Legendary civil rights and criminal lawyer Alan Dershowitz thinks that Donald Trump’s top advisor and former Breitbart News boss is an anti-Muslim, anti-woman bigot, but he is not an anti-Semite.
Appearing for an interview on MSNBC with Steve Kornacki, Dershowitz said that he didn’t feel that there was enough evidence to assign the label of anti-Semite to Bannon.
The famed attorney says that so far as he can knows the case for Bannon being anti-Semitic is based on two facts. The first is a much publicized article that Breibart News ran titled “Bill Kristol, Renegade Jew,” which was written by Jewish author David Horowitz. The second are allegations made by Bannon’s ex-wife during a contentious divorce that he did not want his children to go to school with “whiney Jews.”
In an opinion piece that Dershowitz wrote for Haaretz, he finds neither argument compelling. As to the allegation of his ex-wife, it is essentially a case of ‘he said she said’ which Bannon has vigorously denied. As to the article by David Horowitz, he explains that Bannon neither authored it or titled it, and that it was by a Jewish author who was upset at Bill Kristol for not supporting Donald Trump, calling it a betrayal of Jewish people.
He also points to the testimony of Jewish people who have worked closely with Bannon for years, who while they thoroughly disapprove of Bannon’s politics and the way that he ran Breitbart, have not reported any instances of anti-Semitism.
In the MSNBC interview, Dershowitz acknowledged that Bannon’s supporters may be bigoted. “Is he supported by bigots? … Yes he is. But … if Keith Ellison, who’s a decent, good person, were to become the head of the Democratic National Committee, Hamas would support it, would cheer and yell. Because he’s had some association with Farrakhan in the past,” the lawyer said.
“Look, I don’t know whether he’s an anti-Semite or not. I just don’t think you should toss that phrase around casually,” he added.
At the same time, the attorney admits that Bannon promotes the Alt Right, and that the Alt Right includes anti-Semites, and that
“Both Bannon and Breitbart have made bigoted statements about Muslims, women and others, which I do not condone. That is why I do not support Bannon, even though I do not think he’s an anti-Semite. Bigotry against any group should be disqualifying for high office.”