Alan Dershowitz is no stranger to high-profile cases: He represented kidnapped newspaper heiress Patty Hearst after a robbery conviction, helped boxer Mike Tyson try to appeal a rape conviction and signed on to O.J. Simpson’s legal “dream team.” But never before has the famed Harvard University law professor had a client who upended the entire world of international diplomacy.5
He’s the Palestinian-American who is determined to out-settle the settlers. In his chic office in Ramallah, Bashar Masri, believed to be the richest person in the Palestinian territories, is in high spirits. It’s February 3, his 50th birthday, and the past year has been a particularly good one.
The recent showdown at the United Nations Security Council over a proposed resolution condemning Israel’s settlement policy did more than highlight Israel’s isolation in the international body. It also reminded many that for the past six months Jerusalem has been lacking a permanent ambassador to represent its interests in the most public arena of international politics.
Dan Shapiro, whose direct phone number in the White House is on speed dial for most Jewish leaders, could soon be heading to Israel as the top U.S. diplomatic envoy in Tel Aviv. According to a February 22 report in Politico, President Obama intends to appoint Shapiro, who serves as senior director for Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council, as ambassador to Israel.
The irony of the election of the first Jewish mayor in the nation’s third largest city is that his religion seemed not to matter much at all. Rahm Emanuel made history by winning 55% of the vote February 22 to become Chicago’s next mayor, obviating the need for a run-off by blowing away the opposition.14
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