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.

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

The Reasons for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Staying Power

Nov. 20 2018

This week, Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have narrowly avoided the collapse of his governing coalition despite the fact that one party, Yisrael Beiteinu, withdrew and another, the Jewish Home, threatened to follow suit. Moreover, he kept the latter from defecting without conceding its leader’s demand to be appointed minister of defense. Even if the government were to collapse, resulting in early elections, Netanyahu would almost certainly win, writes Elliot Jager:

[Netanyahu’s] detractors think him Machiavellian, duplicitous, and smug—willing to do anything to stay in power. His supporters would not automatically disagree. Over 60 percent of Israelis tell pollsters that they will be voting for a party other than Likud—some supposing their favored party will join a Netanyahu-led coalition while others hoping against the odds that Likud can be ousted.

Opponents would [also] like to think the prime minister’s core voters are by definition illiberal, hawkish, and religiously inclined. However, the 30 percent of voters who plan to vote Likud reflect a broad segment of the population. . . .

Journalists who have observed Netanyahu over the years admire his fitness for office even if they disagree with his actions. A strategic thinker, Netanyahu’s scope of knowledge is both broad and deep. He is a voracious reader and a quick study. . . . Foreign leaders may not like what he says but cannot deny that he speaks with panache and authority. . . .

The prime minister or those around him are under multiple police investigations for possible fraud and moral turpitude. Under Israel’s system, the police investigate and can recommend that the attorney general issue an indictment. . . . Separately, Mrs. Netanyahu is in court for allegedly using public monies to pay for restaurant meals. . . . The veteran Jerusalem Post political reporter Gil Hoffman maintains that Israelis do not mind if Netanyahu appears a tad corrupt because they admire a politician who is nobody’s fool. Better to have a political figure who cannot be taken advantage of than one who is incorruptible but naïve.

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More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel & Zionism, Israeli politics