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EXCLUSIVE: Daily Wire Speaks With Alan Dershowitz About Berkeley Student Newspaper’s Anti-Semitic Cartoon

On Wednesday, The Daily Californian, the University of California, Berkeley’s student newspaper, published a grotesque, anti-Semitic cartoon.

The drawing depicts legal scholar, Alan Dershowitz, sticking his head through a cardboard cutout. On display above him is the title of his recent speech: “The Liberal Case for Israel.” Behind the cardboard wall, Dershowitz is stomping on a Palestinian and holding up an Israeli soldier who is shooting what appears to be an unarmed man.

The Daily Wire reached out to Mr. Dershowitz to get his opinion on the drawing.

The renowned legal scholar first offered his various reactions upon seeing the cartoon:

My first reaction was surprise that the official student newspaper of a major state university would publish a Dur Sturmer-type cartoon which would have fit comfortably into any Nazi publication.

My second reaction is what I’ve always believed, and that is, there is very little difference between the Nazis of the hard Right and the anti-Semites of the hard Left. This obviously was a hard Left neo-Nazi cartoon.

My third reaction is, I’m surprised that it was treated with as little response. Imagine if a comparably anti-black or anti-woman or anti-gay cartoon was ever published in the Berkeley student newspaper. Again, it reflects for me the incredible double standard in tolerance that people have toward anti-Semitism.

When I noted the irony of the cartoon, considering the way in which many progressives speak about “punching Nazis” in the wake of Trump’s election victory in 2016, Dershowitz replied:

Irony is too kind a word. It’s hypocrisy. And remember, this is a reaction to a speech in which I said I support a Palestinian state; I support the end of the occupation; I am against Israeli policies on settlements. Imagine what the reaction would be if somebody came and gave a more unbalanced [speech], or imagine what the reaction would be if somebody gave an anti-Israel speech, and somebody tried to put a comparable anti-Palestinian cartoon or anti-Muslim cartoon in the newspapers.

To me the most shocking part is that it appears, as far as I can tell, an official publication of a state university.

Despite the appalling nature of the cartoon, Dershowitz maintained that those who published it have a right to do so:

Having said all that, they have a perfect right to do it. I defend their right to do it just as I defended the rights of Nazis to march in Skokie. However, this is clearly an example of hate speech, and to those who say that hate speech should be censored when it comes from the Right, I want to hear their voices when hate speech comes from the Left. We don’t hear it; there’s silence. It’s free speech for me but not for thee.

He added that the cartoon was “much worse” than when his poster was “defaced with a swastika” because “the swastika was done by, as far as we know, one person,” whereas this was an “official cartoon endorsed by a major student newspaper.”

They made a decision to publish this. They have the right to publish it, but they also have the right not to publish it. And they never would’ve published a cartoon of comparable hate directed against any other group. Is that anti-Semitism? Yes.

Regarding what should be done going forward, Dershowitz said:

The dean of the University of California has done the right thing by standing up and condemning it. I’d love to hear from the president of the university. I think we’ve heard relative silence from the highest officials. Again, we wouldn’t have heard silence if this were an anti-woman or an anti-gay or an anti-Muslim cartoon. I think even at the highest levels of University of California, there’s a double standard.

As of this publication, The Daily Californian has not removed the cartoon.

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