Dershowitz wants honorary Israeli citizenship to counter BDS – Jerusalem Post
Prominent Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said on Friday that he would like to become an honorary citizen of Israel to fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS).
“I think the good answer to the BDS movement is to institutionalize what Evgeny Kissin did,” Dershowitz told The Jerusalem Post in an exclusive interview.
Kissin, a world-renowned classical pianist, became an Israeli citizen in 2013 to stymie countries and organizations that sought to boycott Israel.
Kissin, the Moscow-born prodigy, said at the time “When Israel’s enemies try to disrupt concerts of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra or the Jerusalem Quartet, I want them to come and make troubles at my concerts, too: because Israel’s case is my case, Israel’s enemies are my enemies, and I do not want to be spared of the troubles which Israeli musicians encounter when they represent the Jewish State beyond its borders.”
Dershowitz said that if Israel offered “honorary citizenship to musicians and academics who could be subject to BDS” it could dissuade boycotts of the Jewish state. He added that those who accept honorary citizenship would not make full aliya like Kissin’s symbolic decision but use their citizenship as an act of solidarity with Israel to blunt BDS.
Asked if he would make full aliya if Israel did not provide honorary citizenship, Dershowitz said he would “think about it.” He noted that dual U.S-Israel citizenship is allowed in America but the “better option” would be to be an honorary Israeli for those “not ready to assume responsibilities of [Israeli] citizenship.”
Dershowitz, widely considered to be one of the greatest living legal scholars, has written and lectured extensively on Israel. In 2007, Dershowitz and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg published a public letter that they consider themselves to be Israelis if faced with BDS activity.
The solidarity letter, which garnered the signatures of 15 Nobel Laureates and thousands of supporters,declared, “We are academics, scholars, researchers and professionals of differing religious and political perspectives. We all agree that singling out Israelis for an academic boycott is wrong. To show our solidarity with our Israeli academics in this matter, we, the undersigned, hereby declare ourselves to be Israeli academics for purposes of any academic boycott. We will regard ourselves as Israeli academics and decline to participate in any activity from which Israeli academics are excluded.”