Tags: America's Forum | Ebola Outbreak | Israel | Alan Dershowitz | Maine | Ebola nurse | Israel

Dershowitz: Maine Ebola Nurse 'Extraordinarily Selfish'

By    |   Thursday, 30 October 2014 11:31 AM

Former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz characterized as "extraordinarily selfish" the Maine nurse threatening to sue over being quarantined upon her return from West Africa.

"When you live in a society like ours, which is interconnected, you have to make certain sacrifices in the interest of public health," he said Thursday on "America’s Forum" on Newsmax TV.

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"You may disagree with the nature of the quarantine or its scope, but it's certainly reasonable and the law certainly supports the power of the governor, the executive authorities in the state and the federal government to order quarantines if they're in any way reasonable."

Medical officials don’t yet know enough about just how contagious Ebola is and what kind of quarantine period is warranted, according to Dershowitz, so it’s best to "err on the side of public safety and public health."

"People ought to comply and not selfishly try to bring lawsuits to challenge the public health measures that are taken," he said.

Dershowitz also offered commentary on reports that an unnamed senior administration official referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a "chicken s—" in an interview with The Atlantic. He characterized it as a "serious intelligence leak" that’s "very counterproductive and very dangerous."

"The point is not whether or not somebody in the Obama administration regards Benjamin Netanyahu as a chicken or as a coward, which is absurd," he said, noting that Netanyahu fought as a member of the Israel Defense Forces "But even if people call each other cowards in private, this was an on-the-record interview. It had to have been authorized at a higher level and so the question you have to ask is why has somebody in the White House, whether it be the president or somebody below him, authorized a senior official to publically make those kinds of statements? Now they've distanced themselves from the statements because they've seen the public reaction to it."

More concerning, Dershowitz said, is the leak of classified information about an ally’s intentions, if in fact the Obama administration made the assessment that Netanyahu was "bluffing" about possible launching a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

"You don't reveal classified assessments of an ally's intentions in the public media," he said. "Think of what that does. It sends the message to Iran saying, 'Oh, you don't have to worry about an Israeli attack. Go ahead, develop your nuclear weapons. All you have to worry about is sanctions and now, by the way, that Israel is not going to attack Iran. You don't even have to worry about sanctions because the Europeans won't comply with sanctions.' The only reason the Europeans accepted sanctions is to prevent Israel from launching an attack. So the idea that an American public official would disclose that he believes that BiBi Netanyahu is bluffing when it comes to Iran is a major breach of American foreign policy and it must be investigated."

In the name of diplomacy, the White House needs to identify the person who made the remarks and fire them, according to Dershowitz. If the remarks were unauthorized, the person should be fired on those grounds, he said, and if they were authorized, then the person needs to go before Congress and identify the official who authorized it.

"The White House knows who did it," Dershowitz said. "If they don't know who did it, they could easily find out."

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Former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz characterized as "extraordinarily selfish" the Maine nurse threatening to sue over being quarantined upon her return from West Africa.
Alan Dershowitz, Maine, Ebola nurse, Israel
Thursday, 30 October 2014 11:31 AM
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