Donate

Anti-Semitism Takes over British Universities

Last month, a British peeress declared that some campuses in her country were becoming “no-go zones for Jews.” Maajid Nawaz, detailing a series of examples of the anti-Semitic climate prevalent at British universities—including some violent incidents—places the blame primarily on the National Union of Students (NUS) and an alliance among the left, the far right, and Islamists:

Last summer the NUS passed a motion removing the right of Jewish students to vote for their own representative to the union’s anti-racism and anti-fascism committee. The NUS also held debates on whether to drop Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorations, [a proposition] to which large numbers of attendees reportedly cheered and applauded. The election of Malia Bouattia as the head of the NUS leaves little room for hope that things will change.

In 2011 the now-NUS president wrote that Birmingham University was “something of a Zionist outpost.” By 2014 she was arguing in a speech called “Gaza and the Palestinian Revolution” that boycotts and non-violent protests were insufficient. For Bouattia, the only way to free Palestine was to take orders on resistance from what she called “Palestinians on the ground.”

Bouattia was also responsible for the efforts to block an NUS motion condemning Islamic State as a terrorist organization and to show solidarity with the Kurds. The claim was that this would be read as Islamophobic. After much condemnation a reworded motion was later passed. The NUS, [however], did adopt a motion with relative ease to boycott Israel. Curiously, [in this case] the same logic was not used and [the decision] was not deemed anti-Semitic. Matters came to a head last September as 44 student leaders signed an open letter stating that Jewish students did not feel safe participating in the national student movement.

How did it all come to this? The perfect storm: Islamist theocrats, their regressive-left apologists, and right-wing populists. Though they may hate each other, they agree to hate Jews more. I call this Europe’s triple threat, and it is tearing our political culture asunder, poisoning our discourse, and leaving a nasty aftertaste to campus activism. No surer sign of rising fascism have we had in our history than the scapegoating of our Jewish communities. Alarm bells should be sounding, and yet they are not.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, British Jewry, Jewish World, United Kingdom, University

How the U.S. Can Strike at Iran without Risking War

In his testimony before Congress on Tuesday, Michael Doran urged the U.S. to pursue a policy of rolling back Iranian influence in the Middle East, and explained how this can be accomplished. (Video of the testimony, along with the full text, are available at the link below.)

The United States . . . has indirect ways of striking at Iran—ways that do not risk drawing the United States into a quagmire. The easiest of these is to support allies who are already in the fight. . . . In contrast to the United States, Israel is already engaged in military operations whose stated goal is to drive Iran from Syria. We should therefore ask ourselves what actions we might take to strengthen Israel’s hand. Militarily, these might include, on the passive end of the spectrum, positioning our forces so as to deter Russian counterattacks against Israel. On the [more active] end, they might include arming and training Syrian forces to engage in operations against Iran and its proxies—much as we armed the mujahedin in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Diplomatically, the United States might associate itself much more directly with the red lines that Israel has announced regarding the Iranian presence in Syria. Israel has, for example, called for pushing Iran and its proxies away from its border on the Golan Heights. Who is prepared to say that Washington has done all in its power to demonstrate to Moscow that it fully supports this goal? In short, a policy of greater coordination with Jerusalem is both possible and desirable.

In Yemen, too, greater coordination with Saudi Arabia is worth pursuing. . . . In Lebanon and Iraq, conditions will not support a hard rollback policy. In these countries the goal should be to shift the policy away from a modus vivendi [with Iran] and in the direction of containment. In Iraq, the priority, of course, is the dismantling of the militia infrastructure that the Iranians have built. In Lebanon, [it should be] using sanctions to force the Lebanese banking sector to choose between doing business with Hizballah and Iran and doing business with the United States and its financial institutions. . . .

Iran will not take a coercive American policy sitting down. It will strike back—and it will do so cleverly. . . . It almost goes without saying that the United States should begin working with its allies now to develop contingency plans for countering the tactics [Tehran is likely to use]. I say “almost” because I know from experience in the White House that contingency planning is something we extol much more than we conduct. As obvious as these tactics [against us] are, they have often taken Western decision makers by surprise, and they have proved effective in wearing down Western resolve.

Read more at Hudson

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, U.S. Foreign policy, Yemen