While Waving the Flag of Academic Freedom, Israel-Boycotters Favor One of That Flag’s Champion Besmirchers

Advocates of academic boycotts of the Jewish state are fond of claiming that they are motivated by a desire to punish Israel for its restrictions on Palestinian universities—in part, writes Jonathan Marks, as a counterargument to those who would point out that their movement seeks specifically to restrict the free exchange of ideas. But the boycotters have nothing to say about Turkey, where the government has severely restrained the ability of professors to write or teach on sensitive topics:

Another thing about Turkey, though: it’s a great place to hold an International Conference on Palestine. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this April’s conference, but the speakers listed on the roster included well-known boycott advocates like Ali Abunimah, editor of the [website] Electronic Intifada, Rabab Abdulhadi of San Francisco State University, Joseph Massad of Columbia University, and Ilan Pappé of the University of Exeter.

About the only thing the national committee of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS) seems to dislike in Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s repressive government is its incomplete rejection of Israel. But BDS advocates don’t mind taking advantage of his hospitality, perhaps because he whispers sweet nothings like, “whoever is on the side of Israel, let everyone know that we are against them.”

The indifference of BDS advocates to the academic freedom they pretend to cherish when it suits them is nothing new. But their championship-level hypocrisy continues to impress.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Academic Boycotts, BDS, Turkey

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict