Alan Dershowitz: More Fighting Still Ahead in Middle East

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 08:08 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Renowned civil rights lawyer Alan Dershowitz is praising the extension of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, but warns that more fighting is ahead.

"I'm glad the fighting has stopped, but I guarantee you that this is going to start again in a year or two because Hamas always loses on the ground and always wins in the court of public opinion," Dershowitz, a veteran Harvard Law professor said Wednesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"They point to the 2,000 dead people including a few children and without media understanding that all these dead babies are the complete fault of Hamas for using them as human shields.

"Israel gets blamed and … it's a prescription by the international community for telling Hamas 'please, please do it again.'"

The unilateral ceasefire was agreed to by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu without the input of the Israeli cabinet — a deed that may cause his ouster when the government reconvenes in late October.

"Netanyahu is a very reluctant warrior," Dershowitz explained.

"Until this war in Gaza, he was the first prime minister certainly in recent memory who never put troops on the ground. He did not want to put troops on the ground," Dershowitz explained.

"I had dinner with him just a few days before he put the troops on the ground. It was Hamas with the tunnels that made him do it because you can't destroy these tunnels from the air. So he's a reluctant warrior, he cries every time an Israeli soldier or civilian is killed."

Dershowitz said he would have "reluctantly" voted in favor of a ceasefire.

"[I would] move the battlefield now from the ground in Gaza to the international criminal court to the United Nations, to the United States," Dershowitz said.

"Look, I am very critical, although I supported him and voted for him, of the Obama administration's approach to this war in Israel. Telling Israel that it could've done more to avoid civilian casualties, what could it have done more?

"Should it not have gone in after the tunnels? Should it not have tried to protect its own soldiers? Should it not have responded to rocket attacks? What would the United States do?  What is it doing?"

He called the U.S. plan for the targeted assassination of the members of ISIS — the terror group that is slaughtering Christians in Iraq, and which recently beheaded American journalist James Foley — "the right thing to do."

"And that's what Israel has done, so the United States ought to apply the same standard to Israel that it applies to itself taking into account that Israel's enemies are just a couple of miles away from civilian population centers, where thankfully our enemies are separated by an ocean," Dershowitz said.

"But if there are 100 ISIS members who are Americans with American passports and 200 or 300 European with passports, that ocean is not going to protect us and Hamas is to Israel as ISIS is to the United States."

Dershowitz called Netanyahu "a courageous man."

"He does what he thinks is right and he has to be a statesmen rather than a politician," he said.

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