Free College in Israel Could Be the Key to Improving Relations with the Diaspora

With universities becoming increasingly hostile to Israel, Liel Leibovitz suggests that American Jewish philanthropists should offer to pay the tuitions of young American Jews willing to attend college in the Jewish state. After demonstrating the economic sense of his proposition—tuition at Israeli universities runs about $3,000 a year—he touts its potential benefits:

What could better appeal to young American Jews of all political leanings and persuasions [than a free education]? . . . It should also appeal to parents who are paying upward of $70,000 a year to send their children to universities where they are being turned into progressive piñatas in a bankrupt system in which ideological indoctrination has largely replaced the teaching of history, literature, and political philosophy.

For about $60 million a year, paid for by whatever combination of generous American benefactors and the Israeli government, we can send a cadre of about 1,000 American Jewish students to Israel each year, each one of whom can serve as a human bridge that will help bring our two worlds closer together. Some of them may want to undertake aliyah, serve in the army, and marry an Israeli, and [thus] strengthen the interfamilial bonds between the two Jewish communities in the most direct ways possible. A majority will hopefully return to America after four years of college in Israel, speaking fluent Hebrew and able to form a powerful core for the next generation of American Jewish communal leadership.

Some may return after a year or two, or four, and continue their education in an American college, equipped to face whatever awaits them there. But all of them will get to know Israel as few young American Jews know it now—and, just as important, introduce American Judaism to an Israeli society largely ignorant of its beauty and richness.

Read more at Tablet

More about: American Jewry, Israel and the Diaspora, 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