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Thursday, July 14, 2005; 3:30 PM
DERSHOWITZ, the outspoken Harvard Law School
professor, is in the middle of a nasty Jewish
squabble with Norman Finkelstein, who accuses him
Dershowitz, Prof [Norman Finkelstein] spar
over [Dershowitz's] plagiarism
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN
The Associated Press
BOSTON -- Alan Dershowitz
is no stranger to feuds, but the outspoken Harvard
Law School professor is in the middle of a
particularly nasty spat with an author who accuses
him of plagiarism.
Hoodlum. Nut job. Sleaze. Those are just
a few of the names Dershowitz and DePaul University
political science professor Norman
Finkelstein called each other this week in
separate interviews with The Associated Press.
At the center of the argument is a book by
Finkelstein claiming that Dershowitz -- the lawyer
famous for representing O.J. Simpson and
other high-profile clients -- inappropriately
lifted material from another author when writing
the book "The Case for Israel."
The University of California Press plans to
publish Finkelstein's book, "Beyond Chutzpah: On
the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of
History," in late August despite an aggressive
campaign by Dershowitz to get them to drop it.
letters to California officials including Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dershowitz accused
Finkelstein (right) of shoddy scholarship and
threatened to sue for libel. The governor declined
to intervene because of the "clear, academic
freedom issue it presents," his legal affairs
secretary told Dershowitz in a Feb. 8 letter.
Dershowitz said he warned the publishing house
that he would "own the company" if the book accused
him of plagiarism or included Finkelstein's
allegation that he didn't write the book in the
"That's like accusing a mother that she didn't
give birth to her child," Dershowitz said of the
Dershowitz also rejected Finkelstein's
allegation that he plagiarized parts of Joan
Peters' 1984 book "From Time Immemorial: The
Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over
"No other university press would publish garbage
like this," said Dershowitz, describing the
University of California Press as "very hard-left"
and "very anti-Zionist."
Lynne Withey, the publishing house's
director, rejected Dershowitz's claim that her
company has a political bias, and said six scholars
from outside the university reviewed Finkelstein's
"His books are very, very thoroughly
researched. He has an excellent reputation," she
said. "He clearly has a point of view that is
antithetical to Dershowitz's, but scholars line
up on both sides of the issue."
Finkelstein said he agreed to delete all
references to "plagiarism," changing to wording to
say that Dershowitz "lifted" or "appropriated"
material from Peters, but says the changes were
only made to head off costly litigation.
"I have not retracted one jot of one word of
what I've said the past year," Finkelstein said.
"The book he plagiarized is, by all academics,
recognized to be a fraud. It's a completely
Finkelstein's book claims that "fully 22 of the
52 quotations and endnotes in chapters 1 and 2 of
'The Case for Israel' match almost exactly --
including, in long quotes, the placement of
ellipses -- those in 'From Time Immemorial.'"
Last year, at the request of Harvard Law School
Dean Elena Kagan, former Harvard President
Derek Bok investigated Finkelstein's
plagiarism allegations. Bok did not find any merit
to the claim, said law school spokesman Michael
Although Finkelstein is not backing away from
his plagiarism charge, Dershowitz said he has no
plans to sue "that nut job."
Dershowitz, known as a
strong defender of the First
Amendment, said there is nothing incongruous
about his efforts to convince the University of
California Press not to publish Finkelstein's book.
He said he always wanted the book to be printed,
preferably by a less reputable publisher, so he
could "devastate (Finkelstein) in the court of
similarities with Deborah
here, also a "Professor" at an American
She too claims
that while the First Amendment protects
free speech, certain restrictions apply --
namely hers must be protected, but not
that of people of whom she personally
"crime", of course, is that he has exposed
the multi-billion dollar Holocaust
reparations racket for what it is.
The dishonest rest of
his community cannot forgive him for doing
"The First Amendment only protects honest
mistakes," he said. "It doesn't protect deliberate
Dershowitz has another book about Israel, "The
Case for Peace," scheduled to come out in August,
that includes his response to Finkelstein's
Finkelstein said the plagiarism claims were only
a small part of "Beyond Chutzpah," which also looks
at ways that Dershowitz and other scholars have
"egregiously misrepresented" Israel's human rights
"Alan Dershowitz wants to turn this into a
personal vendetta," he said. "I have no history
with Alan Dershowitz. There are few individuals on
earth who interest me less."
Finkelstein accuses Alan Dershowitz of
plagiarism | continued
calls Dershowitz a Plagiarist and
by Beirut newspaper after his university sacks
interviewed by Counterpunch after his university
Our website dossier on
Finkelstein and his crusade
- Norman Finkelstein's website is www.normanfinkelstein.com
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