Alan Dershowitz to return to Chilmark library

The audience will be limited to 25 guests for the controversial defense attorney’s talk.

Harvard law professor and famed defense attorney Alan Dershowitz will be speaking on his most recent publication at the Chilmark Library in June. — MV Times

The Chilmark board of library trustees has agreed to allow attorney Alan Dershowitz back to the town’s library to promote his latest book, “Dershowitz on Killing: How the Law Decides Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die.”

The decision comes nearly a year after the high-profile defense attorney was denied his request to be included in a Chilmark library–hosted speaker series, subsequently threatening on a number of local and national media platforms to sue library representatives. He had claimed that rejecting his request was in violation of the First Amendment. 

In the past few years, Dershowitz — who served as legal counsel for a number of well-known and controversial figures including O.J. Simpson, Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, Julian Assange, and Patty Hearst — has claimed that it was his defense of former president Donald Trump that had sparked particular angst among the Martha’s Vineyard community. Dershowitz served on the defense team during Trump’s 2019 impeachment trial. In various newspaper, magazine, and radio interviews since, Dershowitz reiterated that he had been “shunned” and “canceled” by Vineyarders for defending the former president. 

He’s previously claimed that the Vineyard community’s response — particularly that of Chilmark residents — to his representation of Trump has impacted Dershowitz’s social life on the Island, and caused him to lose friends. He argued that being denied a spot at the library in its speaker series was a punishment for that association.

But in response to Dershowitz’s request to participate in last year’s speaker series, the Chilmark library board of trustees denied it took discriminatory actions or violated his right to free speech. They instead cited concerns about crowd control, and noted that the attorney’s request was submitted too late to be considered. 

This led to a wave of tumultuous and dramatic correspondence, and later threats of litigation. 

In August 2022, after receiving an apology letter from Dershowitz, the board decided to table the request to speak at the library and defer action until this spring. 

Last month, at their April 12 meeting, the Chilmark Free Public Library board of trustees reconvened on the issue, and voted unanimously to offer Dershowitz a spot to speak on Tuesday, June 20, with the condition that the event will be limited to 25 people, and will take place on a day the library is closed. 

“There was intense debate about having him speak after the bullying, intimidation, and lies that were said by him about the library to the national media last summer,” the April 12 meeting minutes state. “It was decided that he will be offered a spot to speak on Tuesday, June 20, a day that the library is closed. This will cut down on the interference his talk may cause to regular patrons.”

In a message to The Times last week, library board chair Jane Kaplan said the board considered having Dershowitz speak on his book “would be a topic of interest to the community.” 

In a call with The Times, Dershowitz said he’s glad to be coming back to the Chilmark library, where he’s spoken many times over the 50 years that he’s been a seasonal resident of the Vineyard. 

When asked whether he feels tensions between him and library reps have cooled since last summer, Dershowitz said there’s no tension on his end. 

“I’m a lawyer. I represent people on behalf of the Constitution, and I’m going to continue to do that,” he said. “I would hope that the folks of Chilmark and the Vineyard would be accepting and tolerant of my representations.”

“I’ve always stuck to my principles,” he said. “I haven’t done anything different in the 50 years I’ve been in Chilmark … There should be no tension.” 

Dershowitz said he believes the library’s denial stems largely from his defense of Trump in front of the Senate impeachment hearings in 2019, and warned of confusing his legal responsibilities with his political alignment or personal views.

“I’ve defended controversial people,” he said, but “people should not be judged by who they represent. That’s called McCarthyism.”

When asked if he particularly enjoys taking on controversial clients, Dershowitz said he doesn’t have a preference. “That’s my life,” he said. “It’s like asking a doctor if they enjoy treating sick people …I’m going to continue to represent controversial people. Some people will agree with it and some people won’t.”

“The more hated a person is, the more that person needs representation, and so I’m going to continue to represent people without regard to what people think about,” he said. “That’s my constitutional job.”

On whether his threat of a lawsuit against the Chilmark library board was meant to force the hands of the board into allowing him to hold a speaking engagement this year, Dershowitz did not comment, but said he’d had a good rapport with the library staff before his defense of Trump. 

When asked if he’s spoken to the former president since his involvement with the impeachment case, Dershowitz said he hasn’t. “I don’t know him, I just represented him,” he said. “I’m going to vote against him.”

Dershowitz said the same was true in 2016, as he was an avid supporter of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. 

In the 2016 election, Dershwitz said he voted against Trump. “I’m a liberal Democrat. Probably more liberal on most issues than most of the people in Chilmark,” he said.

On the 25-person limit agreed upon by the board of trustees for his June event, Dershowitz said it’d only be a problem for him if that rule didn’t apply to all other event speakers. 

“If they have a special rule for me, I’m not happy with that,” he said, despite the fact that Dershowitz himself was first to suggest the attendance limit last year in his letter to library director Ebba Hierta.

According to the Chilmark library program coordinator, events are not always restricted to 25 persons.

Still, Dershowitz contends that political pressure on Chilmark officials has impeded his ability to talk about his work, and maintains his position that he’s been unfairly discriminated against due to his legal clients.

“People can make their judgment about me, but they shouldn’t, under any circumstances, prevent me from speaking,” Dershowitz continued. 

“When you prevent me from speaking, you’re preventing people from listening,” he said. “If people don’t want to come, that’s fine. That’s their choice. But if people want to come, they shouldn’t be prevented from hearing me.”


  1. Clearly the lesson the Chilmark Free Public Library board of trustees is conveying to the public is that bullying works. Threatening to sue, defaming a librarian, amplifying lies on national platforms and name calling has now been rewarded. What a sad moment for the Chilmark Library.

    • Well stated, Laurie David. I don’t blame the library, they are dealing with a nuisance claim. The real estate market is strong, Alan. Great time to sell.

    • Clearly the message is that the first amendment isn’t dead. Perhaps on life support, but not dead, yet. That first right in the Bill of Rights cuts two ways: the right to speak, and our right to listen. Or yours to cover your ears.

      • The dersh has as much right to speak at the Chilmark Library as a Drag Queen.
        I don’t see anyone protesting Drag Queens.

        • OK. I am protesting drag queen story hours in our public libraries and outdoor drag shows on conservation land that are directed toward children. These should be adults-only events.

          Not sure, though, what that has to do with Alan Dershowitz’s speaking engagement at the Chilmark Public Library, nor Donald Trump’s right to the best legal representation available to him.

  2. Article doesnt say how to reserve a seat for that June 20 gathering. I would like 2 tickets. Please advise.

  3. How do I get a ticket? Why not come to the Whaling Church in Edgartown if Chilmark does not want you.

  4. Shame on the Chilmark library for buckling to pressure from Alan Dershowitz, the Jeffrey Epstein, loving jerk. If there is a God, no one will show up to hear him speak!

    • yes. This. 25 people buy tickets and sit on the porch at Chili-gen’s instead.
      Civil ignorance.

  5. Alan Dershowitz making up a new definition for “McCarthyism”. Essentially anyone who dares criticize him for anything is guilty of McCarthyism.

  6. As a side note, the reporter clearly misreported Dershowitz’s preference in client — Dershowitz made clear in the sentences that followed repeatedly: he does indeed prefer controversial clients. And he says it’s what he does, that’s his job, high profile, controversial clients. Not sure how the reporter interpreted it differently, but if they are reading, it is a clear as it could be that Alan said he prefers controversy, it’s what he does, he says.

    No one has a right to speak anywhere and I agree with Laurie, this reeks of bullying and intimidation. Not a generous desire to host him. If he had the integrity he professes, he wouldn’t bother.

  7. Omg free speech at the Chilmark library. What is this place coming to? Really hope the tolerant left shows up to shout him down..

    • At least we liberals aren’t banning historical books that speak of the atrocities that occurred during 250 years of slavery and another 100 of outright apartheid and discrimination. We would much rather our children be educated about the realities of the origins of this country.
      Too bad if the children of some redneck racists feel “uncomfortable” about it.

        • It is super annoying when people claim First Amendment rights where they do not exist. It is a shibboleth: You reveal your lack of understanding of constitutional principles by making that argument

          It is simple: You are not entitled to a forum in which to speak. You are entitled to speak without being silenced by a governmental entity with, for example, criminal prosecution.

          Dershowitz is twisting this to argue, badly, that because the library is a governmental entity, they “owe” him a forum. Ridiculous!!!

      • You’re trailing off, what are you talking about?
        Though we were talking about Alan Dershowitz and him speaking.

    • Chilmark has learned it’s lesson about free speech.
      Next they will host a discussion group on how to navigate high heels for drag queens.

    • The Dersh has the same right to speak at the Library as OJ and Pedos, not to mention Drag Queens.

      • OJ confessed at length to murdering two people. I don’t think we’ll see him on the schedule anytime soon.

  8. What time is he speaking on the 20th? I’m one of the many more than 25 who would like a ticket and who whether we like him or not realize what those who to put it nicely go on about him as they do are saying about themselves in a state of lack of self awareness like junior high schoolers at best.

    • From looking at the Island voting record for his most orange client there could be as many 30 Islanders wanting to hear him speak.
      Are you new here?

      • Which voting record/stats?
        If you allude to votes for Donald Trump, my recollection is that between 1/4 and 1/3 of Island voters voted for Trump.

  9. I am waiting for A.D. to be honest. Your perpetual claim you are only protecting democracy and the constitution by representing celebrity crooks and murderers would only be swallowed by the uneducated or cult followers. I would have more respect for you if you admitted you chased money and notoriety. I am sure Trump, and his cult, privately brags they manipulated a liberal (you) to support them, and your liberal friends overtly reject you. That kind of leaves you on an Island, and that Island mostly sees through your disingenuous actions.

    • Ackerman you are absolutely incorrect on his motivations and he doesn’t need the money. He is a learned lawyer who believes everyone deserves a defense. The judicial system in the US is not a search for the truth but a system of adjudication that can be manipulated by both defense and prosecution. Even crooks and murderers should have lawyers so that we can find out if indeed they are crooks and murderers.

  10. Haters are going to hate and if you do not agree with someone on an issue that’s what the democrats do today they hate. Nothing wrong with hearing educated people speak on issues and if you do not like them do not go. That is not a reason to hate. The more this country has drifted away from finding a God to getting bank balances and notoriety the more we have declined.

    • Right on Bob– all those left wing democrats in Charlottesville carrying torches, confederate battle flags and swastikas , dressed in their brown shirts and their stormtrooper boots chanting “Jews will not replace us” should be met with the wrath of god herself.

    • Shame on us liberals for hating fascism, censorship, gun violence, anti-semitism, racism, xenophobia, voter suppression, attempted coups, …. Aka, the Republican playbook.

      No one hates Alan Dershowitz. We’re just sick of his whining persecution complex. He lied down with dogs and now he’s got fleas. Actions, meet consequences.

  11. Liberals are so hate filled they’ve even turned on one of their own. It’s also curious that these same haters never shunned him when he was defending a murderer but when he rose to defend the President of the United States and the Constitution against completely false accusations the Left loses their mind. But as usual they will have their get togethers this summer and smugly scoff at a gentlemen who deserves their respect. They will also take great pride in how open minded they are!

  12. Thankfully the Chilmark Library understands that the essence of free speech is giving a voice to especially those you disagree with and perhaps even abhor. No one will be dragged in chains to listen to Mr. Dershowitz and some may even be wise enough to know that listening to those they really hate can be a source of much valuable information. Probably much better than “researching” on the internet.

    • Yeah The Dersh can draw an audience of 25, in the very wealthy town of Chilmark where his second most famous client ‘won’ with a ‘landslide’ of 12% of the vote.

  13. For those who can and do read, his book is for sale at Walmart….$20.37… 90 day free return. Not a bad price but sadly with a hefty $6.99 delivery fee… I think I’ll pass….

  14. It’s distressing to see how many readers favor a taxpayer funded library banning a speaker because of who he represented as a lawyer. If that’s not McCarthyism, i don’t know what is. Imagine how these same readers would react if an Alabama public library banned a lawyer for representing a woman who sought an abortion.
    Alan Dershowitz.

    • Mr. Dershowitz-you are claiming that speaking at a library is a right. It is not. You have the right to voice your opinion in private, in public, via social media and with any organization that wants to feature you as a speaker. But not the right to be a featured speaker anywhere. As to why people are protesting, perhaps they disagree with “If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected, in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment”. Perhaps we think that even presidents have to follow the law, regardless of what that president believes. Perhaps people do not want to hear from a credibly-accused sex offender. And please don’t denigrate the people who were really harmed by McCarthy and his followers. They suffered a far worse fate than missing out on a few parties in Chilmark.

    • You don’t know what is.

      noun: McCarthyism

      -a vociferous campaign against alleged communists in the US government and other institutions carried out under Senator Joseph McCarthy in the period 1950–54.

      -a campaign or practice that endorses the use of unfair allegations and investigations.

    • How incredibly thin skinned, Alan. So sorry you are “distressed”. Do you ever think about Jeffrey’s victims? Think of all the good you could have done.

    • Alan. You’re missing the point. No one cares about speaking at the library to 20 people. Most of is care when we see you promoting evil people on Fox News. I don’t hate anyone. But I am worried about the division you’re promoting on Fox News and else where. If you study history anti semitism first started with the term liberal and socialist. Then it targeted one religion. You’re promoting those roots and may not know it.

    • Your assertion is self-serving speculative posturing in which you are impugning the motives of others who don’t support your forcing yourself on this library. Then you go on to an irrelevant thought process about McCarthyism and the abortion issue. You’re a lawyer, so stick to the real facts instead of all this non-substantive, off the point whining, if not manipulation. My objection is less about “who” you “represented as a lawyer” and more about what things you say, in general, and how you responded when you didn’t get what you wanted, causing nothing short of a public spectacle. A lot of other local authors would love to have the Chilmark Library give them an evening at the library, upon their request, to talk about their book. The Chilmark Library has the right to choose their agenda without any of those other local authors, or you, publicly attacking and pressuring the head librarian and making a national scene about it because the library opted not to schedule your book talk. My objection is to how you have reacted and your sense of entitlement, while making unprofessional accusations at others because the library exercised their right to run their program as they saw fit. Your sense of entitlement and how you have publicly lashed out at the library is my objection, as well as your lack of grace or good manners in accepting the library’s wishes. So let’s stick to the facts “lawyer”. They taught you that way back in law school. But, then again, when a lawyer doesn’t have a good case, he or she tends to go down a diversionary road, such as you just did.

    • Alan– I will humbly school you here and post the definition of McCarthyism:
      The political practice of publicizing accusations of disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence; and 2. The use of methods of investigation and accusation regarded as unfair, in order to suppress opposition.

      Sorry, but we, the residents of the Vineyard have plenty of evidence to conclude our opposition to your defiling of one of our beloved libraries is fair and just.

      • Keller you cant school anyone on McCarthy. If you really did the research you are so proud of you would investigate thoroughly and find the truth about what McCarthy said. You can disagree with how he said it but you cannot deny what was found.

    • Your behavior following the library’s denial of your request to speak there is why people feel you should not be allowed to use that venue. You basically had a tantrum and also engaged in bullying.
      The analogy of McCarthyism is a nice logical fallacy. Stop playing the victim, Alan.

    • Yes, I’m sure the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman are equally distressed.

    • Mr Dershowitz I respect you for your integrity and I am a solid conservative. Please give up on using the McCarthyism label. McCarthy was right. The State Department was full of communists during that time and the Venona Papers later concluded same.

      • Andy– You are fine with the McCarthy hearings, not because they were conducted in a way that corresponded with the laws of the land, but because it was a hysterical witch hunt orchestrated by conservatives against liberals.
        Just as you are fine with the witch hunt of the Biden family today.
        You need no real evidence when it’s conservatives doing the accusing, but turn a blind eye to the overwhelming verifiable evidence of the multiple investigations of the former president.
        I agree with Alan on one point– the shoes needs to comfortable no matter which foot they are on.
        But I am not surprised you would support McCarthy.

        • Keller do some research on Venona Papers and you will find that communists infiltrated the US government during that time and McCarthy was right. Has nothing to do with conservatives against liberals. You have no evidence that I am fine with any so called witch hunt on Biden. Bidens incapability speaks for itself.

      • Thank you for sending me to the stacks -now known as Google- to read about the Venona Papers. Who knew?

      • You’re mistaken on that. My family was falsely targeted by that movement because my Dad was a socialist and worked for the government. Many of our friends also were targeted. Movements like that target thousands of innocent people.

        • Mr Acker. All movements have collateral damage but it doesnt mean that a movement is illegitimate. I am certain your family did not want to overturn the US government but there were real people— many of them that were agents of the soviet union working in our government specifically with that intent.

    • Nicely done AD! You stirred it up! I haven’t laughed so hard in ages! Another masterful job in self-promotion! Use the tools you have. Sell some books. Polish the brand. Thanks for giving the island something to rant about. Where can I buy your tee shirt?

    • “It’s distressing to see how many readers favor a taxpayer funded library banning a speaker because of who he represented as a lawyer. If that’s not McCarthyism, i don’t know what is.
      Alan Dershowitz.”

      Huh? Your Harvard law school students must be appalled, and want their tuition money back. You really think you can twist the First Amendment to argue that a governmental entity OWES a speaker a platform? How have you been “banned?” You were not invited to speak.

      I guess you think that was rude because you had spoken at the library in the past? Is rudeness now McCarthyism?

      I have been a frequent speaker at the library summer series over the years. If they don’t invite me one year can I sue them? Will you represent me? Am I notorious enough for you?

  15. For those in the back, the library wasn’t censoring Alan Dershowitz. They were concerned about the capacity of their space to accommodate the anticipated audience. Then Alan did what Alan does. He goes on TV and whines about “cancel culture” and threatens to sue the library. This resulted in threats to the librarian from Proud Boy thugs because you know, gotta own those libs. It’s all theater to generate a buzz and increase book sales. It has nothing to do with free speech.

  16. Alan, should he Chilmark Library invite the world famous, Yale educated, lawyer by the name of Stewart Rhodes to speak?
    He is so well versed in the law as both lawyer and a defendant.
    Would you like to see Biden speak, how about Obama?

  17. “Free speech” does not have anything to do with the Chilmark Library — or any other institution that is not the federal government. The concept and the right govern the relationship between the citizen and the state.

    • Well, you are right that the First Amendment governs only governmental censorship. But it was extended beyond the federal government to state and local in the early 20th century. Chilmark Library cannot censor speech. Of course, not inviting someone to speak is not censorship.

  18. But Alan, you are not a lawyer representing a woman from Alabama who sought an abortion.
    No one is banning you- you have a gig at the Chilmark Library. Some will come and some will not.
    McCarthyism? A stretch.

  19. I have a choice. I choose to not attend, or use the Chilmark library anymore. That is the choice we all have.

  20. The dersh has every right to speak.
    The lucky 25 to ticket holders have every right to get up and walk out.
    At the rate of one a minute would be an amusing display of free speech.
    See how he performs with his backfield in motion.

  21. An important component of McCarthyism was cancelling lawyers because they represented accused leftists. Several residents of Chilmark were victims of such McCarthyite cancelations.
    And no, a taxpayer funded library may not reject speakers on any basis. It cannot reject a speaker on the basis of race, gender ,religion or, I submit, on the basis of who they represent. It can reject a speaker like Rhodes on the basis of criminal record or advocacy of violence.
    If the reason for rejection is the size of the anticipated audience , the size limitation must be equally applicable to all speakers. There cannot be greater restrictions for Republicans than for Democrats. A public library must be non partisan and politically neutral. The shoe must fit comfortably in the other foot.
    Alan Dershowitz

    • As per Alan Dershowitz “a taxpayer funded library may not reject speakers on any basis”. Therefore, all authors who would like to have a talk at the Chilmark Library (or any other library) should print out Alan’s quote and go to the library to demand that the library comply with your request to have a talk on your book. (Please see Alan’s post above for all the other talking points to throw out there if the library declines.)

  22. Mr Dershowitz, he cancelled Frederick Fisher a lawyer for Welch who had communist ties. Harry Dexter White and Lachlan Currie and numerous others were communists as was Alger Hiss and others outed by Whittaker Chambers. This was a time when Communism was a real threat and had infiltrated the State Department and acted with hegemony. You as a renowned Professor and researcher knows the McCarthy label is misused. Ironically you are suffering the persecution of MV loonies just as McCarthy suffered. As a Soviet refugee myself I know all about communism and how it infiltrated the US including the mind of FDR and his naivete for Uncle Joe Stalin.

    • Andrew, are you now or have you been a member of the Communist Party.
      Is being a Communist a violation of law?
      A liberal?

  23. Hopefully a theater major will score a ticket and come dressed up as a Drag Queen.
    That should generate some interesting discourse on the First Amendment.

  24. Mr. Dershowitz, can you substantiate your claim that the library banned you because you represented Trump? That is, do you have communication from them stating that as their rationale? That would certainly shut down this controversy, if that’s what you really want to do.

  25. Among the disturbing aspects of the nasty and intolerant letters has been the antisemitic trope— whether intended or uninitiated— in several
    letters that the reason I want to speak at the Chilmark library to make money! To sell books! Doing it “for the money”is a historic libel against Jews.
    I have always donated all the receipts from the sales of the dozen or so books that I have sold in the library to the library. This year I will donate it to an organization that defends free speech against both right and left wing censors. Moreover I devote more than half of my professional time to pro bono cases and causes. But that doesn’t stop bigots from stereotyping.

    • I have reread all of the comments that are currently posted after reading Alan Dershowitz’ June 2nd 6 pm response. He claims “doing it ‘for the money’ is a historic libel against Jews.” I sure didn’t see that, at all, after reading all of the comments, so I went back through each post that is up here again. More than one author in this world has been accused of cheap stunts or antics to push their book, and that concept has nothing to do with religion.

      I see two brief money related comments, in total:

      1. “I would have more respect for you if you admitted you chased money and notoriety.”

      2. “It’s all theater to generate a buzz and increase book sales. It has nothing to do with free speech.”

      I fail to understand how either of these statements entitle you to say that these comments are “a historic libel against Jews”. Where, exactly, in any of these comments in this entire comment section support your claim “Among the disturbing aspects of the nasty and intolerant letters has been the antisemitic trope – whether intended or uninitiated – in several letters that the reason I want to speak at the Chilmark library to make money! To sell books!” and then you claim it’s historic libel against Jews. You’d be thrown out of court on this assertion because there is not a thing in any of these comments that support your claim of antisemitism. Lastly, if you could point out the “stereotyping bigots” in this comment section, I’d appreciate it.

      • Robin, do a search on the Chilmark library/Dershowitz articles in this newspaper and you will find plenty of antisemitic tropes.

        And just how many brief, money-related antisemitic tropes are okay with you? (There are more than 2 in this thread, FYI). Dismissing even one such comment as not antisemitic, according to you having decided so, promotes antisemitism. Just stop.

    • Yes, the thinly veiled antisemitism in some of these comments is disgusting. It happens in this newspaper’s comment feature every single time AD and the library are reported on. It was spelled out last time, by me, that proceeds from AD book sales at his Chilmark library talks are donated back to the library— and that the years and years of pro bono legal representations are also never talked about because they don’t fit the antisemitic narrative of who Alan Dershowitz is and what he has accomplished. The “all about the Benjamin’s” is inappropriate, wrong, and antisemitic. Just stop. There is enough money grabbing going on on the island to talk about, in housing, food, and services, and it has nothing to do with anything except greed.

      Why are these entirely false accusations of “in it for the money” allowed? Can I call the people who launched this false tale LIARS and BIGOTS? No, this newspaper doesn’t allow name calling, but veiled antisemitism is fine. I’ve actually been called “too sensitive” for noticing antisemitism and pointing it out.

      I have on other occasions reported this newspaper’s allowance of antisemitic tropes in lengthy emails to Peter Oberfest, publisher/owner, and former editor, George Brennan, before. Both deny the antisemitism that is so apparent to those of us who experience it first hand.

      I cannot understand why a library talk creates this amount of venom. The amazing thing is that Alan Dershowitz has written yet another book! Congratulations to him.

      I also wanted to point out that the library changed its tune about denying the book talk the last time— from Alan’s talks generating too big a crowd, (now easily resolved) to his failure to apply for a summer slot on time (although he’d previously been invited to speak and hadn’t needed to “apply” before.)

      • Yes, America is antisemitic, antiBlack , anitiCatholic, antiMuslum antiimmigrant, antiMeixcan, antiHomeless, amntiGay, antiTrans, we are a nation of haters, we hate everyone who is not just like us.

      • usually I’m in agreement with your comments, but on this one, yes, i think you’re being “too sensitive”. And yes, I’m Jewish, too…
        While you may disagree with the sentiments expressed, to suggest that a person cannot criticize a man for being self=aggrandizing, limelight-seeking, and motivated by profit just because he’s Jewish is just plain foolish. There’s good and bad in all of us, regardless of our race, color, ethnicity or religious identity. Commenters should be free to post their responses without accusation of bigotry.

    • “Doing it “for the money”is a historic libel against Jews.”

      You lost me there, Mr. Dershowitz.
      Do not stoop to reaching for the antisemitism whip.
      In Chilmark, Massachusetts, it is particularly absurd.

  26. Jonathan Chatinover maliciously defamed me by falsely describing me as “a credibly accused sex offender.” Even the woman who accused me has now withdrawn all her charges and admitted that she may have made a mistake in identifying me— in other words that she may have confused me with someone else. Her lawyers too have acknowledged that they made a mistake in filing the charges. Moreover the false and withdrawn accusation could not have been the basis for the libraries cancelation of me since they continued to invite me AFTER the false accusation was leveled and before it was withdrawn. Chatinover’s despicable and mendacious defamation only goes to prove how low zealots can sink in trying to demonize lawyers who represent clients of whom they disapprove. Shame!
    Alan Dershowitz

    • Defend Trump despite his dedicated career of “maliciously defaming” countless persons, including E.Jean Carroll, but Joanathon Chatinover expressing his Free Speech rights, becomes the target of your unconscionable invective?
      Shame on you!

      • Kozak do you understand that Dershowitz does not support Trump or his so called “”malicious defaming”. He simply defends Trump on the Russia collusion issue and the impeachment issue. His support is purely judicial.
        If we had a maliciously defaming Pelosi for example, would you support a lawyer defending her from a claim of burglary? Of course you would.
        All we hear is Trump bad bad bad and never hear of anything that has been levelled against him which is unfair.

  27. You know, the more people complain and protest, the more they are proving Mr. Dershowitz’s point.

  28. As a person who was born on this island, grew up in New England and served our military, I’ve found the more fascism that people point out the harder the other person will defend themselves with the “free speech” debate, yet you attack anyone who disagrees with you, claiming your rights are being infringed. Mr Dershowitz your defense of fascism and demagoguery is the reason most people have a problem with you. Some may harbor feelings on your clients, but it’s your tv appearances in support of fascist dictatorial behavior that’s at the heart of the issue.

  29. I would like to know why a public library is allowing a disgraced lawyer to speak. Professor Dershowitz was sanctioned in Arizona and a disciplinary complaint was filed against him. Why wasn’t that in this article?

    • David-I am no fan of AD but always let anyone speak. Your censorship concept is much more dangerous than anything Alan can say. Shame on you.

  30. Project 65 has filed frivolous bar complaints agains all lawyers who represented Trump.
    I have a testing hypothetical for hypocrisy: imagine a library that only invited Republicans or pro life advocates to speak. Imagine a liberal lawyer challenging that restriction. No one would call her a bully or a whiner. No one would argue that the library has the right to reject speakers on partisan grounds. They would applaud the law suit and celebrate the lawyer. This is a matter of neutral principle , for which I have fought all my life. It’s easy to criticize injustices committed by distant enemies. It’s more challenging and more important to criticize injustices committed by neighbors in one’s own back yard.

  31. Alan, please tell us the truth is behind what happened in Arizona and the nature of the sanctions.

  32. Perhaps it is the Palestinian question. Lots of people on the island including secular jews blame Israel for everything and believe so called Palestine is occupied illegally by Israel. Mr Dershowitz has many times articulated a defense of Israel against salacious claims. The rant against Dershowitz has its residence in his support of Trump against false claims of Russian collusion. And when that is not enough they trot out OJ and Sharansky and Epstein and any other fodder they can gin up. Dershowitz is a liberal with integrity who calls it as he sees it and there aren’t many of those on the left. Full professor at age 28 at Harvard. I am sorry he is a liberal but I know he would be civilized with Antonin Scalia.

  33. Please allow me to correct some misunderstandings and misstatements of fact. Alan Dershowitz did not speak at the Chilmark Library every year until 2019. Over the course of a decade he spoke 7 times, initially at the library’s invitation, later at his request. The last time he spoke was 2017, once again at my invitation. I saw him on CNN defending President Trump, strongly denouncing talk of impeachment and promoting his new self-published book titled Trumped Up.

    Since impeachment was talk of the town I thought it would make an interesting discussion. So no, I didn’t shy away from a lecture defending President Trump. On the contrary, I invited it. Any suggestion that the library refused Alan a book talk because of his Trump defense is utter rubbish. In 2018 Alan called me in July seeking a lecture opportunity. Our schedule had been full for months so as a personal favor I reached out to the island’s libraries on his behalf and he spoke at the Katharine Cornell theater in Vineyard Haven. He repeated this in 2019, again already full summer, and threatened to tell the media I censored him because of Trump if I didn’t find a place for his lecture. I declined to be intimidated.

    Here we are, rehashing five-year-old baloney. Stunk then, still reeks. Fortunately I saved the emails.

    The reason I grew reluctant to extend invitations to Alan is this: the circus that surrounds this man who so ably courts controversy got in the way of the library’s important mission – serving the residents and visitors of Chilmark. When 200-plus people crammed into the library with dozens more milling about harassing staff because they couldn’t hear the lecture; when local businesses lost money because our patrons filled their parking lots; when patrons not interested in hearing Alan could not take care of their library business; that’s when I realized the eminent Harvard professor emeritus had out grown our little library.

    I’m writing personally here, as an individual who’s grown weary of having her reputation unfairly besmirched on a national stage, not on behalf of the library board.

    Ebba Rene Hierta

  34. A foul opinion is obviously permitted but MV is filled with them. I’m a disappointed new resident who believes that differing opinions are the most valuable way to enrich your mindset. Nasty shaming, shows me who the True Nasty One, is.

  35. Simply stated, yet ignored again, is the fact people don’t like this man is his defense of the subjects not the man. Who cares who you represent in your job? People care about your principles and morals. When you defend demagoguery and fascism you reap the consequences.

  36. I find ironic that Alan Dershowitz is claiming to be the victim of antisemitism shortly after writing an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal defending Elon Musk (“Elon Musk Is Right About George Soros—and Not Anti-Semitic,” May 21, 2023) after Musk attacked George Soros, a favorite target of antisemitic tropes by the far right.

    According to The Washington Post, Musk made a specific “reference [to] the 92-year-old Holocaust survivor’s background by comparing Soros to Magneto — a Jewish supervillain who ‘fights to help mutants replace humans as the world’s dominant species,’ as Marvel’s official character description puts it.” Musk wrote that Soros ‘wants to erode the very fabric of civilization. Soros hates humanity.’”

    Alan Dershowitz does not think Musk’s comments are antisemitic. However, he takes great offense at two innocuous comments about his motives.

    Were Samuel Johnson alive today, I suspect he might say – at least as it pertains to Alan Dershowitz – that claiming to be the subject of antisemitism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  37. Soros is not a holocaust survivor. He grew up in Nazi occupied Hungary in a family that was uncomfortable with their Jewish roots. They did not practice any Jewish tradition and Soros has said that he was raised in an antisemitic home. Living in a Nazi occupied country does not make you a holocaust survivor. Holocaust survivors are people who were tortured and persecuted by Nazis and their cohorts in concentration and labor camps and not just people in Nazi occupied countries. If they were then large swaths of Africa and middle east Jews would be called survivors.

      • I think your facts are incorrect.

        And I think your usage of “tautological” is also incorrect.

    • Yes, any Jew who survived in a Nazi occupied areas can and often is strictly considered a Holocaust survivor. Many hid out in forests or barns or had help, were disguised as non-Jews, or withstood persecution and antisemitic abuse without ever being in the camps. Engleman’s definition is controversial and much debated. This debate comes up particularly in regard to reparations. It can be seen as antisemitic to make this Holocaust survivor definition without explaining that it is not accepted by many people. I challenge anyone to say my father and my uncle were not Holocaust survivors, even though neither were in the camps.

      I don’t wonder why people feel the urge to mention Soros, the Holocaust, Palestine, Israel, Epstein, and money when talking about the Chilmark library hosting another Alan Dershowitz talk on his latest book.

      I learned a new word last night: Ultracrepidarian. It is defined as someone who gives opinions on subjects they know nothing about.

      • Unfortunately Mr. Dershowitz brought antisemitism into the thread.
        Now it is really off track.

        However, it does make quite interesting reading.
        Including all the personal definitions of Holocaust survivorship.

        Not to mention ignorance as to the actual activities of the young Gyorgy Schwartz in wartime Budapest.

  38. Mark—With all due respect (and I’m not shaming you for your views) to try to invalidate the impeachment clause of the Constitution for four years with Harvard attached to your name and being given large platforms to do so is much more dangerous than a nobody like me writing a letter to a newspaper.

  39. So, Alan, you’re going to talk about the death penalty (in part)? Will you talk about the Tyson brothers? How you sold out Enmund’s shooter mandate for death eligibility under the felony murder rule? Do you realize how many executions that opinion made possible? Shame on you.

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