Most Israeli Jews Can’t Say If They’re More Israeli or More Jewish. And That’s a Good Thing

In their recent book #IsraeliJudaism, Camil Fuchs and Shmuel Rosner examine the perceptions and practices of Jewish Israelis regarding religion and identity. They find, among other things, that most, if asked whether they feel themselves to be Jews first and Israelis second or vice-versa, answer that they weigh both identities equally. Speaking with Rosner, the eminent legal and political theorist Ruth Gavison explains what this finding says about Israeli society and argues that, across the political spectrum, Israelis agree that the country should be Jewish; they disagree only about how much so and in what ways. Even growing numbers of Arab citizens have shown themselves willing to accept this premise. Gavison concludes by forcefully making the case that the Jewish state can best overcome its religious-secular divides if each side avoids attempts at compulsion. (Video, 25 minutes.)

 

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Israeli politics, Israeli society, Judaism in Israel, Religion and politics

Using the Power of the Law to Fight Anti-Semitism

Examining carefully the problem of anti-Semitism, and sympathy with jihadists, at American universities, Danielle Pletka addresses the very difficult problem of what can be done about it. Pletka avoids such simplistic answers as calling for more education and turns instead to a more promising tool: law. The complex networks of organizations funding and helping to organize campus protests are often connected to malicious states like Qatar, and to U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Thus, without broaching complex questions of freedom of speech, state and federal governments already have ample justifications to crack down. Pletka also suggests various ways existing legal frameworks can be strengthened.

And that’s not all:

What is Congress’s ultimate leverage? Federal funding. Institutions of higher education in the United States will receive north of $200 billion from the federal government in 2024.

[In addition], it is critical to understand that foreign funders have been allowed, more or less, to turn U.S. institutions of higher education into political fiefdoms, with their leaders and faculty serving as spokesmen for foreign interests. Under U.S. law currently, those who enter into contracts or receive funding to advocate for the interest of a foreign government are required to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This requirement is embedded in a criminal statute, and a violation risks jail time. There is no reason compliance by American educational institutions with disclosure laws should not be subject to similar criminal penalties.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American law, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus