‘Insane’: Bush’s Chief Ethics Lawyer Admonishes Trump Administration for Alan Dershowitz Consultations

Dershowitz Trump White House dinner meeting Middle EastThe former Chief  White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush harshly criticized the Trump administration Saturday morning for its decision to consult with Harvard Law School professor and perennial Trump-defender Alan Dershowitz while constructing its Middle East peace plan, instead of seeking the advice of seasoned diplomats.

The administration’s highly anticipated “Peace to Prosperity” plan, unveiled last month by Senior White House advisor Jared Kushner, predominantly blamed instability in the region on the failures of the Palestinian government while calling for $50 billion investment in the Palestinian economy over a ten year period.

“This is insane,” Richard W. Painter wrote in a tweet Saturday morning. “Instead of consulting experienced diplomats and experts in the State Department, Trump turns to [Alan Dershowitz] who knows nothing about Middle East policy. Dumb.”

The plan was presented during a two-day summit in Bahrain, which Palestinian leaders chose not to attend, and has been widely panned by critics as a one-sided policy skewed toward favoring Israel’s national economic and political interests.

According to Foreign Policy Magazine, Palestinian officials rejected the plan “out of hand,” claiming the Trump administration was trying to normalize the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and accusing it of attempting to “liquidate the Palestinian cause in return for a handful of dollars.”

Dershowitz doubled-down on the administration’s reasoning while defending the “Peace to Prosperity” plan last month.

“This negativity has gotten them nowhere,” Dershowitz wrote of the Palestinian government in an op-ed for The Hill.

“It hasn’t improved the quality of life of Palestinians. To the contrary, it has made it much worse. This has been the history of Palestinian leaders from the beginning: They seem to care less about helping their people and more about hurting Israel. They seem to want their own state less than they want there not to be a neighboring nation-state of the Jewish people.”

According to Painter, the administration’s decision to consult with Dershowitz only further entrenched the notion that the plan is aimed at buttressing Israeli interests at the expense of the Palestinian population.

“A good lawyer takes one side of a case (any case) and argues it.  That’s exactly what [Alan Dershowitz] does when he writes and talks about the Middle East. That doesn’t make  him any more right [here] than in any other case he has argued,” Painter tweeted, adding, “We shouldn’t rely on him for our foreign policy.”

[image via via Fox News screengrab]

Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.

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