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UCLA Magazine Winter 2003
The Rising
Honorable Intentions
The Cardinal of Westwood
The Littlest Bruin
Sensing the Future
Dershowitz, For the Defense
Bruin Walk

University Communications

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Winter 2003
Dershowitz, For the Defense
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Garrett: Why, considering that it is such a tiny country, is the world so focused on Israel?
Dershowitz: Why is the world so focused on Israel? And why is the world so focused on Palestinian statehood? Why has the Palestinian cause been leapfrogged ahead of the Tibetans at the U.N.? The Tibetans can't get a meeting at the U.N., can't even get into the building. Why not the Kurds? Why not the Armenians? Why not the Chechens? Why not so many others with equal or greater moral claims?

There are several reasons. The first is terrorism. The Palestinians have mastered the art of using terrorism to bring themselves to the attention of the world. Second, the group that they claim oppresses them happens to be the Jew among nations, not the most popular group in the world. It's much easier to oppose the Jewish nation than to oppose China, or to oppose Turkey, or to oppose other stronger countries. The third reason is oil. The allies of the Palestinians are oil-rich nations. And the fourth reason is because Israel is seen as a surrogate in many parts of the world for the United States. And a lot of anti-Americanism really manifests itself as anti-Israel bashing, particularly on college campuses.

Garrett: What more can people do to better prepare themselves to counter these attitudes?
Dershowitz: Read. Learn. Debate. Argue. Listen. Keep an open mind. If you do, you will come out with a far more nuanced view, a far more balanced view, a view that shows there are rights and wrongs on both sides, and a view that will lead us toward the possibility of reconciliation.


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