Shock: MSNBC Guest Blasts Harry Reid’s Liberal Hypocrisy on Anti-Semitism

Following Harry Reid’s speech Tuesday afternoon on the Senate floor trashing Donald Trump as he did with Mitt Romney, MSNBC guest and liberal lawyer Alan Dershowitz slammed Reid for loosely tossing around the accusation of anti-Semitism among Trump’s staff and suggested Reid check out far-left college campus for real instances of anti-Semitism.

Dershowitz was speaking to MSNBC Live’s 4:00 p.m. Eastern host Steve Kornacki when he blasted Reid for using the term anti-Semitism and suggested he think carefully about “unsafe spaces” because he “should go to college campuses and see how unsafe they are for people on the right, for Christians, for Jews who support Israel.”

Kornacki wanted to focus on the accusations Reid made about Trump appointee and former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon, but Dershowitz argued that the main accusation of anti-Semitism by Bannon was made in a messy divorce proceeding that he refuted so, in his mind, he can’t state definitively “whether [Bannon is] an anti-Semite or not.”

Further, Dershowitz ruled that we as a people shouldn’t “toss that phrase around casually unless there’s overwhelming evidence” and differences between whether someone’s personally anti-Semitic, their views enhancing anti-Semitism and if what someone says is endorsed by anti-Semites. 

Surprisingly, Dershowitz used far-left Muslim-American Congressman and Democratic National Committee chairman candidate Keith Ellison as an example that if he were to become the head of the DNC, Hamas “would support it, would cheer and yell because he has had association with [Louis] Farrakhan in the past.” 

“I’m making an analogy only on the point of you can’t always judge a person by their supporters. What was seen in this country was a very dangerous development on both sides....I have to tell you, the only thing the hard left and the hard right have in common, they hate Jews, they generally hate Israel, they generally hate America,” Dershowitz added.

Going to Reid, Dershowitz unloaded about the growing anti-Semitism that actually is occurring on college campuses thanks to the far left:

[T]alk about unsafe spaces as Harry Reid talked about. Harry Reid, who I know him very well and he’s a very good guy — I like him — should go to college campuses and see how unsafe they are for people on the right, for Christians, for Jews who support Israel. You know, we have to understand this phenomenon that applies both to the hard right and the hard left. Now, we shouldn’t apply double standards. I am not a fan of Bannon. I am not a supporter of Breitbart. I just want to make sure that we don't want to throw around the term anti-Semite too loosely[.]

Before the segment ended, Dershowitz made clear that he would change his mind about Bannon if he saw evidence to convince him otherwise, but the liberal civil rights lawyer concluded by spotlighting the Black Lives Matter movement as being another actual group filled with hatred of Jews:

I love the concept of Black Lives Matter, but they have become an anti-Semitic group by putting in their program that Israel and only Israel is a genocidal, apartheid country. That's anti-Semitic. I will have nothing to do with the organization Black Lives Matter while continuing to support their programs and their policies. So, I think we have focus on the extremism of right and left. 

The relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC Live with Steve Kornacki on November 15 can be found below.

MSNBC Live with Steve Kornacki
November 15, 2016
4:21 p.m. Eastern

STEVE KORNACKI: For more now, let's bring in prominent civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz. He actually gave an interview today to the site Breitbart today saying that he doesn't believe based on the evidence he’s seen that Bannon is an anti-Semite. So, thank you for joining us. Let me ask you about this because I have been hearing a bunch of labels flying around since this Bannon appointment was announced and this obviously has a lot of people on edge. You’ve heard white supremacists, white nationalists, one of them is anti-Semite and you just heard in those remarks there, Harry Reid saying, look, there are court filings that say that Stephan Bannon said he doesn't want his kids around Jews — around Jewish kids. You’re saying you don’t see evidence he’s an anti-Semite. What is it that you are seeing? 

ALAN DERSHOWITZ: Well, first of all, a court filing — it was the testimony of his former wife. Of course it's in a court paper, but he disputed and contradicted it and said it never happened. He just — from what I heard, he wanted to send his kids to a Catholic school and that was a point of division between him and his former wife. 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 unless there’s overwhelming evidence. There’s an enormous difference between three things. One, is he personally an anti-Semite? I heard no evidence to support that. He has hired Joe Pollak, who worked with him for four years, who’s an orthodox Jew who wears a Kippa who’s married to — has a mixed race marriage. He has been very positive towards Jews and towards Israel. So, that's number one. I think the evidence that he’s an anti-Semite is just not there. Number two is his paper becomes the actual vehicle for bigotry and number three, is he supported by bigots? Let’s turn to number three first. Yes, he is, but to show you an analogy if Keith Ellison who is a good person were to be appointed the head of the Democratic National Committee, Hamas would support it, would cheer and yell because he has had association with Farrakhan in the past. He’s made some statements that maybe that 9/11 was something —

KORNACKI: We should be clear, though in the case of Keith Ellison, you are talking about now. This is congressman from Minnesota who’s trying to run the DNC

DERSHOWITZ: A good person. 

KORNACKI: But he also — the Farrakhan stuff, was he participated in the Million Man March — helped organize that in 95 and he said once he found out a full history of Farrakhan's statements, he said he considers an anti-Semite and doesn't want anything to do with it. 

DERSHOWITZ: Once he decided to run for Congress. Of course, he knew everyone knew that Farrakhan was an anti-Semite. You can't listen for two minutes without him railing against the Jewish people. I’m making an analogy only on the point of you can’t always judge a person by their supporters. What was seen in this country was a very dangerous development on both sides. We’re seeing the Republicans move hard right and the Democrats move hard left and I have to tell you, the only thing the hard left and the hard right have in common, they hate Jews, they generally hate Israel, they generally hate America and I think we as centrists and Americans have to be very concerned about this movement, right/left. 

KORNACKI: But you’re not — you are not putting Keith Ellison in that category. When you say hate Jews, you’re not putting Keith Ellison in that?

DERSHOWITZ: No, I’m saying many of his supporters hate Jews. Many people who applaud his nomination. I would say the same thing about Al Sharpton. He’s a decent guy, I know him, but he is supported and applauded by many people — talk about unsafe spaces as Harry Reid talked about. Harry Reid, who I know him very well and he’s a very good guy — I like him — should go to college campuses and see how unsafe they are for people on the right, for Christians, for Jews who support Israel. You know, we have to understand this phenomenon that applies both to the hard right and the hard left. Now, we shouldn’t apply double standards. I am not a fan of Bannon. I am not a supporter of Breitbart. I just want to make sure that we don't want to throw around the term anti-Semite too loosely and we apply the same standard to both sides. 

KORNACKI: Is there something more specific and more particular to what’s been created at Breitbart? Cause the anti-Defamation League, for instance, came out and they condemned this appointment and again, it wasn’t so much the statement that they put out wasn’t so much saying Bannon was anti-Semite. It was saying that the site has been a haven for anti-Semites and you’ve got David Duke out there. You know, you had Harry Reid just citing that, saying —

DERSHOWITZ: But he never published an article. The article that was published, for example, that they quoted extensively where he talked about Kristol as a renegade Jew, that was written by David Horowitz. Another Jew who called him a renegade Jew.

(....)

4:27 p.m. Eastern

DERSHOWITZ: What's new is the anti-Semitism from the right has become emboldened and it’s now kind of almost catching up with the anti-Semitism on the hard left, which has been in existence for 20 years now, sometimes disguising itself as anti-Zionism. Take for example Black Lives Matter. I love the concept of Black Lives Matter, but they have become an anti-Semitic group by putting in their program that Israel and only Israel is a genocidal, apartheid country. That's anti-Semitic. I will have nothing to do with the organization Black Lives Matter while continuing to support their programs and their policies. So, I think we have focus on the extremism of right and left. That doesn't justify Bannon or Breitbart and I understand. I agree with much of what Harry Reid said and it would be a good thing if the President reconsidered that appointment, but I would be careful about calling him an anti-Semite unless there is more evidence. If there is, I will join the chorus, but not without more evidence than I am seeing. 

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