Americans, particularly black leaders, should view the treatment of Palestinians in the Mideast as only one part of the global human rights question, Alan M. Dershowitz, professor of Law, told a Riesman Center audience Friday.
Dershowitz said U.S. black leaders have traditionally refrained from involvement in global human rights issues and concentrated instead on domestic problems.
"Why is it then that Jesse Jackson, for example, has singled out the Palestinians for his first major foray into global human rights?" Dershowitz asked. He said there are 44 other major subordinated peoples in the world that Jackson seems to be overlooking, citing the Kurds in Iraq and Iran, Crimean Tatars, Ethiopian Jews, and French Canadians as examples.
Blacks have mistakenly followed the leadership of the United Nations, Dershowitz said. He called the United Nations "a vile place. The U.N. today is a major force of evil," he added.
The U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, like the Soviet Constitution, is "full of beautiful words but much abused," he said.
U.N. actions have made zionism "an epithet of disgrace," Dershowitz said. "The UN has classified it with apartheid." he added.
"We've seen major increases in anti-Semitism around the world recently," Dershowitz said. "I think we have a double standard here in the University," he added.
He specifically criticized a Third World symposium at the Law School last year that presented a human rights award to the Libyan ambassador. "Jews here have inexcusably been treated as second-class citizens," Dershowitz said.
Dershowitz told the Hillel audience that "we don't have to shrink from criticism. The tragedy is that many American Jews feel they must support Israel in every case; this isn't so."
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