South Africa asked the International Court of Justice on December 29 for an urgent order declaring Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in its unrelenting bombardment of the Gaza Strip. The ICJ will hear the case, which Israel has denounced as “baseless,” next week.
Dershowitz would be a highly fitting representative, though. A longtime friend and advisor of Netanyahu, Dershowitz has defended Israeli settlements, downplayed the horrors of civilian casualties, and attacked liberal Jewish groups.
He has also helped defend Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, and Donald Trump.
Dershowitz repeatedly defended Trump during the former president’s time in office. Dershowitz backed Trump’s controversial ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim countries. Dershowitz argued that the ban was actually constitutional and didn’t really target Muslims, even though then–Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani admitted the order came about after Trump asked him how to do a Muslim ban “legally.”
Dershowitz also literally defended Trump, acting as his lawyer during the former president’s first impeachment trial, over charges that he tried to use Ukrainian assistance to help him get reelected. During the trial, Dershowitz argued that in using foreign policy to pursue his personal interests, Trump was actually upholding national interests. This monarchic approach to governing is likely appealing to Netanyahu, who has sought to increase his power in Israel’s government.
Dershowitz has also claimed that Islamophobia does not exist on college campuses. In the wake of rising Islamophobia and antisemitism, the result of the Israel-Gaza conflict, Dershowitz said in November, “Oh, we have to fight antisemitism and Islamophobia.”
“Let me tell you who the antisemites are,” he then continued. “They are largely, not completely, the radical Muslims who claim to be victims of Islamophobia. This is a one-sided issue.”
“There is no Islamophobia at any university in the United States. It’s a fake. It’s virtue parading.”
More than 22,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s nearly three-month-long assault on the Gaza Strip. The majority of the victims are women and children. Some organizations, such as the nonprofit Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, put the death toll at nearly 30,000.