Alan Dershowitz–Republican?

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Say it ain’t so Alan! One of my favorite liberals (at least I always considered him a liberal), Alan Dershowitz, has endorsed his first ever Republican for congress. Prof. Dershowitz came out in support of his former student, Joel Pollack, in his Illinois race against Jan Schakowsky (a fellow Jew).

I might be in the minority with other liberals, but I really enjoyed Dershowitz’s The Case for Israel a couple years back (less so, The Case for Peace, but only because I found it to be lazy). In the book, he comes off as definitively pro-Israel, but also reasonable and compassionate toward the Palestinian cause. He isn’t a supporter of some far-right wing agenda and he seems genuine in trying to find viable options for a peace plan.

Then again, he is very much part of the pro-Israel establishment (not that that is necessarily a bad thing). So with more and more liberals moving to the left when it comes to Israel, Dershowitz may feel as though he is being pushed out of his own tent. He has been critical of the Obama administration and did not find that Schakowsky was worthy of his endorsement (honestly, I had no idea Dershowitz went around endorsing congressional candidates).

It is going to be interesting how the “Jewish vote” polls this fall and in 2012. Is Dershowitz part of a larger trend of Jews who will be voting Republican for the first time in their lives (not the Dershowitz will necessarily be voting Republican), or is he part of a loud minority? Even if there is a large portion of the Jewish population that feels angry about this administration’s Israel policies, is that enough to swing them over to a Republican party that is moving increasingly to the right on social issues? Or will Jews just decide to not vote? I’ve spoken to more than one person (obviously, a very scientific poll) who will be choosing that last option.

Posted on June 16, 2010

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2 thoughts on “Alan Dershowitz–Republican?

  1. Josh

    While the question of whether the Jewish community will shift its voting patterns is interesting, Dershowitz endorsing Pollak shouldn’t really come as a surprise. Pollak is Jewish, formerly a Democrat, very moderate (by Republican standards) on virtually all social issues, and strong on foreign policy. Most importantly, Dershowitz used to teach him. So, it shouldn’t shock that Dershowitz chose his moderate Republican former student over the J Street-endorsed very liberal Democrat.

    If the Republicans are really thinking, this should be an indication to them that they can get some of the Jewish vote, if they are willing to find moderate candidates. Dershowitz didn’t swing over to the Republican party, he was just willing to admit that party affiliation didn’t matter in this case, and endorse the candidate who fits his political views.

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