Alan Dershowitz
Alan DershowitzREUTERS

Former Harvard Law School professor and prominent defense attorney Alan Dershowitz rejected a call by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan for a public debate, and slammed Democratic leaders for ‘legitimating’ the controversial black supremacist figure.

During a sermon at the Mosque Maryam in Chicago last week, the 85-year-old Nation of Islam chief called for a “showdown” between himself and prominent American Jewish critics, including Dershowitz and the Anti-Defamation League’s Jonathan Greenblatt.

A showdown! Why not? We’re ready to die for what we believe! So, come on out Mr. [Jonathan] Greenblatt of the ADL and bring Mr. [Abraham] Foxman with you. Come on out Alan Dershowitz. You that say we are haters and anti-Semites,” said Farrakhan.

Farrakhan denied the link between Ashkenazi Jews and the Land of Israel, claiming most Jews ‘are not Semitic”.

“You're not a native Palestinian. No, you're not. You didn't originate there. But if you did, you're the real Semitic people. But the Ashkenazi European, he has no connection at all to the Holy Land. None! Prove to us that you are Semitic!"

“The native Palestinians are Semitic people; been in Palestine for thousands of years. But this that crept out of Europe, stealing the birthright of the Semitic Jews, the Semitic Arabs, he’s against the Palestinians; they’re Semitic people. Well, where is the real anti-Semite.”

On Sunday, Dershowitz responded to Farrakhan’s call for a public ‘showdown’, telling Arutz Sheva he would never share a stage with “a bigot like Farrakhan”, while criticizing “leading Democrats” for legitimizing the Nation of Islam leader.

“I won’t debate a bigot like Farrakhan,” Dershowitz told Arutz Sheva. “The problem is that leading Democrats— including Bill Clinton and Keith Ellison—have legitimated him.”

“I wouldn’t debate Farrakhan any more than I would debate David Duke or other Holocaust-deniers and Hitler-lovers.”

Farrakhan has a long history of making controversial statements regarding Jews and non-blacks.

During last week’s sermon, Farrakhan reiterated the idea, perpetuated by the Nation of Islam, that white people are ‘unnatural’ and are the byproduct of “grafting”.

Yakub, the father of the white race,” said Farrakhan. “He really taught the devil's lies. He was a black scientist. He's a liar."

"White people are grafted out of the original. This is science. Why isn't the white man a native anywhere?”

Last month, Farrakhan compared Jews to termites, and earlier this year accused American Jews of practicing “Satanism” and ‘infecting’ the world “with poison and deceit”.

In 1984, the US Senate voted unanimously to condemn Farrakhan after he praised Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, and derided Judaism as a “gutter religion”.