Slowly, Arab Attitudes toward Israel Are Changing

In the 1960s, what Ed Husain calls an “anti-Semitic craze to destroy Israel” was at its height, a force so strong that Gamal Abdel Nasser could use it to unite the fractious Arab states behind him. Now, many years later, it has begun to dissipate, and a new, somewhat more positive attitude toward the Jewish state has begun to emerge not only among rulers eager for allies in confronting Iran, but also among segments of the populace:

Polls show that the percentage of Arabs expressing trust in Islamist parties has fallen by well over a third since the uprisings of 2011. Three-quarters of Iraqis say they do not trust Islamist parties at all, and the number of young people who say they’re “not religious” is also on the rise. This generation wants Arab leaders to increase economic prosperity and minimize political conflicts. And to build alliances, including with Israel. . . .

I’ve noticed a change of mood on my own travels. I regularly meet Egyptians and others who desperately want to normalize relations with Israel. [One of the reasons offered most often is that] the events of the Arab Spring exposed the fanaticism of the Muslim Brotherhood and other related Islamist groups, with the hardliners now being viewed as a threat to both Islam as a faith and Muslims as a people. Islamic State, and other “Islamic states” are, of course, the logical outcome of Islamism. Now that this creed has been tested to destruction, it is being seen for what it is—and rejected. . . .

Israel is [also] seen by moderate Arab governments as a trade and security partner as the West sends mixed signals. Barack Obama abandoned his Arab allies when they faced threats from the Muslim Brotherhood or Iran. . . . This lesson in unreliability has not been forgotten.

“Of course,” Husain adds, “there is a lot of history to overcome.” Just a few days ago, in fact, Saudi Arabia—whose ever-closer relations with Israel have become an open secret—revoked the citizenship of a vocally pro-Israel journalist for unspecified reasons.

Read more at Spectator

More about: Arab anti-Semitism, Iran, Islamism, Israel-Arab relations, Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia

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