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September 22, 2016 4:16 pm

Alan Dershowitz Calls on Alumni, Donors to Divest From Universities That Boycott Israel

avatar by Lea Speyer

Alan Dershowitz. Photo: YouTube Screenshot.

Alan Dershowitz. Photo: YouTube Screenshot.

Attempts by universities to divest from Israel “should be met with a similar counter response from alumni and donors,” internationally acclaimed attorney Alan Dershowitz told The Algemeiner on Thursday.

In light of growing support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement across college campuses around the world, Dershowitz said, it is time to take a stand against this “dangerous force.”

“The policy will be that in response to any university that divests from Israel, alumni and parents will divest from that university,” he explained. “It is important to fight economic threats with economic counter-threats.”

Recounting his own experience as a parent, Dershowitz said that when he heard about faculty at Hampshire University — the alma mater of one of his children — voting to boycott Israel, “I called up the president and said I would lead a campaign to urge all donors and alumni to divest from the school. He then assured me that Hampshire will never divest from Israel, and it never has.”  

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According to a 2015 report by campus watchdog group AMCHA Initiative, 54 percent of the more than 100 US colleges surveyed reported BDS-related activity, which, it said, was “very strongly correlated with…antisemitic expression.”

Dershowitz continued, “The current student body has far too much influence on the political policies of universities. It has to be checked and balanced by people who have a more permanent interest in the university, such as alumni, donors, faculty and administrators.”

Many college students today “proudly claim the title of ‘progressive,’ but all they are is repressive,” he said.  They want to control free speech and constrain academic freedom. They create trigger warnings for themselves and not others. We shouldn’t treat them as heroes.”

Alumni and donors must “assert their power and influence,” Dershowitz told The Algemeiner. “Make your voices known. You’re as important as the students. If necessary, even organize — the way students do.”

As The Algemeiner reported in April, Dershowitz  has previously urged pro-Israel advocates to fight the BDS movement with “truth.” He said the movement “aims to corrupt the minds of the young people today who, in 20 years, will be policy-making leaders in politics, journalism, business and religion.”

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