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Shutting Down Debate about Israel at Princeton

Nov. 14 2017

Last week Princeton University’s Center for Jewish Life canceled a planned speech by Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely—a member of the Likud party and an ally of Benjamin Netanyahu—in response to objections from anti-Zionist groups. (It later apologized for its action.) Jonathan Tobin comments:

One of the [frequently heard] complaints about the organized Jewish community is that it is silencing criticism of Israel. Left-wingers paint a dismal picture of a Jewish community in denial about Israel’s sins and determined to squelch debate about the peace process or controversial issues like settlements. . . .

[But it was the] Alliance for Jewish Progressives—a campus left-wing group—[that] ginned up an indictment of [Hotovely] as some sort of extremist because she had dared to call out the Palestinian Authority for its attempt to erase Jewish history and ties to Jerusalem. They claim anyone who supports the Jewish presence across the Green Line or in parts of Jerusalem is, by definition, a racist. They were also upset that the [Center for Jewish Life] had refused to sponsor appearances by anti-Zionists or those whose presentation consisted of slanders of the IDF for its efforts to halt Palestinian terror. . . .

The lesson here is that the conventional wisdom about the plight of critics of Zionism is a myth. On campuses, it is those who speak up for the Jewish state who are often the ones being shut up. The atmosphere at many, if not most institutions of higher learning is one of intense hostility to pro-Israel advocates. . . .

Instead of crying crocodile tears about Israel-haters being silenced, it’s time for Jews to face up to the way the rising tide of anti-Semitism sweeping across the globe has spread to our shores. That is a grim reality about which we dare not be silent.

Read more at Jewish News Service

More about: American Jewry, Israel & Zionism, Israel on campus, Princeton

 

In Pursuing Peace with Saudi Arabia, Israel Must Demand Reciprocity and Keep the Palestinian Question off the Table

Nov. 22 2017

The recent, unprecedented interview given by the IDF chief of staff to a major Arabic news outlet has fed the growing enthusiasm in Israel about the prospects of a peace treaty and mutual recognition between Jerusalem and Riyadh. Mordechai Kedar urges level heads and caution, and puts forward ten principles that should guide any negotiations. Most importantly, he argues that the two countries normalize relations before coming to any agreements about the Palestinians. To this he adds:

The most basic rule in dealing with the Saudis and their friends is that Israel must not feel that it has to pay anything for peace. . . . If the Saudis want to live in peace with us, we will stretch out our hands to offer them peace in return. But that is all they will get. Israel [has] been a state for 70 years without peace with Saudi Arabia and can continue being a state for another 7,000 years without it. Any desire for a quick peace (as expressed in the disastrous slogan “Peace Now”) will raise the price of that peace. . . .

[As part of any agreement], Israel will recognize the House of Saud’s rule in Mecca and Medina—even though the family does not originate from the Hejaz [where the holy cities are located] but from the Najd highland—in exchange for Saudi recognition of Israel’s right to Jerusalem as its historic and eternal capital city. Israel will recognize Saudi Arabia as an Islamic state in exchange for Saudi recognition of Israel as the Jewish state or a state belonging to the Jewish people. . . .

Israel will not allow incitement against Saudi Arabia in its media. In return, the Saudis will not allow anti-Israel incitement in Saudi media. . . .

It is important to keep the Americans and Europeans away from the negotiating table, since they will not be party to the agreement and will not have to suffer the results of its not being honored—and since their interests are not necessarily those of Israel, especially when it comes to the speed at which the negotiations move forward. The Americans want to cut a deal, even a bad deal, and if they are allowed into the negotiation rooms, they will pressure Israel to give in, mainly on the Palestinian issue.

Read more at Israel National News

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israel diplomacy, Israel-Arab relations, Saudi Arabia