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Israel’s genocide defence at ICJ may be led by lawyer who defended convicted rapist and child abuser

January 3, 2024 at 2:45 pm

Members of the jurysit in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. [Photo credit should read BAS CZERWINSKI/AFP via Getty Images]

American lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who defended convicted child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein and the impeached former US President Donald Trump, is reportedly being considered to lead Israel’s defence against accusations of genocide filed by South Africa at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Often referred to as Israel’s attack dog, Dershowitz is said to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s preferred option to lead the defence team, even though the 85-year-old has an acrimonious history with the ICJ. In 2004 he claimed that the UN’s highest legal body was “founded” on discrimination. He made the comment in response to the 2004 advisory opinion on the construction of the illegal “Separation Wall” built by the apartheid state on occupied Palestinian territory. The landmark decision by the world body concluded that the wall is “contrary to international law.”

News of Dershowitz being Israel’s preferred choice was reported by the political reporter at Axios, Barak Ravid. “Israeli officials say Netanyahu wants Alan Dershowitz to represent Israel at the @CIJ_ICJ hearing next week about South Africa’s accusation that it is conducting genocide in Gaza,” said Ravid on X. He added that he had called Dershowitz who didn’t deny the reports but said, “I can’t comment about it at this time.”

Dershowitz gained national notoriety after serving as OJ Simpson’s defence attorney in a famous 1994 case. Simpson was acquitted of the murder of his wife and her friend in a lengthy and internationally publicised trial, but was found liable for the killings three years later in a civil suit instigated by the victims’ families.

READ: After South African petition, Israel on high alert with growing pressure to file genocide charges

Other notable figures defended by Dershowitz include Epstein and Weinstein. Epstein was charged in 2019 with sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York. A federal judge in New York last month ordered the identities of more than 150 people mentioned in court documents related to the crimes of Epstein to be released. One of the victims maintained that Epstein trafficked her to Dershowitz for sex at least six times, beginning when she was just 16 years old. Dershowitz has from the beginning consistently denied these allegations.

A year after his apparent suicide, an Israeli Mossad handler claimed that Epstein and his girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell were Israeli spies who used underage girls to blackmail politicians into giving information to the occupation state.

Dershowitz also defended Weinstein. The disgraced Hollywood producer was arrested and charged with rape in New York in May 2018, and was found guilty of two of five felonies in February 2020. Weinstein was protected by an Israeli spy company. He hired Israel’s Black Cube to spy on his rape victims.

Many see Dershowitz as a highly fitting advocate for Israel. A long-time friend and advisor of Prime Minister Netanyahu, he has defended Israeli settlements — all of which are illegal under international law — and downplayed the horrors of civilian casualties, as well as attacked liberal Jewish groups. His many books include The Case for Israel, Defending Israel and War Against the Jews.

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