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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

 

Israel Agreed Not to Retaliate During the Persian Gulf War—and Paid a Price for It

Feb. 19 2018

During the Persian Gulf War of 1991, Saddam Hussein fired 39 Scud missiles at Israel, killing one person and causing extensive property damage. Under intense pressure from the first Bush administration to sit still—ostensibly because Israeli involvement in the war could lead Arab states to abandon the White House’s anti-Iraq coalition—Jerusalem refrained from retaliating. Moshe Arens, who was the Israeli defense minister at the time, comments on the decision in light of information recently made public:

[W]hat was George H.W. Bush thinking [in urging Israel not to respond]? His secretary of state, James Baker, had accompanied the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Charles (Chas) Freeman, on a visit to King Fahd in Riyadh on November 2, 1990, two-and-a-half months before the beginning of the war, to obtain the king’s approval for additional deployment of U.S. troops in his kingdom in preparation for the attack on Iraq.

He was told by the king that although they would not welcome Israeli participation in the war, he understood that Israel could not stand idly by if it were attacked by Iraq. If Israel were to defend itself, the Saudi armed forces would still fight on America’s side, the king told Baker. So much for the danger to the coalition if Israel were to respond to the Scud attacks. Israel was not informed of this Saudi position.

So why was President Bush so intent on keeping Israel out of the war? It seems that he took the position, so dominant in the American foreign-policy establishment, that America’s primary interest in the Middle East was the maintenance of good relations with the Arab world, and that the Arab world attached great importance to the Palestinian problem, and that as long as that problem was not resolved Israel remained an encumbrance to the U.S.-Arab relationship. If Israel were to appear as an ally of the U.S. in the war against Iraq, that was likely to damage the image the U.S. was trying to project to the Arabs.

In fact, immediately upon the conclusion of the war against Saddam Hussein, Baker launched a diplomatic effort that culminated in the Madrid Conference in the hope that it would lead to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It didn’t. . . .

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: George H. W. Bush, Israel & Zionism, Israeli history, Peace Process, Persian Gulf War, US-Israel relations