Anti-Israel Academics’ Warped Assumptions about Sovereignty and Legitimacy

Last week, the American Anthropological Association narrowly defeated a measure to boycott Israel. The debates leading up to this vote, writes Theodore Kupfer, expose the deeply flawed ideas about national legitimacy that underlie much academic hatred of Israel:

To assert that Arabs are exclusively indigenous to the land in question, [as the boycott’s supporters do], is to deny the ancient connection between that land and the Jewish people. . . .

But there is something [even] more disturbing about the way academia embraces BDS. Disciplines in which anti-Israel sentiment is most common come from the cultural-studies line. There, orthodoxy demands denial of legitimacy to states whose history is “colonial.” . . .

The post-colonial instinct is to see indigenousness as the true marker of legitimate sovereignty. This is radical. While the classical tradition contends that states are legitimated by representative government and preserved through a structure of law, this new orthodoxy pretends that such institutions are inherently polluted, and therefore illegitimate, because the “settlers” who erected political structures drove out indigenous people. Such displacement is historical fact in many countries, both Western and non-Western, but it hardly constitutes sufficient reason to throw away the benefits of modern democratic institutions. Academics who support BDS resolutions show their true convictions: they trade John Locke for Edward Said.

Read more at National Review

More about: Academia, Academic Boycotts, BDS, Edward Said, Israel & Zionism, Israel on campus

 

Planning for the Day after the War in the Gaza Strip

At the center of much political debate in Israel during the past week, as well as, reportedly, of disagreement between Jerusalem and Washington, is the problem of how Gaza should be governed if not by Hamas. Thus far, the IDF has only held on to small parts of the Strip from which it has cleared out the terrorists. Michael Oren lays out the parameters of this debate over what he has previous called Israel’s unsolvable problem, and sets forth ten principles that any plan should adhere to. Herewith, the first five:

  1. Israel retains total security control in Gaza, including control of all borders and crossings, until Hamas is demonstrably defeated. Operations continue in Rafah and elsewhere following effective civilian evacuations. Military and diplomatic efforts to secure the hostages’ release continue unabated.
  2. Civil affairs, including health services and aid distribution, are administered by Gazans unaffiliated with Hamas. The model will be Area B of Judea and Samaria, where Israel is in charge of security and Palestinians are responsible for the civil administration.
  3. The civil administration is supervised by the Palestinian Authority once it is “revitalized.” The PA first meets benchmarks for ending corruption and establishing transparent institutions. The designation and fulfillment of the benchmarks is carried out in coordination with Israel.
  4. The United States sends a greatly expanded and improved version of the Dayton Mission that trained PA police forces in Gaza after Israel’s disengagement.
  5. Abraham Accords countries launch a major inter-Arab initiative to rebuild and modernize Gaza.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, Israeli Security, U.S.-Israel relationship