For the New Campus Anti-Zionists, Social Justice and Liberation Entail the End of Jewish Self-Determination

Andrew Pessin, a professor of philosophy, and Doron Ben-Atar, a professor of American Studies, don’t share a discipline or research interests, but they share the experience of being Jewish faculty members targeted and harassed by anti-Zionists at their respective universities. Together, they have edited a volume of essays titled Anti-Zionism on Campus: The University, Free Speech, and BDS. In his review, Jarrod Tanny comments on one of the themes that emerge from the book: the highly porous line between hatred for the Jewish state and hatred for Jews.

Much as 19th-century anti-Semites saw the Jews as the chief perpetrators and beneficiaries of the widespread misery unleashed by political modernization and industrialization, today’s anti-Zionists have centered the Jewish state—a tiny entity that allegedly wields a disproportionate amount of power through its covert machinations—in their cosmology of global oppressions. Social justice and liberation entail the liquidation of Jewish power. . . .

“If the Palestinians stand . . . as symbolic of all the victims of ‘the West’ or ‘imperialism,’” writes [the British scholar of anti-Semitism] David Hirsh, “then Israel is thrust into the center of the world as being symbolic of oppression everywhere.” In this sense, the Palestinian is the universal victim, the 21st-century incarnation of the Marxist’s proletariat whose liberation would lead to the liberation of all. All that stands in the way is the Jewish state and the diasporic communities who advocate for its existence. Social justice and freedom will come only when Jewish self-determination is undone and Israel is forced to vanish into history.

But it is primarily the Jews of the diaspora, not Israel, who are paying the price for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement because its goal, write Pessin and Ben-Atar, is “to change the conversation about Israel and Zionism” in America, not to help the Palestinians. In fact, they go on, “they have changed the conversation quite significantly. It is now permissible to say things about Israelis and Jews . . . that not long ago were impermissible.”

Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, BDS, Israel on campus, University

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy