‘No Loyalty Anymore’ to Democrats: Alan Dershowitz After Anti-Israel Protests

Many of the protesting students gained admission due to DEI policies and are funded by Arab countries, Mr. Dershowitz said.
‘No Loyalty Anymore’ to Democrats: Alan Dershowitz After Anti-Israel Protests
Attorney Alan Dershowitz talks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 29, 2020. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Naveen Athrappully
4/23/2024
Updated:
4/23/2024
0:00

Harvard Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz recently expressed his “extraordinary” disappointment with the Democratic Party following anti-Semitic and anti-Israel protests in U.S. university campuses.

Mr. Dershowitz says he is no longer loyal to the Democratic Party as Democrats have been “an extraordinary disappointment” in how they have reacted to the anti-Israel protests at Columbia University.

“We’re hearing nothing from Democrats. We are hearing nothing from Chuck Schumer,” Mr. Dershowitz said in an April 22 interview with Just the News.

“We’re hearing nothing really direct from President Biden. He made a very disappointing statement. In the same breath, he talked about the demonstrators in passing, and he said, ‘But you have to understand the Palestinian situation,’” he continued.

“No, you don’t have to understand the Palestinian situation when people are calling for rape and murder and beheading. The Democrats are an extraordinary disappointment.”

In his recent remarks condemning the anti-Semitic protests on college campuses, President Joe Biden had also criticized those who he said “don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians.”

Mr. Dershowitz said he is “no longer presumptively voting for Democrats.” Instead, he said, “I’m gonna vote for whoever is the best candidate, that may include Democrats, but I have no loyalty anymore to the party.”

Protests at Columbia University erupted on April 17 as leftist student groups held demonstrations against Israel’s military action in the Gaza Strip. Israel has been responding to the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas attack that killed thousands of Israelis. Even though police arrested 100 protesters on April 18, demonstrations resumed the next day.

In one video, a man outside the campus shouts: “Never forget the seventh of October. That will happen not one more time, not five more times, not 10 more times, not 100 more times, not 1,000 more times, but 10,000 times!”

The legal scholar pointed out that many people protesting at Columbia were “unqualified students” who were granted admission based on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

“They were admitted because Qatar and other Arab countries are paying for foreign students,” he said. “These are not the best and the brightest students; they are the loudest students, but they’re certainly not students who are looking out for the best interests of America.”

Mr. Dershowitz claimed Jewish students were being treated as “third-class citizens.” He believes the anti-Israel protests across the country are “potentially more dangerous” than the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach incident.

“Because those didn’t involve as many students, not as many elite people, as many future leaders. We’re hearing the future leaders of America chanting, ‘We are Hamas.’ In other words, ‘We are rapists. We believe in raping Jewish women. We are beheaders. We are kidnappers. We are murderers.’ That’s what they’re chanting,” he said.

“And these are people who will run for Congress … 10 years from now, who will be partners at law firms, and who will be working in the editorial rooms of CNN and The New York Times.”

Pro-Palestinian protesters gather outside of Columbia University in New York City on April 18, 2024. Officers cleared out a pro-Palestinian campus demonstration on April 18, a day after university officials testified about anti-Semitism before Congress. Leaders of Columbia University defended the prestigious New York school's efforts to combat anti-Semitism on campus at a fiery congressional hearing on April 17. (Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images)
Pro-Palestinian protesters gather outside of Columbia University in New York City on April 18, 2024. Officers cleared out a pro-Palestinian campus demonstration on April 18, a day after university officials testified about anti-Semitism before Congress. Leaders of Columbia University defended the prestigious New York school's efforts to combat anti-Semitism on campus at a fiery congressional hearing on April 17. (Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images)

Rising Anti-Semitism

Republican lawmakers have raised concerns over the tense situation at Columbia. In an April 22 letter to the university’s president, Minouche Shafik, all 10 New York House Republicans called for her resignation due to her failure to ensure students have a safe learning environment.

The mob at the university has engaged in “several documented incidents of despicable antisemitic harassment and calls for violence and terrorism,” the lawmakers wrote, adding that the situation has deteriorated to the extent that a rabbi with the Orthodox Union Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus sent messages to Orthodox Jewish students recommending they head back home.

“Your failure to enforce the rules on campus has created an environment in which students and outside agitators know they are able to operate with impunity and without any accountability,” the letter reads.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed the Department of Education and the Department of Justice for being “asleep at the wheel regarding antisemitism on college campuses.”

“Both agencies should hold these universities accountable, and the visa of any foreign student who is championing Hamas should be canceled,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on April 22.

Former President Donald Trump also criticized the protests.

“Unlike at Columbia University where the Radical Left Palestinian Protesters sat on the Front Lawn, practically took over the School, and screamed, ‘Death to the Jews, Death to Israel, Death to America,’ and nothing happened to them, Lower Manhattan surrounding the Courthouse, where I am heading now, is completely CLOSED DOWN,” he wrote in an April 22 Truth Social post.
Four Democrat representatives visited the protest encampments on April 22 and called on Ms. Shafik to take stronger action to protect Jewish students on campus.

In a press release, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), who took part in the visit, said that one masked protester on campus was shouting: “We are Hamas. We’re all Hamas.”

Jewish students have been reportedly verbally harassed, with statements like “go back to Europe,” “stop killing children,” and “all you do is colonize” directed at them. One student was reportedly assaulted for wearing a kippah.

“Just feet from here, Jewish students are being verbally—and even physically—assaulted. Masked protesters are cheering on and actively calling for the genocide of Jews. Imagine trying to study for finals at Columbia, while people outside the library are calling for your death,” said Mr. Gottheimer.

“To the administrators at Columbia and beyond, here are our demands: stop the double talk, and start acting. Discipline harassers. Restore civility on this campus. Encourage peaceful, constructive, civil dialogue. Every student has a right to be safe on campus.”

Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.