldn’t care less about being shunned by such people. It’s about their unwillingness to engage in dialogue,” he wrote. “It’s bad enough when college students demand trigger warnings and safe spaces to avoid hearing views with which they disagree. But it’s worse when it comes from professors and media people,” he added. “It’s a dangerous sign of the times.”

In response to Lieu, Dershowtiz tweeted on July 4: “I have strongly opposed Trump’s immigration policies and especially the separation of families. Do people not understand the difference between supporting everyone’s civil liberties and supporting a president’s policies?”

CAP: Alan Dershowitz hanging out on the porch of the Chilmark General Store in the Martha’s Vineyard

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