Legal scholar and author Alan Dershowitz, appearing on Newsmax TV
Thursday, discussed a European Union court ruling in favor of Hamas in the context of increasing anti-Semitism in the West.
Dershowitz told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that street-level anti-Semitism that has bred attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions is "very focused" and "attributable almost exclusively to radical Muslims that live in countries like France and England and Holland. That's where the violence comes from."
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But he also described anti-Semitism "at some of the highest levels — elite anti-Semitism" in Europe, saying, "The more general anti-Semitism comes from right-wing fascists in Greece and Hungary, and … neo-left-wing fascists in Italy and in France, and in academia in England."
On Wednesday, a European Union court ruled that the Palestinian militant group Hamas — Israel's main antagonist in the region — should be removed from an EU list of terrorist organizations. The EU Parliament also voted on Wednesday to back "in principle" a recognition of Palestinian statehood.
Both decisions drew swift condemnation from Israel.
Dershowitz, author of "Terror Tunnels: The Case For Israel's Just War Against Hamas,"
said the EU rulings are set against a backdrop of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism "legitimated by the hard left and by academia," and not limited to Europe.
He cited as one example a recent attempt at Harvard University to ban SodaStream, a product made in Israel, from campus dining facilities. Dershowitz said that to Harvard's credit, the university's president immediately shot down the boycott.
But he said that at other elite U.S. universities, hostility toward Israel is embedded into the academic discourse. He described Columbia University in New York and the University of California at Berkeley as the worst offenders.
"To say those things about Jews and about the nation-state of the Jewish people, then it becomes a generational permission," said Dershowitz. "And so we're going to see more of it as the graduates of these schools and alumni of these classes say, 'Hey, my teacher said it was OK.' So that's why it's such a big problem."
He added that some of the Israel's most vehement critics in academia are themselves Jewish.
"Because most of them hate America," said Dershowitz, "and when you scratch an anti-Israel radical you'll find an anti-American radical. And if you hate America, you're going to hate Israel, because Israel is a democracy like America in the Middle East, and Israel is America's only reliable ally in the Middle East "So anti-Israel attitudes are generally the same, [and] come from the same people that have anti-American attitudes," he said.
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