Alan Dershowitz Lecture Draws Protest At Qatar University

“Zionists are not welcome here,” protested activists who led a walk-out at a lecture by lawyer and former Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz in Qatar on Sunday. Dershowitz’s lecture, called “Law and Media”, was held at Northwestern University’s Doha campus.

The talk was not publicized and was only announced through an email to students at Education City, an organization operated by the Qatar Foundation, which franchises of half a dozen U.S. universities.

In the original email invitation, Dershowitz was introduced as a “vocal supporter of Qatar” who has been “speaking out publicly about the illegitimacy of the blockade against the country.”

In a follow-up email, Northwestern distanced itself from the program. The university stated that an email from the Qatar Foundation “mistakenly” said that Northwestern was hosting the event, but the university “is not hosting or sponsoring the lecture by Professor Dershowitz,” but rather that is was being sponsored by the Qatar Foundation in a Northwestern University auditorium.

During his speech, Dershowitz claimed that Israel has killed fewer people than any other nation in the world and asserted that Palestinians are not willing to work towards peace.

Dershowitz is the author of books including The Case for Israel and The Case for Peace. More recently, he had been known for urging President Trump to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by moving the U.S. embassy there.

A student who requested to remain anonymous, told The Electronic Intifada that Qatari police dressed in civilian clothes were at the event. The student said that when asked if Dershowitz believes in protection of minorities over free speech, he responded that he does because “in Qatar, Zionists are a minority”.

Contact Haley Cohen at hcohen@forward.com

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