In Boycotting Israel, Professors of Women’s Studies Betray Women in Muslim Lands

Two weeks ago, the National Women’s Studies Association voted to boycott the Jewish state. In doing so, writes Phyllis Chesler, its members displayed moral blindness not only about the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also about the systemic and often brutal mistreatment of women in numerous places where they have few if any rights:

The association doesn’t condemn, for example, the atrocities being practiced by Hamas, Islamic State, Boko Haram, and the Taliban against Muslim women, children, and dissidents, or against Christian, Yazidi, and Kurdish women. . . .

This women’s studies group isn’t [protesting] the honor killings among Arabs in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and among Muslims in the West. They aren’t condemning the forced veiling of women in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, or the forced wearing of the hijab and heavy coverings in Iran and Nigeria.

The association doesn’t focus on the pervasive nature of female genital mutilation in Egypt or on the increase in child marriage across the Arab and Muslim world. There’s little mention of the terrible fate of women—even royalty—who dare to choose their own husbands.

Israel may not be flawless—what society is?—but it’s still a modern democracy that protects the religious rights of all its minorities. . . . [A]ccording to the Israeli feminist lawyer Frances Raday, Israel’s Declaration of Independence was one of the “earliest constitutional documents in the world to include sex as a group classification within a guarantee of equality in social and political rights.”

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Read more at New York Post

More about: Academic Boycotts, BDS, Feminism, Israel & Zionism, Women in Islam

The New Iran Deal Will Reward Terrorism, Help Russia, and Get Nothing in Return

After many months of negotiations, Washington and Tehran—thanks to Russian mediation—appear close to renewing the 2015 agreement concerning the Iranian nuclear program. Richard Goldberg comments:

Under a new deal, Iran would receive $275 billion of sanctions relief in the first year and $1 trillion by 2030. [Moreover], Tehran would face no changes in the old deal’s sunset clauses—that is, expiration dates on key restrictions—and would be allowed to keep its newly deployed arsenal of advanced uranium centrifuges in storage, guaranteeing the regime the ability to cross the nuclear threshold at any time of its choosing. . . . And worst of all, Iran would win all these concessions while actively plotting to assassinate former U.S. officials like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and [his] adviser Brian Hook, and trying to kidnap and kill the Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad on U.S. soil.

Moscow, meanwhile, would receive billions of dollars to construct additional nuclear power plants in Iran, and potentially more for storage of nuclear material. . . . Following a visit by the Russian president Vladimir Putin to Tehran last month, Iran reportedly started transferring armed drones for Russian use against Ukraine. On Tuesday, Putin launched an Iranian satellite into orbit reportedly on the condition that Moscow can task it to support Russian operations in Ukraine.

With American and European sanctions on Russia escalating, particularly with respect to Russian energy sales, Putin may finally see net value in the U.S. lifting of sanctions on Iran’s financial and commercial sectors. While the return of Iranian crude to the global market could lead to a modest reduction in oil prices, thereby reducing Putin’s revenue, Russia may be able to head off U.S. secondary sanctions by routing key transactions through Tehran. After all, what would the Biden administration do if Iran allowed Russia to use its major banks and companies to bypass Western sanctions?

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Russia, U.S. Foreign policy