July 28, 2006
Subject: Fw: A Demand for Censuring Alan Dershowitz
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 13:25:04 +0700
I am following up on a letter I sent to you in April of this year concerning Professor Dershowitz (to which you never responded, I hope with good reason). It has come to my attention that you are dismissing letters like mine – which encourage censure against Dershowitz – because you were misinformed that they are “form letters” authored by Finkelstein. As far as my letter is concerned, please note that this is an outright lie. I have never met or spoken to Professor Finkelstein in my life, have never gotten any kind of form letter from him and have never written to you a single word that I did not personally author for my own reasons. I take real offence at the very suggestion that Finkelstein or anyone else can order me to write to you, let alone to pass off others’ words as my own.
As I emphasized in my original email (reproduced below), this has nothing to do with my own views of Finkelstein or Dershowitz, nor should it have anything to do with yours. I wrote to you personally as the representative of the Harvard Law School and because of an issue of interest to both of us. I think the least you can do, as head of your institution, is to dignify my letter with a response and refrain from accepting others’ insincere insinuations about my intentions.
Subject: A D emand for Censuring Alan Dershowitz
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 00:12:13 -0400
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.