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


To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy