Francis A. Boyle is an attorney and a professor of international law. He's also the author of many books including, most recently, United Ireland, Human Rights and International Law. These are his thoughts on Lawrence Summers who is spoken of as a possible nominee for Fed Chair:
The Cowardice of Harvard's Larry Summers
I'm not going to go through the subsequent history of the
divestment/disinvestment movement, except to say that in the late
summer of 2002 the President of Harvard, Larry Summers accused those of
us Harvard alumni involved in the Harvard divestment campaign of being
After he made these charges, WBUR Radio Station in Boston, which is a
National Public Radio affiliate, called me up and said: "We would like
you to debate Summers for one hour on these charges, live." And I said,
"I'd be happy to do so." They then called up Summers and he refused to
Summers did not have the courage, the integrity, or the principles to
back up his scurrilous charges. Eventually Harvard fired Summers
because of his attempt to impose his Neo-Conservative agenda on
Harvard, and in particular his other scurrilous charge that women are
dumber then men when it comes to math and science. Well as a triple Harvard alumnus I say: Good riddance to Larry Summers! (laughter).
WBUR then called me back and said, "Well, since Summers won't debate
you, would you debate Alan Dershowitz?" And I said, "Sure." So we had a
debate for one hour, live on the radio. And there is a link that you
can hear this debate if you want to. I still think it's the best debate
out there on this whole issue of Israeli apartheid. Again that would be
WBUR Radio Station, Boston, 25 September 2002.
The problem with the debate, of course, is that Dershowitz knows
nothing about international law and human rights. So he immediately
started out by saying "well, there's nothing similar to the apartheid
regime in South Africa and what Israel is doing to the Palestinians."
Well the problem with that is that Dershowitz did not know anything at
all about even the existence of the Apartheid Convention. That is our
second Handout for tonight. [See Handout 2 reprinted below.]
The definition of apartheid is set out in the Apartheid Convention of
And this is taken from my book Defending Civil Resistance Under
International Law, Trial Materials on South Africa, published in 1987,
that we used successfully to defend anti-apartheid resistors in the
United States. If you take a look at the definition of apartheid here
found in Article 2, you will see that Israel has inflicted each and
every act of apartheid set out in Article 2 on the Palestinians, except
an outright ban on marriages between Israelis and Palestinians. But
even there they have barred Palestinians living in occupied Palestine
who marry Israeli citizens from moving into Israel, and thus defeat the
right of family reunification that of course the world supported when
Jews were emigrating from the Soviet Union.
Israel: An Apartheid State
Again you don't have to take my word for it. There's an excellent essay
today on Counterpunch.org by the leading Israeli human rights advocate
Shulamit Aloni saying basically: "Yes we have an apartheid state in
Israel." Indeed, there are roads in the West Bank for Jews only.
Palestinians can't ride there and now they're introducing new
legislation that Jews cannot even ride Palestinians in their cars.
This lead my colleague and friend Professor John Duguard who is the
U.N. Special rapporteur for human rights in Palestine to write an essay
earlier this fall that you can get on Google, saying that in fact
Israeli apartheid against the Palestinians is worse than the apartheid
that the Afrikaners inflicted on the Blacks in South Africa. Professor
Duguard should know.
He was one of a handful of courageous, white, international lawyers
living in South Africa at the time who publicly and internationally
condemned apartheid against Blacks at risk to his own life. Indeed,
when I was litigating anti-apartheid cases on South Africa, we used
Professor Duguard's book on Human Rights and the South African Legal
Order as the definitive work explaining what apartheid is all about.
So Professor Duguard has recently made this statement. Of course
President Carter has recently made this statement in his book that
Israel is an apartheid state. And certainly if you look at that
definition of the Apartheid Convention, right there in front of you,
it's clear - there are objective criteria. Indeed if you read my
Palestinian book I have a Bibliography at the end with the facts right
there based on reputable human rights reports, Amnesty International,
Human Rights Watch, etc. Many of them were also compiled and discussed
by my friend Professor Norman Finklestein in his book Beyond Chutzpah,
which I'd encourage you to read.
Francis A. Boyle
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francis a. boyle