Debate Coverage Misses Point of Argument
Letter to the Editors
It’s bad enough that the reporter assigned to cover my speech at Winthrop House sought his first two comments “from several students in Winthrop, who did not attend the debate.” (News, “Dershowitz: Divestment Petitioners Are Bigots,” Oct. 8) But it seems the reporter himself must not have understood what I said. I never said that, “students and professors who signed the petition were anti-semitic.” I said that there were a complex of reasons, primary among which was ignorance of the facts, that led many people to join forces with bigotry.
Of the two hours spent discussing the issues with the students, about an hour and 55 minutes consisted of substantive consideration of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The student questions were perceptive, substantive and critical. Your reporter relegated that portion of the discussion to a few sentences at the end of the article. He also limited his reporting of the reaction by the group that actually heard me talk to two sentences at the end of the article. The readers of The Crimson are entitled to more accurate reporting.
Alan M. Dershowitz
Oct. 8, 2002
This writer is Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.