April 18, 2006
From: “Danilo Mandic” dmandic[at]Princeton.edu
Subject: A Demand for Censuring Alan Dershowitz
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 00:12:13 -0400
To: Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan
I’m writing to strongly encourage you to take immediate action against
Alan Dershowitz’s scandalous plagiarism and misrepresentation of fact in his
book “The Case for Israel.” It has come to my attention through Norman
Finkelstein’s exposure of it, but I have personally compared Joan
Peters’ “From Time Immemorial” and Dershowitz’s book to conclude that
Finkelstein’s findings are indeed correct.
I’m an undergraduate in the Sociology Department at Princeton
University and can testify that, had I engaged in a fraction of Dershowitz’s
plagiarism, I would be unconditionally expelled. Dershowitz violates the most basic
tenets of academic integrity, as defined by Honor Committees and Codes of
Academic Conduct at Princeton and other Ivy League institutions. The fact that he has received no censure for his academic malpractice (and the subsequent campaign of slander against Finkelstein) is stunning.
Though it should be obvious, I would like to note that my judgement has nothing to do with my own views on Israel, Harvard or Alan Dershowitz personally. It has even less to do with Norman Finkelstein’s views (with which I myself often disagree – especially his review of Jan T. Gross’s book ‘Neighbors’). In this specific matter, Finkelstein is absolutely right to demand Dershowitz’s resignation on the basis of his findings. It is exclusively an issue of proper academic standards, which you are responsible to enforce at Harvard Law School. If you fail to do so, it’s not only a shame on your institution, but on academia in the US in general.