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‘Though I am essentially a secular Jew, I do belong to Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist congregations.’

In the wake of Ghislaine Maxwell’s resounding guilty verdict, most people have their eye on the fate of sketchy Prince Andrew; but people like UD, who write about universities, are more interested in Jeffrey Epstein’s stable of Harvard girls (see this brief discussion), prominent among whom is the most peculiar Alan Dershowitz, Harvard’s highest profile emeritus, and a man accused of having sex on several occasions with an underage Epstein slave.

A most peculiar man. My headline is a sentence from the beginning of his book The Vanishing American Jew and ya know it makes me wonder what’s goin on what’s goin on…

On the simplest level, given Dershowitz’s lifelong gnawing ambition, you could argue this is a clever thing to say if you want to launch a best-seller that appeals to Jews of all stripes – the sentence squeezes into itself, and allows Dershowitz to identify with, every possible iteration of “Jew.”

You could be less cynical and applaud the man’s ecumenicism or something… But if you’re secular and you make a point of joining a raft of religious congregations it’s …. peculiar. Why does he do that? Does he actually attend (on a revolving basis?) each of them? Is he, at this late date (he’s 83) still at sea, bobbing from one religious practice to another?


If you look at the ferocity with which he has, in his legal practice, defended female genital mutilators, and, more to the point, in his writing, defended male genital mutilators (he calls people opposed to circumcision Nazis), it’s clear that he’s really not out to sea at all; far from being secular, he fervently defends the most grotesque and fundamentalist of religious practices.

I mean, this isn’t just defense for the sake of money or attention – his heart’s really in it. Religious people who want to nick away at infant clitorises deserve the highest possible representation.

It’s hard to imagine a truly secular person convincing herself that female genital mutilation is a defense-worthy form of religious freedom. And since most decent people find FGM appalling, it’s hard to imagine any respectable attorney taking on the vile Dawoodi Bohra sect and its ways. But Dershowitz calls the millions of decent people opposed to male baby mutilation Nazis, and the millions of decent people opposed to female baby mutilation enemies of religious liberty.

No one with these views – views he forcefully writes about/acts upon – can comfortably be called secular. Not to mention his membership in four Jewish congregations.


Most peculiar. And not to put too fine a point on it, but – does the fact that he stands accused of child sexual abuse seem not entirely out of line here?

Now that we’re done with Ghislaine Maxwell, we may be able to answer this question… “Harvard lawyer Alan Dershowitz vehemently denies wrongdoing but he has questions to answer. His primary accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, stands by her story that she was required to have sex with him on multiple occasions.” Oh, and plus: I hope someone somewhere at Harvard is beginning to think about damage control.

Margaret Soltan, January 2, 2022 11:48AM
Posted in: FGM

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