Alan Dershowitz, the long time Professor of Law at Harvard University, and a self-avowed liberal Democrat, took his time before he found a Republican he considered worth supporting -- just under 72 years to be exact. But on Wednesday in Chicago, Dershowitz endorsed his former law student, Joel Pollak, the Republican candidate for Congress in Illinois' 9th district.
Dershowitz, who has taught U.S. Senators, Governors, and Congressmen, described Pollak as the single most promising political talent he has ever met.
Dershowitz has for many years, been a passionate and dedicated supporter of Israel, and he has fought the growing sentiment among many liberal Jews and academics that Israel is the guilty party in the Middle East conflict. Dershowitz's endorsement of Pollak was facilitated by the actions and positions of the incumbent Congresswoman whom Pollak is challenging.
Pollak is running against Jan Schakowsky, who has been closely connected to the Chicago and Illinois Democratic machine for her entire political career , whose voting record makes her one of the most left wing members of Congress, and who has willingly served as the queen bee of J-Street, the new group formed to give political cover to Barack Obama among liberal Jews as he pounds away at Israel. J-Street is a group that professes to be pro-Israel, and pro-peace, but a close look at its public pronouncements during its brief two year history makes clear that its modus operandi has been to regularly attack the policies of the Israeli government, and back any and all pressure directed at Israel by the Obama administration.
Dershowitz was a supporter of Barack Obama in 2008, but he made clear in his remarks that Obama's policies with regard to Israel, and to the projection of American power abroad, were worrying him. He attacked the President's attachment to international organizations that are virulently anti-Israel, and often anti-Semitic. He cautioned that there was no substitute in the West for American leadership, and argued that America should stand with Israel, as it has for decades.
Dershowitz's biggest concern about Obama centered on Iran's nuclear program, and his fear that the US would stand aside, and allow Iran to become a nuclear power. He argued that a containment strategy designed to deter Iran after it became a nuclear power, would not work -- that a regime such as Iran's was fundamentally different from those the United States confronted in the Cold War, opponents who behaved rationally, and wanted to avoid a nuclear war.
Dershowitz said the Iran issue was the single most important issue for which Obama will be judged. If Iran succeeded in becoming a nuclear power, then Obama would be a colossal failure, regardless of any other achievements. Dershowitz hinted that in the future, he would be more open to supporting Republicans, particularly in races, where the Democratic nominees were so far out in left field that they were unable to understand or appreciate any of the strategic realities he had discussed.
Pollak spoke after Dershowitz, and rallied the sellout crowd in attendance by providing his own political biography, describing how he had made the journey from left to right, and why he was proud today to be running as a strong supporter of free markets and economic opportunity, of lower taxes and reduced government spending, and as an ardent backer of a strong US Israel relationship. Jan Schakowsky's husband, felon Robert Creamer, served time in prison for writing bad checks while running a charity. While behind bars, he created the game plan for the "selling" of a health care reform bill, which of course Schakowsky championed. Pollak told the audience that he made the decision to run for Congress after he overheard paid organizers for the group Health Care for America Now, operating in cahoots with Schakowsky, conspiring outside a Schakowsky town hall meeting about their plan to silence critics of the proposed health care reform bill at the event.
Voters in the 9th district will have a real choice this year, between the thuggish politics of Jan Schakowsky and the hard left, and a talented new comer -- Joel Pollak.
If you want to contribute to Joel's campaign, you can do so here.
Richard Baehr is chief political correspondent of American Thinker.