Saturday, January 17, 2009


Professor Alan Dershowitz took on Professor Iain Scobbie on BBC's Newsnight in a debate on whether Israel had committed war crimes in its Gaza campaign and absolutely "pantsed" his opponent.

The programme opened in typical BBC style with a list of alleged war crimes committed by Israel and the allegation from UN sources that 40% of 1,000 Palestinian victims were civilians.

Scobble was on the back foot from the start. He wasn’t contesting that Hamas' actions in virtually exclusively targeting civilians are war crimes and he also admitted of the allegations against Israel that they "obviously require investigation"> By this time, the Professor from SOAS* was virtually sending out an SOS for help.

When Dershowitz's claim that Hamas was using civilians as human shields was objected to by Scobble as just an "allegation", Dershowitz said the evidence is available on film he has seen and further, that the figure of 40% was, in fact, an unproven allegation.

The BBC presenter finally saved an embarrassed Scobble by ending the segment.

It was brilliant work by the eminent lawyer who demonstrated that he knows his stuff and further, that the allegations against Israel of committing war crimes - a common mantra from many on the BBC in recent weeks - were unsubstantiated!

* School of Oriental and African Studies London.

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