Alan Dershowitz, attorney and professor at Harvard Law School, spoke at the UC Berkeley School of Law on Wednesday, and shortly after the event, a flyer on the law school bulletin board was found vandalized with a swastika drawn over Dershowitz’s face and promptly removed thereafter.
Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said it is unclear whether the defacement was done by a student or someone outside of campus who attended the event.
The speaking event was jointly hosted by the Chabad Jewish Student Center and Tikvah, and it was titled “The Liberal Case for Israel.” Co-director at the Chabad Jewish Student Center Rabbi Gil Leeds said there was civil discourse and debates, and during the event, Dershowitz applauded the audience and protesters for challenging him.
“I hope this talk will bring about a greater degree of unity,” Leeds said. “This talk shouldn’t be divisive but should be welcomed, because when there’s diversity of thought and opinion, that’s when togetherness can be strengthened.”
— Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) October 12, 2017
Leeds added that the center’s goal in bringing Dershowitz to campus was to educate the Berkeley community on his perspective and shape the way that Israel is perceived on campus and in the world.
Dean of the Berkeley Law School Erwin Chemerinsky sent a letter to the law school community after the vandalized flyer was found. Chemerinsky stated in his letter the importance of expressing disagreement in an appropriate manner. Mogulof added that the campus is in agreement with the dean and that this type of vandalism is intolerable.
“Several of our students expressed their disagreement with him and did so in a completely appropriate way that led to discussion and dialogue,” Chemerinsky said in the letter. “I was pleased to hear of how this went, but then shocked to learn of the swastika drawn on a flyer that someone had posted about him.”