Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz tells Newsmax that while he had a “generally positive” reaction to President Barack Obama’s speech on Tuesday, he believes the Syrian crisis will have a negative effect on U.S. relations with Israel.
“I think the Israelis have basically lost trust in the Americans when it comes to Iran,” the famed attorney said in an exclusive interview following the president’s speech. “I think this increases the likelihood that Israel will have to go to it alone. What it says to the Israelis is that the president can’t declare red lines and can’t respond to the crossing of red lines.”
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Dershowitz, a Newsmax contributor, urged Congress to pass its own “red line” — not only in the case of Syria’s use of chemical weapons, but also with respect to the ongoing Iranian nuclear threat.
“If it turns out this is all a fake — and they’re just buying time — the president then gets the authority to strike at any time he and the military feel it’s essential [in Syria],” Dershowitz explained. “And the same must now be true with Iran. Congress must establish a red line — the Iranians getting close to having nuclear weapons —and the president has to be authorized to decide when — and how — to respond to that red line.”
He said Congress rarely authorizes military action on its own “when it doesn’t directly involve the United States” or in the absence of a clear timeframe to act.
“I think a lot of Israelis are today thinking — as many have thought in the past — that they can’t outsource the defense of their own people, that they have to make their own decisions, make their own judgments and take their own actions as they did when they destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 and various Syrian reactors more recently,” Dershowitz asserted.
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