Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has promised to bankrupt American colleges and universities which choose to boycott Israeli settlement goods.

Dershowitz was speaking at UJIA’s annual dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Monday, and said his threats had already led to one college’s principal “basically on his hands and knees pleading with us not to do that”.

The law professor, who arranged a plea bargain for financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, said: “Let me tell you right here and now. We will bankrupt any school that divests from Israel. We will use our economic power. We will use the power of alumni. We will not allow Israel to be boycotted or divested from on any major university. And we will succeed.”

Dershowitz also ripped into the Labour Party and “extremists” in the Black Lives Matter movement, before laying into the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which he said was “despicable” and “a fraud”.

He said: “It has nothing to do with ending the occupation, with ending the settlements. It has everything to do with ending the peace process, with eliminating anything to do with the possibility of a two state solution.”