Award-winning Russian-born pianist Evgeny Kissin is scheduled to add Israeli citizenship to his British citizenship, Saturday evening, in a Jerusalem ceremony. A media release from the Jewish Agency for Israel cited Kissin for being "an enthusiastic supporter of the State of Israel" who "regularly engages in pro-Israel activities aimed at countering the ongoing assault on Israel's legitimacy." One of those activities was a fight against anti-Israeli reporting by the British Broadcasting Corporation in 2010.
About a year ago, Kissin told Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky that he is interesting in acquiring Israeli citizenship in order to enable him to "fight for Israel not only as a Jew, but also as an Israeli." Although Kissin is not permanently based in Israel, Chairman Sharansky recommended that he be presented with Israeli citizenship due to his significant contribution to Israel in the international arena. The Chairman's recommendation was supported by Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar, who is empowered by law to bestow citizenship. Sa'ar and Sharansky will join Absorption Minister Sofa Landver in presenting Kissin his Israeli identity card.