How Anti-Semitism Took over the Left at Oxford

The co-chair of the Oxford University Labor Club (OULC), Alex Chalmers, recently drew attention to left-wing anti-Semitism in Britain by resigning from his position rather than joining the club’s endorsement of “Israel Apartheid Week.” He writes:

During my year-and-a-half as an active member of the OULC, I found that [anti-Semitic] attitudes were prevalent. The word “Zio” was part of the club’s lexicon, despite its [clearly anti-Semitic] connotations eventually becoming widely known, the song “Rockets over Tel Aviv” was a favorite among a certain faction of the club, and the concerns of Jewish students over issues such as Israel Apartheid Week were ridiculed. . . .

What prompted me to resign in such a public fashion was witnessing just how passionate, over the top, and catch-all “anti-Zionism” was. I am no stranger to bad-tempered meetings or sharp debate, but the sheer hatred people felt was visible in their eyes. The motion [regarding Apartheid Week] was written deliberately to make me feel uncomfortable: [it] mandated that the co-chairs condemn “Israeli Apartheid” when asked to do so. In the meeting, members of the club were shouted down by a small clique, Jewish students were laughed at, and there was an attempt to deny paid-up members of the club who opposed the motion the right to vote.

Added to this, I was denounced as a Zionist stooge, and while I was counting the votes, someone stood over me suggesting that my Zionist sympathies meant that I might try to rig the ballot. . . .

In a way, the anti-Semitic incidents I witnessed in OULC are less troubling than the culture which allowed such behavior to become normalized. It is common to encounter anti-Semitic individuals in all walks of life, but the mass turning-of-a-blind-eye that has come to characterize vast parts of the left is chilling. As anti-Semites can double up as vocal critics of Israel, there is a marked tendency on the left to view them as fellow travelers whose hearts are in the right place—so their rhetoric passes the test of social acceptability.

Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel & Zionism, Leftism, Oxford, United Kingdom, University


How America Sowed the Seeds of the Current Middle East Crisis in 2015

Analyzing the recent direct Iranian attack on Israel, and Israel’s security situation more generally, Michael Oren looks to the 2015 agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear program. That, and President Biden’s efforts to resurrect the deal after Donald Trump left it, are in his view the source of the current crisis:

Of the original motivations for the deal—blocking Iran’s path to the bomb and transforming Iran into a peaceful nation—neither remained. All Biden was left with was the ability to kick the can down the road and to uphold Barack Obama’s singular foreign-policy achievement.

In order to achieve that result, the administration has repeatedly refused to punish Iran for its malign actions:

Historians will survey this inexplicable record and wonder how the United States not only allowed Iran repeatedly to assault its citizens, soldiers, and allies but consistently rewarded it for doing so. They may well conclude that in a desperate effort to avoid getting dragged into a regional Middle Eastern war, the U.S. might well have precipitated one.

While America’s friends in the Middle East, especially Israel, have every reason to feel grateful for the vital assistance they received in intercepting Iran’s missile and drone onslaught, they might also ask what the U.S. can now do differently to deter Iran from further aggression. . . . Tehran will see this weekend’s direct attack on Israel as a victory—their own—for their ability to continue threatening Israel and destabilizing the Middle East with impunity.

Israel, of course, must respond differently. Our target cannot simply be the Iranian proxies that surround our country and that have waged war on us since October 7, but, as the Saudis call it, “the head of the snake.”

Read more at Free Press

More about: Barack Obama, Gaza War 2023, Iran, Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Foreign policy