Krauthammer: Boycott the boycotters
Charles Krauthammer has the best answer I've heard for the BDS'ers: Boycott the boycotters
Former Harvard president Larry Summers called the ASA actions
“anti-Semitic in their effect if not necessarily in their intent.” I
choose to be less polite. The intent is clear: to incite hatred for the
largest — and only sovereign — Jewish community on Earth.
What to do? Facing a similar (British) academic boycott of Israelis seven years ago, Alan Dershowitz and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg wrote an open letter declaring that, for the purposes of any anti-Israel boycott, they are to be considered Israelis.
Meaning: You discriminate against Israelis? Fine. Include us out. We will have nothing to do with you.
of other academics added their signatures to the Dershowitz/Weinberg
letter. It was the perfect in-kind response. Boycott the boycotters,
But academia isn’t the only home for such prejudice. Throughout the cultural world, the Israel boycott movement is growing.
It’s become fashionable for musicians, actors, writers and performers
of all kinds to ostentatiously cleanse themselves of Israel and
In this sea of easy and open bigotry, an unusual man has made an
unusual statement. Russian by birth, European by residence, Evgeny
Kissin is arguably the world’s greatest piano virtuoso. He is also a Jew
of conviction. Deeply distressed by Israel’s treatment in the cultural
world around him, Kissin went beyond the Dershowitz/Weinberg stance of
asking to be considered an Israeli. On Dec. 7, he became one, defiantly.
Upon taking the oath of citizenship in Jerusalem, he declared: “I am a Jew, Israel is a Jewish state. . . .
Israel’s case is my case, Israel’s enemies are my enemies, and I do not
want to be spared the troubles which Israeli musicians encounter when
they represent the Jewish state beyond its borders.”
Full disclosure: I have a personal connection with Kissin. For
the past two years I’ve worked to bring him to Washington to perform for
Pro Musica Hebraica, a nonprofit organization (founded by my wife and
me) dedicated to reviving lost and forgotten Jewish classical music.
succeeded. On Feb. 24, Kissin will perform at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall masterpieces of Eastern European Jewish music, his first U.S. appearance as an Israeli.
Read it all
. And any of you who are anywhere near Washington DC on February 24, please consider showing up to show your support.
Labels: academic boycott, BDS, Charles Krauthammer, Evegny Kissin, liberal academia