Alan Dershowitz Accepts Honorary Chairmanship of the Virtual Citizens of Israel Initiative of the Israel Forever Foundation

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Honorary citizenship of this nature can bolster the solidarity of people who share a common interest in Israel’s past, present and future

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The hope is that it could negate the perception that there is something illegitimate about Israel, Israelis or the Diaspora Jewish support for our shared peoplehood.

The Israel Forever Foundation is pleased to announce that Professor Alan Dershowitz, American lawyer, jurist, author, political commentator and staunch advocate for Israel has been named Honorary Chairman of the Virtual Citizens of Israel initiative of The Israel Forever Foundation.

Dershowitz has long believed in the need to establish an “honorary citizenship” of Israel for those around the world who are committed to her continued existence. The Virtual Citizen of Israel initiative is exactly that: a chance to be recognized as a member and a shareholder in the ongoing project of building and sustaining Israel as the only Jewish democratic state in the world.

“Honorary citizenship of this nature can bolster the solidarity of people who share a common interest in Israel’s past, present and future”, shared Dershowitz upon accepting the appointment.

“The hope is that it could negate the perception that there is something illegitimate about Israel, Israelis or the Diaspora Jewish support for our shared peoplehood. This could, in turn, dissuade boycotts of the Jewish state and demonstrate our appreciation to the leaders, musicians, academics and all individuals who continuously speak out and show their support for Israel”.

Uniting Israel’s supporters around the world in this way will serve to foster the sense of belonging and peoplehood to which we continuously strive. Without it, there is a danger that we will only continue to see a splintering of the Jewish nation, giving power to the threats against us. Members of every Jewish organization and community around the world can feel connected to one another, combating the tendency toward territorialism and encouraging the idea-sharing, collaboration and increased partnership demonstrating that Jewish unity is indeed possible.

Dershowitz serves as an example of this possibility - that a Jewish leader with definitive opinions on Israel, her politics and policies, her successes and failings can set aside any semblance of partisanship for the purpose of the greater good: the future of Am Yisrael. He has emphasized, “Israel’s case is my case, Israel’s enemies are my enemies and I do not want to be spared of the troubles which many people encounter when they represent the Jewish state beyond its borders”. Putting our ideological, political and cultural differences aside will be a demographic demonstration of the support for Israel that is spread throughout the world.

Recognition as a Virtual Citizen of Israel effectively serves as honorary citizenship for people who feel connected and committed to the continued existence of our one and only Jewish State no matter where they live in the world. By engaging with content and initiatives, opportunities and fellow VCI’s, Jews everywhere will be encouraged to take part in personal engagement opportunities in addition to fighting the ‘guerrilla lawfare’ against Israel that is filled with lies, stereotypes, and fueled by hate propaganda. With increased understanding and a deepened connection, we can motivate the next generation to appreciate and protect the ancestral inheritance of being a member of the nation of Israel.

Dershowitz has repeatedly emphasized the need to shift the method through which we are engaging the next generation to care about Israel “by offering informed, nuanced and open-eyed engagement that emphasized the relevance of the Jewish state and Jewish nationalism to Jewish life in the Diaspora. Doing so will not only better attract the next generation of Jews to Israel. It will also restore the very vibrancy and creative problem-solving that we need to survive and thrive as people in both Israel and here at home while balancing a love for Israel and a recognition of Israel’s mistakes, yet retaining a steadfast commitment to preserving her role in Jewish life, identity, past and future”.

Richard D. Heideman, Founder and Co-Chair of The Israel Forever Foundation and longtime colleague of Dershowitz shared, “It is so very special to me that Alan Dershowitz, a tireless advocate for Israel and the Jewish people, will be serving as Honorary Chairman of IFF’s Virtual Citizens of Israel. Alan and I have worked together on challenging legal matters and I have the greatest respect for his commitment to speaking out and standing up for justice and in protecting the good name of Israel and the Jewish people”.

Additionally, we are excited to offer our Virtual Citizens of Israel community the opportunity to participate in VCIRewards™. This is an exceptional program to support businesses located in or working with the state of Israel. VCIRewards offers discounts and special offers exclusively to participating Virtual Citizens of Israel members to encourage a deeper connection with the Jewish homeland.

The international body of Virtual Citizens of Israel will serve as representatives and ambassadors of Israel in their home communities, ensuring that the value of Israel in the world and in Jewish life will defeat the negative trends rising today. Through this positive affirmation of identity, commitment and unity, israel will be a welcome and dynamic presence in every international forum and in every Jewish home. As individuals and communities join this movement for unity, we can strengthen the connection to Israel for Jews wherever they may be in the world.

The Israel Forever Foundation is an Israel Engagement organization that develops and promotes experiential learning opportunities to celebrate and strengthen the personal connection to Israel through a non-denominational and apolitical avenue for activism beneficial to individuals, families and communities alike.

To learn more about VCI and The Israel Forever Foundation, visit: or contact Heidi Krizer Daroff, North America Director at heidi(at)israelforever(dot)org (202) 463-8022.

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Ariana Heideman
since: 05/2011
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