Alan Dershowitz as Plagiarist / Obfuscator

Not only does Alan Dershowitz use poor scholarship and plagiarism in his book "The Case for Israel"; he compounds his problems by attempting to obfuscate the issues involved. For instance, to defend himself against charges of plagiarism, Dershowitz retorts that his copying is accurate; which only means his plagiarism is done with some degree of accuracy.

To claim that he made no errors in his plagiarizing Peters is not a mark of honor for Dershowitz — it is obfuscation from the central fact that Dershowitz did not write an original book. He took others’ work and improperly used it as a central guide for his own work, and then attempted to cover his tracks by claiming that he quoted the original sources.

Unfortunately (for Dershowitz), Dr. Finkelstein has shown that Dershowitz made some critical errors that reveal his dishonesty. Examples include citation of Mark Twain from pages of a Twain edition other than the edition cited in his bibliography, improper attribution of an Orwell-like expression to Orwell, when the inventor of the expression was Peters, and other examples.

When confronted with these factual charges, Dershowitz continually uses legalese defenses that ignore the central truth that if he had not had the Peters book and its bibliography to work from, Dershowitz would not have been able to write the book he wrote. He did no original research, and only cited Peters sources as a means of attempting to remake Peters’ discredited arguments by falsely claiming to write his own material from his own sources.

Dershowitz thus defines the difference between scholarship and schlock, between honesty and legality, between research and copycatting. In his book, "The Case for Israel", Dershowitz impales his own reputation upon a cross of dishonesty and reliance on discredited scholarship.

Will Harvard University stand behind this sort of pseudo-scholarship? If this is an example of the sort of intellectualism produced by Harvard’s best and brightest, our nation is in trouble. Of course, since our current President has a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard, and never ran a successful business (and is driving our nation into stratospheric debt and international disrepute as well), perhaps Harvard University has lower standards than it would like to admit.