Dershowitz Remains on Board of Mercer-Funded Anti-Muslim Group

Alan Dershowitz (a katz via Shutterstock)

by Eli Clifton

Retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told LobeLog he will remain on the board of the Gatestone Institute, a right-wing think tank that receives money from Trump megadonors Robert and Rebekah Mercer and disseminates anti-Muslim and anti-refugee conspiracy theories.

Last week, LobeLog reported that Dershowitz received $120,000 from the Gatestone Institute in 2017 and raised questions about Dershowitz, a self-described “liberal Democrat,” receiving payment from a group funded by billionaire Trump supporters. While Dershowitz served on Gatestone’s board, the group forged a partnership to co-produce videos with Rebel Media, a Toronto-based online media outlet with a history of anti-Semitism and employing white nationalists.

Dershowitz hit back on Twitter, saying, “I had no knowledge of Mercer/Rebel.”

It’s difficult to understand how Dershowitz had “no knowledge” of Rebekah Mercer’s involvement at Gatestone while serving alongside her on the group’s board. Following our reporting on Gatestone’s ties to the far right, Dershowitz now tells LobeLog that he is sticking with Gatestone. Dershowitz wrote:

I am honored to serve on the honorary bread [sic] of governors ( which doesn’t meet) along  with my friend Senator Joe Lieberman and other distinguished Americans. The Board of advisors includes my friends Colonel Richard Kemp, former Attorney General Michael Mukasy and the late Elie Wiesel. I will continue to serve and will not be intimidated by your McCarthyite tactics and dishonest reporting.  I challenge you to quote this entire email in anything you write.

Dershowitz did not point to any specific inaccuracies in LobeLog’s reporting.

On cable news, Dershowitz has emerged as a go-to Trump defender and critic of the left wing of the Democratic Party, all while self-identifying as a “liberal Democrat.” Over the summer, Dershowitz loudly complained about being shunned by Martha’s Vineyard’s largely liberal residents.

In publicly aligning himself with the Gatestone institute, as well as being one of their top paid contractors in 2017, Dershowitz is knowingly associating himself with a group that helps promote some of the far right’s most pernicious anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

In April, Gatestone published an article titled, “Flooding the Voter Rolls in US and Greece,” echoing the anti-Semitic campaign led by Viktor Orban, the right-wing prime minister of Hungary, who claimed that liberal financier George Soros wanted to flood Europe with Muslim immigrants. The article referenced “George Soros’s 220-page guide seemingly to create a permanent voting majority for the Democratic Party by ‘enlarge[ing] the U.S. electorate by 10 million voters by 2018.’”

Indeed, the “guide” outlined how Soros’s primary vehicle, the Open Society Foundation, might expand the electorate “by lowering barriers to voter registration through the various forms of modernization and increased ballot access while sustaining and expanding the franchise by establishing strong protections against vote suppression, denial and dilution,” not quite what Gatestone or Orban were suggesting.

The organization’s flirtation with the extreme far right was on display in a May 2018 Gatestone article celebrating former Rebel Media contributor Gavin McInnes and alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. The author, Bruce Bawer, wrote that the appearance of McInnes and Yiannopoulos at a rally in London, “gave me a bit of hope for the scepter’d (but battered) isle.”

McInnes, who published a video defending Holocaust deniers and repeating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, is the founder of the Proud Boys, a far-right men’s organization that promotes violence.

Gatestone also paid for trips to the United States by the vocally anti-Muslim Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who says there is no such thing as “moderate Islam” and that “Islam’s heart lies in the Quran and the Quran is an evil book.” Gatestone has published Wilders’s work 36 times over the past 10 years.

The group also published Sebastian Gorka 12 times between 2009 and 2011. Gorka served as a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump until his departure from the White House in 2017 following a series of investigative articles tying him to Vitezi Rend, a Hungarian group the State Department characterizes as collaborating with the Nazis. Gorka also endorsed a racist and anti-Semitic militia in Hungary in a 2007 television interview.

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.



  1. This reminds me of the Groucho Marx line, something that applies to just about all politicians:

    “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”

  2. The best thing for all of us, is a strong Conservative, Christian society. One that reveres God, and His Word, as well as the US Constitution.

  3. Can anyone tell me why Sabastian Gorka is so friggin’ popular that I see him of FOX so many times and he gets these trips?

    Dershowitz, is a pain in the rear end but at least he is a legitimate Constitutional scholar and is/was a practicing Defense attorney but Gorka is just some emigre from Hungry who smirks all of the time and has a distinctive beard.

  4. Dershowitz is the most abject sell-out of a generation. From honored Ivy League Constitutional scholar to paid shill for neo-Nazis. He makes Rudi Guiliani seem almost reasonable. And to even be mentioned in the same article as Seb Gorka shows how far he has fallen.

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