The Campaign for Academic Boycotts of Israel Has Stalled

In 2015, the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS) seemed to be making strides in the universities, as the National Women’s Studies Association followed in the footsteps of other scholarly organizations in endorsing a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. But, notes Jonathan Marks, no scholarly organization has passed a BDS resolution since then—which suggests that the tide may be turning:

[BDS] lost big at the American Historical Association in 2016. The Modern Language Association grew so tired of BDS propagandists that they passed an anti-BDS resolution in 2017. BDS even lost in anthropology—among the most politically lopsided disciplines—when the American Anthropological Association narrowly defeated a boycott resolution three years ago.

This year, BDS lost the Society for the Study of Social Problems, an organization committed to the pursuit of “social justice” with no compunction about passing resolutions on subject matters outside its members’ range of expertise. The BDS resolution failed at the same time that one in support of the Green New Deal passed.

At this past weekend’s annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA), yet another BDS effort was turned back. As a sign of the relative weakness of BDS in the political-science field, activists targeted only . . . one of 49 “sections” within APSA. . . . But even at this early stage, opposition was sufficient to turn the resolution back.

Nonetheless, Marks concludes, it would be a serious mistake to become complacent.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Academic Boycotts, BDS, 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