Israel has every legal and moral right to stage a pre-emptive strike on Iran, renowned legal expert Prof. Alan Dershowitz said in Tel Aviv on Monday. He also wants to hear U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speak out more strongly against Iran.
Speaking at the annual business conference sponsored by Globes, Dershowitz stated that regardless of whether or not it would be wise for Israel to attack, “Israel has the right morally and legally to strike Iran just as it did on [the nuclear facility] in Iraq in 1981. Having the right to attack does not mean that it should do so, but I would defend Israel’s right.”
Despite the “deep and positive” security relationship between the United States and Israel, he fears that there may be a “disconnect” over Iran’s race to produce a nuclear weapon and reach the capability to stage a nuclear attack on Israel.
“Israel doesn’t have the military capacity that America has to destroy Iran’s underground nuclear facilities,” Dershowitz explained, adding that that “United States can wait a longer time and has more of a willingness to tolerate a nuclear Iran.”
He praised Obama for stating he will not tolerate an Iran with nuclear weapons, but added, “I would like to hear that from the Secretary of State [Hillary Clinton].”
Turning to Turkey, Dershowitz lividly criticized Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for demanding an apology from Israel over the flotilla clash between terror activists and the IDF on the high seas in May 2010. “Turkey has never apologized for the genocide in Armenia. Talk about chutzpah? Talking about Turkey demanding an apology from anybody?”
Dershowitz also advised Israel to be more aggressive against countries’ threats to arrest visiting IDF officers and political leaders for alleged war crimes.
Israeli officials should not “duck back into their planes,” admonished Dershowitz. “That is not the way great nations behave,” he continued. He advised officers and politicians to “hold their heads high” and challenge countries’ authority to put them on trial.
Dershowitz vowed if they are arrested, he would ”put together the greatest legal team ever assembled.”
He added that Israel’s record is better than that of Turkey and NATO and others when it comes to the ratio of civilians to terrorists who are killed in warfare. Deshowitz declared that “the double standard against Israel.” whereby countries are far more guilty of the same charges made against Israel, represents “the depths of international law and the hijacking by the left.”
Jewish Senators Could Have Freed Pollard, Dershowitz Charges
Bill Clinton might have freed Jonathan Pollard in 2000 if Jewish Senators had stood up for him, Prof. Alan Dershowitz said Monday.
Asked about the matter at the annual Israel Business Forum on Monday, Dershowitz said Pollard has not been freed “because of Jewish senators.”
The renowned lawyer and Harvard professor said that he had talked with Bill Clinton, who was towards the end of his term of office in 2000, about freeing Pollard. “Clinton told me, ‘How can you expect me to release Jonathan Pollard when your own senators wrote me a letter not to release him?” Dershowitz revealed.
Clinton came very, very, very close to doing it [freeing Pollard],” Dershowitz said Monday, “There were threats by the heads of the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] and others. The intelligence establishment is very strongly against the release, but in recent months there has been a change. The dynamics have changed in his favor.”
Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment 26 years ago for passing on to Israel classified information, an offense that usually carries a maximum punishment of two to four years in jail.
Clinton was rumored to have promised Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the Wye Plantation talks in 1998 that he would release Pollard, a promise that Clinton denies having made. He said at the time, “I said I would consider it.”
The case is emotionally charged for many Americans, who are extremely sensitive to Americans they consider to not be patriots. Pollard is usually referred to incorrectly in American media as a spy.