[Boycott - Academic]
Legal star will 'ruin' supporters of boycott
Jon Marcus, Times Higher Education Supplement
1 June 2007
Alan Dershowitz, one of America's leading lawyers, has promised he will personally visit legal and financial ruin on any UK academic supporting a boycott of Israeli academe.
The Felix Frankfurter professor of law at Harvard University revealed his intention to The Times Higher ahead of the University and College Union's annual conference in Bournemouth this week at which pro-boycott motions were expected.
Professor Dershowitz, who has triumphed in high-profile trials - including those of O. J. Simpson and Claus von Bulow - said he would organise a campaign to ruin British academics supporting the boycott by imposing legal, economic and academic measures against them. "I guarantee that we will obtain legislation dealing with this issue, imposing sanctions that will devastate and bankrupt those who seek to impose bankruptcy on Israeli academics," he said.
The sanctions and potential legal action might be based on US law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of nationality and could be used against British universities with co-operative agreements with American partners, he said.
He has already begun working with a leading British barrister, whom he declined to name, to find legal avenues to challenge a boycott. He said he would pressure major American financial institutions to stop doing business with UK universities.
Professor Dershowitz said he would urge "at least 1,000" US academics to accept honorary posts at Israeli universities and declare themselves Israelis - thus becoming the de facto targets of a boycott.
He said a boycott would "mark the end of British academics' reputation as serious scholars".
Alan Dershowitz volunteers to defend IDF officers abroad
Amiram Barkat, Haaretz
The American Jewish attorney Alan Dershowitz has volunteered to defend any Israeli officer who faces legal proceedings abroad, on condition that his actions were in keeping with Israeli government policy.
It is "a shame that officers have to hide like criminals and are afraid to visit democratic countries, only because they carried out the policies of their elected government," Dershowitz told Haaretz in a phone call from Brussels.
Dershowitz was refering to the recent threat by leftist organizations in the United Kingdom to seek the prosecution for war crimes of Gaza Brigade commander Brigadier General Aviv Kokhavi, a threat which led him to cancel his planned studies there.
In September, Brigadier General (res.) Doron Almog did not get off the plane in London after he was warned that he was about to be served with a similar complaint for war crimes.
Dershowitz said he was going to approach the Foreign Ministry and officially offer his services for this purpose. Dershowitz, a law professor at Harvard and author of the book The Case for Israel, became famous for his successful defense of O.J. Simpson in his trial for murder, as well as other high-profile cases.
Dershowitz said that he believed that lack of immunity for Israel Defense Forces officers from criminal proceedings is an "intolerable situation from the point of view of the international community."
Dershowitz held a series of public debates this week against jurists, politicians and journalists opposed to Israeli policy, while on a tour of Western Europe at the invitation of the European Center for Jewish Students following the publication of his book on Israel.
Amos Harel adds: A senior security official told Haaretz that talks are ongoing between Israel and the U.K. toward a temporary arrangement for officers studying there so they will not be subject to prosecution.
However the conferring of diplomatic immunity on the officers is apparently not an option.
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