A compromise with Dershowitz?

Chilmark library to consider him as a speaker next year.

Alan Dershowitz, shown here during a 2018 talk, will be considered as part of the 2023 speaker series in Chilmark. -MV Times

The Chilmark board of library trustees extended an olive branch to Chilmark resident and high-profile defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, offering to find a way to accommodate an appearance at their speaker series in the summer of 2023.

The meeting between Dershowitz and the trustees was held August 11. The Times obtained a copy of the Zoom session, during which the trustees explained their stance and Dershowitz reiterated his claims that he was being punished for his legal representation of former President Donald Trump. He has repeatedly called it a First Amendment issue, while library director Ebba Hierta has said it’s about crowd control and process.

“Chilmark library has never violated anyone’s First Amendment rights or discriminated against anyone on the basis of partisanship, viewpoint, or who they represented,” trustee Jane Kaplan said. “Any allegations to the contrary are not supported by the facts.”

Janet Weidner, the trustees’ chair, said this year Dershowitz didn’t ask until mid-July to be included — after this year’s slate of speakers had been selected. “Our policy clearly states we set the schedule in the spring,” Weidner said. “July was too late. That’s why Alan was denied engagement in the spring.”

Dershowitz rejected the idea that it was about scheduling. He said previously he had actually been invited by the library to speak on several occasions. That is, before he represented Trump in 2018. “In 2018 a group of people in Chilmark started a campaign, a cabal, to try to cancel me as a result of the fact I attempted to defend the Constitution on behalf of a man I didn’t like, a man I didn’t vote for, a man who I didn’t support, but a man who became the center of a constitutional controversy,” Dershowitz said.

Dershowitz called it the “first time in modern history that liberals have attempted to censor a speaker.”

After a lengthy back-and-forth, the library board of trustees voted unanimously to consider an apology letter sent by Dershowitz to library director Ebba Hierta as an application to be included in the 2023 speaker series hosted by the library, but not until next spring.

In that letter, Dershowitz offered the library three options — limit the number of people to 25, hold it outside at the library to accommodate more people, or to hold it at a larger venue.

Town counsel Ronald Rappaport was on the Zoom call, but only said that he had a message from select board chair James Malkin. Malkin wanted the library board to know they had his support, and offered town resources to assist them.

While Dershowitz, who has threatened to sue the library on national television, in a New York Daily News op-ed, and in a previous interview with The Times, was disappointed about waiting until next spring for an answer, he told The Times on August 18 that he will wait for the spring to make a decision on his next steps.

“It was a good meeting. We each presented our perspectives. But no decision was made. They kicked the can down the road,” Dershowitz said. “In the meantime, they did remedy another situation.”

According to Dershowitz, the library had copies of books he wrote prior to representing Trump as part of their collection, but not the nine books he’s written since. He donated copies, and the library has put them into circulation, he said.“That’s a victory for the readers of Chilmark. I’m very happy with that,” he said.

Dershowitz said his goal is not to sue the library, but his stance is about principles. “I’m considering my options,” he said. “I’m hoping we come to an appropriate resolution in the spring. I never had to ask to speak. They invited me. I only asked when they didn’t invite me … I don’t want to sue them. I love that library. I just donated books to the library. The last thing I want to do is sue the library, but I have to live by my principles.”

Hierta was put in the national spotlight by Dershowitz, and previously told The Times she received hate mail from a member of the Proud Boys. “I am deeply appreciative that the library trustees backed their own policy in their decision,” she told The Times before declining further comment.

Since President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was raided by the FBI, there have been reports that Trump is having difficulty getting a lawyer to take his case. The Times asked Dershowitz if he’d been contacted by the former president. 

“I can’t say,” Dershowitz. ““He’s going to have a hard time getting a lawyer because of what happened to me in Chilmark.” Dershowitz said he’s talked to attorneys who have turned down Trump. “They say after what happened to you in Chilmark, we don’t want to lose friends.”

Dershowitz then went on to talk about several occasions that he’s been “canceled” on the Island, including a recent engagement party. The Times has not yet independently verified those claims.

“I want to make it clear, I have a thick skin,” Dershowitz said. “I don’t care about dinner parties. What I care about is denying people the right to read my books and hear me speak. My wife didn’t even agree with me representing Trump. She’s been treated as a pariah.”


  1. Why are you trying to placate this vile little man? He’s a bore, always has been, and always will be. That being said, he could cost the town a lot of money in a frivolous lawsuit, his bread and butter. Since he doesn’t have enough class to go away quietly put him on the speaker’s list for next year – the picture of all those empty chairs will be priceless. Go back to your people on the dark side Alan, no one wants you here.

  2. I like the strategy of putting him off for a year.
    As any lawyer knows, that can be put off again,
    and again,
    and again.

    The guy is 83– let’s just wait him out.

  3. Alan is an embarrassment to many of us with a common religion. I feel is a fool, in his remaining years on this planet, to get a reputation as a bully and at the same time constantly seeking notoriety. Rather than leave a legacy of accomplishment, his desire of notoriety, at any cost, is a defect. When I watch him on Fox news enabling Hannity and Trump, there is no justification for this. These are evil men seeking to divide America and then give us, once again, a group of mobsters. Alan, you are simply promoting evil characters for self gain. You may think you can justify this as a seeker of Justice, but you have a legacy of simply enabling evil men. Listen to your wife.

    • Yea= he’s. I have catered at his house before and he has a letter on his fridge as a joke, sent to him telling him how awful Zionism is and how it’s destructive to peace in the Middle East. He is the type of guy who has the intellectual superiority complex and not scared to laugh in the face of people calling his faults out and just threaten something via lawsuit aka slander or what have you. It’s bummer but the more you give attention to him the more his fire burns. Give him his time at the library who cares just ignore him that the thing that will get under his skin the most.

  4. Limit the event to 25 if he applies on time and doesn’t demand special treatment after all the summer programs are booked. A serious question to consider… How do personal 1st amendment rights relate to ego alone and do those rights impinge on the rights of others and of institutions?

  5. These replies prove my point: I am being canceled because of my defense of the constitution on behalf of Trump. If the shoe were on the other foot— if I were making the same constitutional arguments on behalf of Hillary or Bill Clinton — these same hypocrites would be praising me. Keep the letters coming. They make my point.

    • Alan. Your exactly like Trump, or he learned from you. You take adversity and try to turn it into something you feel justifies your position. Everyone that exposes you is the enemy. Just last week Trump makes the FBI the enemy. You made the library the enemy. It’s called deflection. When attacked never apologize, always try to demoralize the attacker. Look how many close friends of Trump became his enemies. Trump will turn on you if you get out of line. Then what. No more Chilmark pizza for you.

    • Nah – you’re being cancelled because too many of us are repulsed by the fact that you’ve made a career out of grand-standing, lime-light seeking , and CHOOSING to represent heinous people. We all understand that Americans have the right to a legal defense. But you’ve made a conscious effort to “be that guy”…and it has earned you the persona you’ve so carefully crafted. That of a very unlikable man. And furthermore – “cancelling” is not a crime. And you are not a victim.

    • It’s called Consequence Culture. Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas. And no one wants a fleabag around.

    • The replies of a few people on the MV Times don’t make your point at all. I’d say your somewhat childish ranting about not getting what you want at a small island library was getting embarrassing but that happened long ago. Lots of authors other than you would like to have library speaking time about their books upon their requests. But rarely do they throw a public tantrum and threaten to sue and ruin the librarian when the library feels like they can’t accommodate their request. Someone with good sense would not make a public issue out of this and take the libraries’ feedback with dignity. Someone craving attention and the spotlight to try to remain relevant would do what you are doing. It’s getting old.

    • Alan– I don’t think you are being “cancelled “and i am surprised that you would use that right wing dog whistle. I will be on LVB tomorrow afternoon– Do I have your permission to approach you and engage in a civil discussion if I happen to see you ? Trust me, I have the utmost respect for your privacy and opinions…

      • You don’t need Alan’s permission! He is in a public place it is your right to require Alan to sit and listen to you speak for as long as you want and he must accept everything that you say, otherwise you are being CANCELLED! You can’t have it both ways Alan!

    • Any good lawyer knows that if you want to win an argument, you need to be the best arguer*; you do not need to have the best argument. If the goal here is to dispel aaaaany notion that you, Alan, are the best at the art of the argument and therefore are above scrutiny, you NAILED IT. You are whining and what-about-ing and it is just stupid/childish/so many other negative things… you aren’t being “canceled” if you are quite simply disliked by the vast majority of a group you demand concessions from… in this instance, it isn’t us, it’s you. Stop equating yourself and your client list with less morally-repugnant people as pretext for calling us hypocrites. Bottom line: if you want to be liked, be likeable. Want respect? Earn it, don’t piss on the idea that you have to.
      And yuh know, speaking of your utter ineptitude at arguing your side of this, saying “if I was representing a Democrat you wouldn’t be so mean to me” is stupid on so many levels… the top being that you WOULDN’T do that… If you did, you wouldn’t be you. And you don’t get your way in life by blaming everyone ELSE when you fall short. Stop whining. It isn’t us, it’s you.

      • Anyone who understands the legal process knows that hat wins in the end is the best argument, and what wins in the end is what counts. Professor Dershowitz has it, and he’s also the best arguer, and better than far better ones than the gang on here, whom I beg — PLEASE — to cancel me too. I shall consider it an honor, a blessing, a mitzvah, a boon. As the saying goes, “Consider the source.”

      • Hear hear! Anger is the correct response to what cancel culture represents, and it’s the sane person upon whom those less sane gang up.

    • Regarding Mr. Dershowitz’s “cancel-culture” attack on the Chilmark Public Library: No one is “entitled” to a speaking slot at the public library. Alan, you’ve made this into more than it is. Apologize for harassing a hard-working town employee and leave it at that. There is no middle ground here. Your entitlement is showing.

      To those that attack Mr. Dershowitz for defending those you don’t like: Even the guilty are entitled to a competent defense. The rights of the minority supersede the will of the majority, or we face tyranny. The system must work this way, or it can be turned against any who falls out of favor. John Adams recognized this and defended the British soldiers in the trial after the “Boston Massacre.” You don’t have to like it, but it must be done.

      Alan: You seem deeply hurt that your social circle is not what it once was, but if you truly think what you’ve done was necessary and fit, you should walk with pride and let those that will prattle on. Doing the right thing can have negative social consequences. It’s a lesson most learn in childhood without threatening and endangering their neighbors.

      • Well put! And I’ll add that speaking at the library is a privilege, not a right. Hurt feelings are not cause for threats or lawsuits and do not get you invited to more cocktail parties or repair damaged relationships. Bullying is bullying.

        • I looked up the library policy for guest speakers on their chilmarkma.gov website. Duh. It turns out the policy for determining who gets to give talks and how, is spelled out clearly. What is also clear is that the decision-making falls ultimately to the discretion of the library director. That would be Ebba. It looks to me like she can invite, stop inviting, cancel, or change her mind about whatever she determines for whatever reasoning she chooses. There is nothing I can see in the policy that stops her from deciding her personal political views on AD’s defense of our disgraceful former President’s rights would lead to cutting off the community’s enjoyment and participation in his already long established and well attended library talks. Or that she can’t be influenced or pressured to cut or add a speaker proposal. It’s up to her. Can’t get more personal than that.

          The question and answer period after one of Alan’s talks was always stimulating and often the best part. Now we’re deprived of the talk and the answers to questions. Imagine being able to ask directly about why Alan wanted to go on Fox. It’s a shame the community was deprived of having this conversation. But maybe next year.

          I’ve bought AD books at the library after he gives a talk. All proceeds from his book sales are donated to our library. It’s always pleasant to have a few words with him as he inscribes and signs the book I buy to give to a disabled lawyer friend of mine who admires Alan’s views tremendously.

          As far as the Chilmark “cabal” goes, if you don’t know it’s real, you don’t know Chilmark. You haven’t experienced life in Chilmark until you’ve had one of these Chilmark Beautiful People, (you know the ones, they always hogged all the rockers on the Chilmark Store porch at lunch time), write a letter to the editor in both our papers complaining about you and telling you to shut the hell up. Lol. I’m the proud subject of at least 2 such letters. Why? Because I stood up against damage certain members of the cabal were doing. I was rewarded by losing friends, having to defend myself against untrue accusations, AKA lies, and having to tolerate the harassment of Chilmark’s two finest police thugs who, thank goodness, have gone the way other disgraced cops eventually go. Karma, baby. Oh, have I got stories! But that was then. This is now. The news, and it’s more sad than good, is that this cabal is dying off. Literally.

          Let Alan speak. Let’s all move forward. He apologized for his part. Now the library needs to do their part for those who want to know the sound, constitutionally correct points Alan makes. Then we can disagree with them if we can say why he’s wrong. Certainly no one is forced to attend any library talk. So far, no one has said why Alan is wrong to defend Trump’s rights. Having a personality and background unlike a renowned West Tisbury gentile gentleman (someone had the antisemitic audacity to compare Alan to), does not make Alan wrong about why he’s been canceled by the library and shunned by the CBP (Chilmark Beautiful People). You may not like how he’s made us aware of the canceling and shunning, but both seem to have very much happened. I’m certainly convinced.

          Oh, to answer someone’s ridiculously untrue statement about AD defending only celebrities, the reason you don’t see or know those defended pro bono and/or unknown to us is because they are, you know, unknown to us. Not knowing about something is no excuse for making up uninformed lies about someone.

    • As a person who has taught constitutional law, though certainly not at the vaunted level of you Prof Dershowitz, I will say that every one of your “constitutional arguments” on Trump’s behalf have been, at the very best, a stretch, and at the worst, silly and outright wrong. I tried to discuss this with you recently when I ran into you and you just screamed: “You are an ignoramus, an antisemite and a McCarthyite!” Well reasoned, sir! (Note: You will not remember this incident because you always scream insults at anyone who challenges you.)

      • Vicki, I saw your other comment where you seem to take a peculiar glee in ridiculing a human being you obviously dislike.

        Explicitly, which of Alan’s constitutional arguments on Trump’s behalf have been a stretch, silly, or outright wrong? Please be specific about which arguments you refer to and why you, a self-described teacher of constitutional law, think they are wrong. Maybe he is wrong, I can’t say, but apparently you can’t either, or you would have. Without an objection to a specific, single one of his Trump defenses, it’s merely a matter of you dismissing a person because you don’t like him for what he believes. That’s not very tolerant now, is it? Was it about a President or Vice-President not being held to the same rules and standards on declassifying documents as everyone else? Making a blanket, generalized statement of insult upon insult, as you have done, has little meaning and adds nothing to the pile-on but more piling on. Why resort to this sort of venting? How does one “run into” another person in public, say at the beach, the theater, or a movie, and then somehow try having a discussion that turns into screaming? Did you accost him while he was out with his family, or perhaps picking up veggies at the farmers’ market? I know if I “ran into” someone with the attitude you’re displaying here and then demanding I somehow defend my views right there and then, I’d probably yell and curse at you. Why would he call you an antisemite? Imagine if you’d been able to ask any sort of question you’d like, be it edgy or rude or anything at all, at a scheduled event where this was encouraged, like at a library author’s talk event? You make an excellent point about why an Allen Dershowitz talk is something the community wants. Plus, a scheduled event would prevent these discourteous public run-ins that you seem to have incited, if I am to believe you at all, which I don’t, to be honest. I’ve been to a couple of AD library talks and trust me, someone (or more) always asks an “edgy” question after they’ve made a statement criticizing Alan’s views. Most people, like you in this comment thread, don’t want to ask a question after a talk. They want to give their point of view. But still, I’ve never seen AD react in anger. I’m curious at what you might have said to him during your run-in, or did you want us to believe you simply walked up to him, said hello, and he started screaming? In public? It’s possible there was a run in and he got angry, but I highly doubt it happened out of the blue.

        I do remember what it means to have liberal democratic ideals– but I’m wondering what’s happening here? Am I the only liberal democrat who will object to all this uncorroborated hate speech and slander targeting a seasonal local who has loved and supported this island for half a century? This unrestrained glee at attacking the man, and the barely veiled
        antisemitism I am seeing in other comments is more disturbing than I can say. Every time I see yet another intelligent person jump on the slander wagon and up the hate ante to a higher level, I am stunned at my community’s intolerance.

  6. He is a left wing liberal who always votes Democrat. But he is also a famous Defense Attorney and he stands for principle. He supports views that align with his even if they are from conservative right wingers. What is wrong with that? His political profile aligns with a majority of MV residents. He has left a legacy of accomplishment greater than most of us. Prodigious Writer, Harvard for almost 50 years, civil libertarian and secular Jew but supporter of Israel. Famous cases and the list goes on. To turn on him because he supports a conservative on some technical truth is narrow minded and spiteful. Some of you folks are wiping him clean with a broad brush and not seeing the grains of truth in his pronouncements. Even Keller would support me if I said something he perceived reasonable.

    • No he isn’t, not even remotely close which is a constant for you Andrew. On the bright side since you comically think Dersh is on the left you must hate him too.

      • Mr Patterson, I respect Dershowitz for his integrity and principle. I dont know why he supports so many Dem policies but he stands for what he believes and doesnt waver even after getting so much backlash from this petty little island.

        • He doesn’t support left policy. He props up and protects the powerful. They can be fascist like Trump and his ilk or neo liberals like Clinton and Epstein. Dersh is on your side not mine.

    • So much hate spewed from the woke liberals. When all else fails get out your nasty litlle playbook and start hurling the Nazi/white supremest/hate group insults. If you do not like Mr. Dershowitz don’t listenen to him. Meditate…….Life is too short.
      I’m glad you get it Andrew.

  7. I think they should let him speak so he can’t keep going on Fox News whining about being canceled. Let him speak to an almost empty room and move on.

  8. If the library adds him to their speaker slate next year the lesson for the Island will be that bullying works. Lots of local authors do not get asked to be part of the book festival or speakers series and there is no reason why Dershowitz should expect to be included every year. Hubris plus bullying plus threats should not equal a spot at the library events.

    • Laurie, the problem for the library is an undefined or inconsistent policy for scheduling author guest speakers. How and why is a local author turned down for a speaking engagement? What are the exceptions? This public pile-on, including your contribution, makes little sense to me, except as what Alan has described as being “canceled” for defending the constitutional rights of an unpopular and downright hated, and likely criminal, Donald Trump. The conclusions you reach about “hubris” and bullying don’t follow rational thought about speaking engagement requests and invitation policies. Alan Dershowitz has constitutional expertise that you, I, and no other commenter here has. Shutting him down should not be about his public personality quirks that don’t seem to be much different now than when he was part of your chilmark social circle. I don’t know the man socially, but you do. Reading reliable news sources can inform us, but we do not have the education, experience and expertise of a brilliant constitutional lawyer.

      But since you are a local Chilmark author of some renown, perhaps you have some experience in how one gets to give a talk at the library. Have you ever asked or been invited by the library to speak about one of your books on the subjects you’ve shown interest in? I agree that Alan’s message can be delivered in a more likable way, but how is he wrong about being cancelled and why should he be? Because if ‘hubris’? As far as i can tell, Alan’s public persona has always been exactly as it is being displayed, by him, now, so I don’t understand why you, of all people, want to speak out against him and so publicly. I would think that given your own experiences here in Chilmark some years back in a controversy over building in wetlands and a pile-on of public criticism for it, deserved or not, you could show a little more compassion toward what your (former) social friend is expressing. Has the author of CHUTZPAH undergone a personality shift since he and his wife were part of a social circle on the island to which you belonged? He was sought after then for dinners and parties, but no longer is, according to him. I understand friends having a falling out, but a whole, large social circle turning their back on one of their own? Trump is not the first despised figure to be defended by Alan. Is Trump less deserving than OJ of a constitutional expert’s legal defense that everyone is supposedly entitled to, no matter how criminally despicable a person under arrest or criminal investigation actually is? Seems to me the person being bullied, especially by fair weather friends who go along with a disloyalty I find to be shockingly cruel, is Alan Dershowitz. “Shunning” is a real thing here in Chilmark (and in middle school). Alan is not wrong about that, nor is he wrong about his reasons for defending those you and I, in our ignorance, may consider unworthy of any defense at all. I remember a time when Chilmarkers got along a lot better. Standing up for what one passionately believes in and is expert about, is normally admirable, but apparently not in some Chilmark social circles.

      From an earlier MVTimes article on an AD ‘shunning’ story:

      “As for his wife, Dershowitz said, this continues to be toughest on her: “My wife didn’t agree with me defending Trump. The cabal has decided they couldn’t deal with her either.”
      Dershowitz claims that Larry David’s ex-wife, Laurie David, is behind the shunning of his wife. “She said she saw my wife laugh at a joke Trump told,” Dershowitz said. “I looked back at the tape. She didn’t laugh. She just smiled.”
      Laurie David did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment or message left on her cell phone.” Dershowitz said he’s had to defend himself for years — for defending O.J. Simpson, Mike Tyson, and now Trump. “It’s been much worse for her than me,” he said of his wife. “I have thick skin. I’m used to this.” ~MVTimes

      What’s more hurtful than smug, self-righteous shunning (bullying) of someone whose personality and ego were previously not just acceptable, but liked, popular, and sought after by those who are, at core, the real status-seeking bullies running the show with their money and power? This truly gives liberal democratic ideals a bad name. It makes them hypocritical in the highest order.

      • Jackie, your post above is very well thought out and articulated. I agree with everything you said.

      • That’s very well written, Jackie, and I’m impressed that you can see just how deeply and severely this sort of behavior damages anything and everything else they might do.

        I would, however, point out that these events speak nothing at all to liberal democratic ideals, well or poorly. They speak about liberal democratic idealistic PEOPLE, and they do so in a purely negative way.

        I’m not sure anyone actually knows what any of those ideals are anymore, or which party truly has the stronger affinity for any given one of those ideals.

        In that light, consider that we are one of the VANISHINGLY small minority of Democrat strongholds that is actually a democracy. It’s more typical for Democrats to live in cities and larger suburbs, which nearly universally function as republics, and more typical for Republicans to live in rural areas where local is a bona fide democracy, as it is here.

        Riddle me this, then: if liberal Democrats are so all about those high-sounding liberal democratic ideals, then why do most of them never practice democracy, and why do so many of them frequently engage in the sort of reflexive shunning behavior that’s a stereotype, perhaps even a bellwether, of conservative, religiously driven dystopias?

        Bottom line: Most people just cluelessly follow the crowd, and following the crowd, any crowd, has never been a good idea. Yet, it has always been and still remains the most popular idea on any given day.

  9. Alan needs to find another island and town to pollute. See you at LVB, Dersh. I will vocalize my disdain, loudly.

  10. Please do not give this little (in physical stature and importance) man any more notoriety. Stop talking about him and he will shrivel up like a slug after salt is poured on it. Chilmark should deport him to Nomans

  11. Compare the relationship of the late and beloved David McCullough with the West Tisbury Library to that of Mr. Dershowitz to the Chilmark Public Library.

  12. I take it Dershowitz is a taxpayer on Martha’s Vineyard? The liberal Democrats on Martha’s Vineyard, sporting their Subarus with the Coexist bumper sticker or their No Hate here yard signs, get over your sanctimonious selves.
    Don’t you celebrate diversity of thought?

    • Nailed it. Reading these comments, and many others on unrelated articles, I think people forgot about all the “Hate Has No Home Here” and “Kindness is Everything” signs they put up as well as the “when they go low, we go high” quote. The island community is becoming noticeably more confrontational and argumentative – and it’s not even the winter.

      Shout out to the Chilmark Library for extending the olive branch and setting a good example. I see and appreciate you.

  13. Did you ever think some of us Jews might be trying to avoid a common stereotype that we seek notoriety, money, power, bullying, to advance one’s position with full disregard for ethical conduct? I am
    Not anything like Alan and his actions harms world Jewry. Just look at Trumps greatest followers. Nazis, white supremest, and hate groups. Thanks Alan for promoting Trump which also promotes all that.

    • Mr Acker there is a concept called ”self loathing Jew” which describes auto-antisemitism. I see some of it on MV and amongst many who support the Palestinian cause of terror. To those, Israel is the enemy and the occupier and the Apartheid state. You are so off base suggesting that Dershowitz promotes Trump and some of his fringe supporters. Dershowitz has integrity even as a liberal who I dont agree with most of the time but I will bet he would have been friends with William Buckley and Antonin Scalia.

      • Self loathing jew??? This is a “concept”?? And here I thought it was a term used by bigoted small-minded people…who knew…

        • Mr Chatinover you could look it up. Theodor Lessing a German Jewish Philosopher named this concept as he saw liberal Jews turn against their own. Please educate yourself. I am part Jewish.

      • Andrew-I am only trying to educate Alan, as I see it, concerning his egocentric personality disorder. Your concept of self loathing Jew is only in your judgemental mind that fits your narrative. I would love to ask Alan if he would defend Hitler if it were 1945 and Hitler had survived. Alan would probably reply yes, even if he succeeded and Hitler was released to murder another 6 million, maybe even Alan’s own relatives. I think this attitude is wrong. If someone is a murderer or crook, you let them find someone else to help get them back on the street. Why help get someone back on the street that could kill or rob your own family member. In fact, you should really offer the prosecution help to get or keep them in Jail. Unless notoriety, and/or money, is your motive.

  14. As a conservative I’ve never been a fan of Alan. Nor am I now but I do respect that he has the guts to follow his conviction that the constitution trumps ( no pun intended) political correctness. The backlash against his stand promoting constitutional rights just highlights the hatred and ignorance on the left. There’s a ton of hatred being spewed from the left but no valid constitutional argument pointing out how Alan is wrong. Liberals think they are open minded and they truly are not.

    • Because Alan is only promoting himself, not the constitution. When you use your talents to enable murderers and gangsters you are harming society. I don’t see Alan defending any non celebrity clients? He gets bounced from CNN and takes up with FOX because he is promoteing the mob boss the brings dollars to Fox. Pointing this out is not hate, it’s educational.

      • Jonas you do realize that our bedrock principles in this country is that all accused are guaranteed a competent defense. The bigger harm to society would be to not let one’s talents be used to defend the accused. I may sound like some rabid ACLU member but I can assure you I am not. I think we should be locking up more people for the crimes they committed and that our system has gotten too soft on career criminals. But everyone of them deserves representation before our legal system as we all know it ain’t perfect.

  15. Does Mr. Dershowitz have anything that’s worth hearing beyond his single oft-repeated sentence that “I am being canceled because of my defense of the constitution on behalf of Trump”? I think not. I enjoyed a talk at the library several years ago about whaling and Martha’s Vineyard, which strikes me as just the sort of thing the library should be promoting. I am a professor and Chilmark author, as well (https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691164694/when-movements-anchor-parties) and see no reason that a small-town library needs to hear from me. But then again, I may just not have Mr. Dershowitz’s ego.

      • “Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself: what fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” -Marcus Aurelius

        • This spewing forth against Dershowitz is the personification of intolerance by liberals to anything they dont agree with. If one were contemplating coming to live on MV and read this column they would have real doubts. ”Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? ”– Jesus

      • Professor Schlozman,
        No one can afford to buy your book! You posted a link hawking it for $99.95… on an article that isn’t about you, while saying no one needs to buy your book? That’s some way to object to someone else’s ego.

        You can donate your book to the Chilmark Library, by the way, like Alan does. If someone wants to read it, they can borrow it.

          • On fire! This is my Saturday night entrainment reading Mendez in the heating up and laying it down. To bad I’m missing the fair and the fireworks but oh well this is def better.

        • Jonas— don’t you now that all those people with violent intent towards the fbi are liberals ?
          Sarcasm alert.

        • Jackie– sorry to inform you, but there are lots of people who can afford this kind of claptrap.
          Just not people who actually work for a living.

  16. Too much time is being spent even thinking about A D. The most pointed thing I remember about him is seeing him on Lucy Vincent beach years ago…….clothing optional……

  17. What exactly is the library’s policy on selecting their speakers/authors? If a Chilmarker wrote a book on why Israel has no right to exist, would the library allow this person to give a talk if there was still room on their roster and they applied in the spring? How about a Chilmark author who self-publishes a badly written book with stupid ideas? If any local author requests a speaking engagement, in time, do they automatically get it? Is it first come, first served in applying? After my daughter wondered this, I am now also wondering what the criteria is for getting a speaking gig? Does public interest or a brilliant mind trump a man-splainy, unoriginal bore who no one’s ever heard of, if all else is equal? Or are we talking about personal preference of those running the show?

    The other question I have about this pile-on of intolerance, (that doesn’t actually debate the issue, but condemns the human for stating his issue), is, why has the library switched its reasoning for not giving Alan the speaking gig he’s become comfortably accustomed to, (well after he defended OJ, btw)? Up until this article, the reasoning was based nearly entirely on the library not being able to accommodate the crowds Alan draws. Now it’s because he didn’t ASK to speak on time in the spring, (after years of being invited). Did he know that? Again, what is the library policy? Have they made exceptions about when to apply/be invited in prior years? Why did the library previously invite Alan to speak but no longer does? If someone used to be invited, but the invitations cease and this coincides with the speaker saying things that liberal Dems abhor, how can this not look like “canceling”? Sorry, but it looks like “canceling” to me. And it goes to the heart of who Chilmark liberal Democrats imagine themselves (ourselves) to be.

    I hate Trump, and have from day one, and yes, I am a liberal Democrat. Some of these comments are really disturbing, though, and they do exactly what Alan is saying they do: prove his point.

    Threatening to sue our loved library is like threatening to sue your own mother… unless you are standing on a principle that is greater. The personal attacks, and they are irrelevant slander with some bordering on antisemitism, have nothing to do with the issue of the library taking away an established something without a legitimate, consistent explanation.

    The other point is about some Jewish people wanting to distance themselves from a Jewish person perceived as displaying stereotypes that make all Jews look bad. This of course is baloney. Besides, anyone who doesn’t know there is antisemitism alive and well and living in Chilmark has been sleeping under a rock. This accepted local and polite antisemitism has nothing at all to do with AD. Also, many of us who are Jewish grew up in homes where perceived stereotypical “Jewishness” should be avoided at all costs, as if this would do away with antisemitism within the gentile world. For example, accents, whether Yiddish or NY/NJ were an embarrassment. And if there was a sensational crime committed anywhere on the planet, every Jew breathed a sigh of relief when the perp with a Jewish-sounding name, turned out to be a gentile. I’m seeing some barely disguised Jewish tropes here. Just stop. Why Alan’s religion is part of this at all is telling.

    Finally, if you’re not talking about a questionable library policy that has still not been clearly explained, you’re missing the point of this brouhaha. And yeah, Alan shoulda listened to his wife. Losing friends because you’ve stood behind what you believe is right, is awful.

    • Jackie, we’ll said! I, like you commented on the original article defending one’s right to speak. I’m tired of trying get that point across that we don’t have to agree with the person but we should all be in agreement that they have a right to say it. You have a talent being able to articulate your thoughts on paper and although we rarely agree I’m always impressed but mostly fired up respond. Ha!

  18. Just tonight the FBI announced it is now receiving more real threats than ever in history. News stations like CNN now has to provide security for their journalist. Trump started the phony election claims when he lost. This all started with Trump. He degrades anyone that opposes him. Alan your one of Trumps biggest enablers. Thx Alan for a job well done.

    • That’s called gaslighting.

      The single biggest nail-sticking-up trait of today’s average Democrat activist is that, not only do they degrade anyone who opposes them, they degrade anyone that doesn’t agree with sufficient fidelity, and anyone that does agree but not for the same reasons.

      Furthermore, the only thing they seem to do besides degrade their opponents and fair-weather allies, is consistently refuse to apply their principles to others. Bodily autonomy, anyone? It’s apparently a very big big deal when it’s a Democrat’s body, but “f*** your rights!” when it’s a Republican’s.

  19. For purposes of the First Amendment, Public Libraries are considered a “Limited Public Forum.” This means that while Libraries, as a public space, can not prevent people from exercising their First Amendment Rights in the Library, the Library CAN control Time Place and Manner.

  20. Mr. Deschowitz created this teapot-tempest for no other reason than to get attention, perhaps for his most recent book, or as an expression of his frustrated sense of entitlement. Of course, causing death threats against a hard-working librarian doing her job isn’t his intent, but in our current environment of extreme political polarization such threats have become predictable. It is also a mystery why he thinks his childish, selfish, bullying antics are going to endear him to anyone, let alone the social circle he claims has ‘cancelled’ him.

  21. Alan Dershowitz expects us to believe that Donald Trump “is going to have a hard time getting a lawyer because of what happened to me in Chilmark.” That’s as absurd as his claim that someone was punched in the mouth for reading one of his books.

    • Hahahaha! Well said! Yes, the nations’s top lawyers are following with dread the “Alan is cancelled in Chilmark” story!!! And that beach brawl story is ridiculous. If there even was such a letter to Dershowitz, which I doubt, the writer was trolling him big time!!

  22. Let’s have some liberal, tolerant, inclusive fun. Since none of us can actually come out and say Alan Dershowitz should be stifled, (to use an Archie Bunker word), for defending Trump’s rights, I’ve made a list of words used to defend my favorite library’s decision this year to “cancel” a man who, up until fairly recently, was a proven hot commodity in political debate, not to mention social circles as well. Every one of us knows that it is a foundation of our democracy that we are all entitled to our constitutional rights, so we all know that Donald Trump, no matter how damaging he’s been to our democracy, is entitled to his. Any current cessation of previously welcomed library talks by AD cannot have anything to do with simply hating the traitorous Trump— and hating AD for defending his rights. That would be impossible among us libs. Impossible!

    Here are words used to describe AD in MV Times comments, as excuses why our library should not offer the man a speaking engagement slot, after providing him with one for many years, often by invitation. These words supposedly describe a person whose public persona has, as far as I can tell, been EXACTLY the same over decades, but now, suddenly, are reason to disinvite, uninvite, cancel, shun, and belittle and slander the man, and by extension, his wife as well. Go liberals!

    A bore
    Not enough class
    No one wants him here
    An embarrassment
    Bullying (several times)
    Notoriety seeking
    Promoting evil for self gain
    Grandstanding, limelight seeking
    Represents heinous people
    Just doesn’t get it
    Public tantruming
    Lacks good sense
    Craving attention
    Trying to remain relevant
    Fails at the art of argument
    Whining (several times)
    Equates himself with morally repugnant people
    Not likable
    Inept at arguing (repeated)
    Stupid arguments
    Blames everyone else
    Would not represent liberal dems
    Falls short
    Is short
    Only represents celebrities
    Should accept the negative social consequences for doing the right thing
    Stereotypical Jewish behavior (tropes actually spelled out) that disregards ethical conduct
    Harms world Jewry
    Promotes Nazis, white suprematists, and hate groups by “promoting Trump”
    Egocentric personality disorder
    Would probably defend Hitler
    Doesn’t support left policy
    Props up and protects the powerful
    Pollutes the island
    Not enough like David McCullough
    Only promotes himself
    Enables murderers and gangsters
    Harming society
    Buy my book, it’s as good as Alan’s
    Too much time being spent on this
    Has been seen on Lucy Vincent
    Creates tempest in a teapot for attention
    Frustrated sense of entitlement

    Sorry if I left any out.

    • Another outstanding post, Jackie.

      I’ll use that word: as a general group, we here on the island ought to be stifled, for acting like a bunch of elementary school boys in the recess yard, making fun of the first one that started liking girls.

      Just like that, in fact… and it would be more honor than we deserve to have Archie Bunker deliver the lecture that we meatheads so richly have coming.

    • You have done a great public service by compiling all the derogatory words to describe AD in the MV Times comments section. It’s an invaluable resource to make sure we haven’t missed anything.

      • Charles, you score a red ribbon in the Astuteness Category. Well done, but Al Hess wins the blue for observing that I wrote a long comment. Sorry, he beat you. You didn’t make it to the Sarcasm Category at all, but you’re an Honorable Mention in the Just Don’t Get It Category. Good luck in dredging up more ridiculing, obsessive AD hatred for your next cartoon. How many have you done now? And how many times have you posted about this on Islanders Talk? Never enough hating on a fellow liberal democrat, I guess. I appreciate you took the time to read my comment even though you missed the point.

  23. What is being overlooked here is that engaging with the media as he does makes him a cultural producer, which does require close attention on his content, which in separate from personal characteristics such as political affiliation or religion. Attention because he is not a creative producer, he is not explicitly in the realm of imagination. This is kind of the situation of his famous cases, a kind of disjuncture between spin and intention. I think a public library is a place for a discussion on this, too bad he is not offering that despite the doubling down on free speech and bullying etc. Fact is, the issue underlying his famous defenses is misogyny and violence against women. They all share it, this huge elephant in the room. All hugely impactful via the realm of cultural production. Reinforcement, entitlement, erasure are the stakes nurtured, the belief system permitted. I don’t believe this observation has been mentioned in any of the hubris. Not surprising, and def worth thinking about in this on-going public forum debate.

    Another thing is that his media engagement is exploitation of the island, grounded in assumption and stereotype and definitely class-oriented. So that is completely invisible in this debate. It matters because our sustainability is so precarious. Yes, we are guilty too. But no excuse. This mediation realm is the responsibility of cultural producers. Whether idealistic dreamer, exploiter, or both. How interesting would it be he could speak on this, what a great conference with other producers and dreamers in the public realm?!

  24. If AD wants to actually defend the 45th president, he should head to Mar A Lago and talk to him about being hired as his attorney. But in reality, Mr. Dershowitz is defending no one and has stooped to making easy money from Fox off the idea that he’s a defender of the First Amendment.

    • Chip, how exactly do you come to your “reality” of Alan Dershowitz STOOPING to make “easy money” by appearing wherever he chooses to appear? Did you think Dr Fauci was stooping to make easy money by appearing so frequently on CCN to discuss important information of public interest (that not everyone agreed with either)? I’m sure you know that this article is about the Chilmark Library and AD’s currently canceled book talks there, which he (and all guest authors) have always given for free. Most sell books afterward. Alan donates his sales to the library.

      I’m wondering if you work for free? Do you believe that someone who writes a book should not self promote it? Do you think that authoring 50 books that do well in sales and public interest because of what the author has to say is not worth financial recompense? You think that dedicating one’s life and work to sharing an expertise is only a way to amass money? What about grateful students who’ve launched their own careers by learning what Alan has to share?

      I get the distaste for a self-promotion style that you may not like, but do you think the Obamas or Clintons appear as guests at shows or fundraisers for free? Heck, one person commenting in this very thread objecting to Alan having “hubris” advertises on the web that they are available to give talks starting at $12,000 a pop. Another person included a link in their comment to sell their book! Is a person’s knowledge and expertise worth nothing if you don’t like who they defend or worse, who they are and how they are?

      I wish someone who thinks Alan is only in it for the “easy” money could explain where they get this notion. Does anyone think writing 50 books is easy? I’ve noticed the same untrue “in it for the money” accusations on Islanders Talk where the liberal democrat pile-on is even worse than here, with most complaints implying or saying out loud that it is, in essence, “all about the Benjamins”, if you catch my drift.

      I wonder if anyone has ever accused the late, beloved David McCullough of being “in it” only for the money when he was invited to speak and (gasp) sell his books?

      Some comments here veer so far off-topic and into common ugly tropes. It seems that promoting these tropes IS the unrecognized and unacknowledged topic for some who cannot hear what they’re actually saying.

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