The Dersh and the Don


If you've managed to avoid the Alan Dershowitz-Norman Finkelstein contretemps, congratulations: You live a full enough life not to notice when two grown men get into the academic equivilent of an Ain't It Cool News talkback thread. Short version: Finkelstein claimed that Dershowitz plagiarized a few passages in his book on Israel, Dershowitz called Finkelstein a Holocaust denier, Finkelstein commissioned a cartoon of Dershowitz masturbating to news footage of the Israel-Hezbollah war, Dershowitz lobbied aginst Finkelstein's application for tenure. Dershowitz's wrap-up in The New Republic includes this hilarity:

I've been a leading villain of this effort. Chomsky has accused me of launching a "jihad." (I am not alone, it should be noted, in opposing Finkelstein's tenure: The president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights argues, "Finkelstein lacked the requisites associated with academic excellence.")

Yes, the Catholic League and Bill Donohue—the artillery you need when you're trying to blast an alleged anti-semite.

Tim Cavanaugh on Donohue and the rest of the outrage industry here.