Dershowitz to Newsmax: Romney’s Right, Ahmadinejad Should Be Indicted

Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 12:24 AM

By Paul Scicchitano

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While scoring President Barack Obama’s overall debate performance slightly higher on the night, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said on Monday that he agreed with Mitt Romney on one important issue: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be indicted for war crimes.

“I didn’t see much disagreement between them except on one issue — and that is on the indictment of Ahmadinejad,” said Dershowitz in an exclusive interview following the debate. “Romney twice mentioned that he thought Ahmadinejad should be indicted. I certainly agree with that.”

He said that Ahmadinejad “violated various international conventions by inciting genocide and the president didn’t comment on that at all.”

Urgent Poll: Obama or Romney? Who Won the Foreign Policy Debate?

But Dershowitz said that neither candidate likely changed many minds among Jewish-American voters in the third and final debate on foreign policy and national security issues.

He believes that Obama most likely shored up support among Jewish-American voters who were already aligned with his domestic policies, but who had lingering questions as to whether he was truly a friend of Israel.

“I would certainly declare Obama the winner tonight and I think particularly with the Jewish voters who were in doubt, he allayed many of those doubts and will make it easier for Jewish voters who support the president’s domestic policies to vote for him without concern about his positions on Israel,” said Dershowitz, who is also a Newsmax contributor.

Last month Dershowitz predicted that Obama’s apparent snub of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would put the critical swing state of Florida at “substantial risk” in the November election and threatened to further ratchet up the likelihood of a military strike against Iran.

While that specific incident did not come up during the debate, Dershowitz said there still may be a backlash from Jewish-American voters who were not appeased by Obama’s subsequent phone call with Netanyahu.

“Although it could have an impact — and it could have an impact on Florida — the president went to great lengths tonight to eliminate concerns about his support for Israel,” he said, noting that neither candidate “directly answered” the question as to whether an attack on Israel would be deemed an attack on the United States.

Dershowitz said that both candidates “went out of their way to emphasize the strong commitment to Israel” but he would have liked to hear at least one candidate say they would at least hold Israel in the same regard as Turkey.

“Today, an attack on Turkey is regarded as an attack on the United States because Turkey is a member of NATO,” he said. “Israel should certainly be at least in a position in relation to the United States as Turkey is. So I was disappointed that neither candidate answered that question with the kind of directness and forthrightness the question called for.”

Urgent Poll: Obama or Romney? Who Won the Foreign Policy Debate?

Overall, he said that the president appeared more in “control and more knowledgeable and more certain on issues of foreign policy” but “both candidates tried to move the debate a little bit away from foreign policy towards domestic policy, which is understandable because people tend to vote more on domestic policy than foreign policy.”

Dershowitz also praised CBS’ Bob Schieffer, who served as moderator in Monday’s debate.

“He was the best moderator of the three. He put very good questions to both candidates and very good follow-ups,” according to Dershowitz, who added that he favored having the candidates seated — as they faced each other at Lynn University. “So from the point of view of an educational experience and a good experience in terms of democracy, it was an absolutely first-rate debate and it didn’t have the theatrics of the previous debates.”



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