When Academic Organizations Condemn Israel, They Send an Unambiguous Message to Potential Jewish Members

Jan. 15 2020

At the annual conference of the American Historical Association—the major professional organization for academic historians—two resolutions condemning Israel were defeated. This is the fourth time since 2015 that the same group of historians has put forward such resolutions. While the resolutions have always lost, the voting margin shrank somewhat this year. Jeffrey Herf comments on the unreality of the propaganda put forward by supporters:

When one reads the documents [submitted by supporters of the anti-Israel resolutions] one would have no idea that Israel has any security problems at all. These texts read as if, for reasons having to do presumably with the original sin of its founding, Israel inexplicably violates human rights, arbitrarily restricts student travel in Gaza, and willfully violates the academic freedom of Palestinians. . . . The [resolutions] fail to mention any actions taken by Hamas or the Palestinian Authority, not to mention Hizballah and the government of Iran, that would cause concern for the government of Israel. Theirs is a Middle East conflict in which there is no Arab terrorism, no suicide bombers, no rocket attacks on schools and farms, and no knife attacks in Jerusalem.

Equally troubling, to Herf, are the effects these resolutions would have if passed:

I would not be surprised if young Jews who are thinking of pursuing careers as historians will now think long and hard about doing so. Young Jews already in the profession, or others who may have a good word to say for Israel, will be likely to suppress their views in order not to offend. The resolutions could reintroduce an era of open discrimination against Jews, made all the more difficult to counter as it would drape itself in the language of human rights, intersectionality, and anti-racism.

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Read more at American Interest

More about: Academic Boycotts, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism

Why Is Iran Acquiring Property in Venezuela?

In June Tehran and Caracas concluded a major twenty-year cooperation treaty. One of its many provisions—kept secret until recently—was the transfer of 4,000 square miles of Venezuelan land to Iranian control. Although the territory is ostensibly for agricultural use, Lawrence Franklin suspects the Islamic Republic might have other plans:

Hizballah already runs paramilitary training centers in restricted sections of Venezuela’s Margarita Island, a tourist area northeast of the country’s mainland. The terrorist group has considerable support from some of Venezuela’s prominent Lebanese clans such as the Nasr al-Din family, who reportedly facilitated Iran’s penetration of Margarita Island. . . . The Maduro regime has apparently been so welcoming to Iranian intelligence agents that some of Hizballah’s long-established Latin American network at the tri-border nexus of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay has been overtaken by Hizballah activities on Venezuela’s Margarita Island.

Iran’s alliance with Venezuela most importantly provides Tehran with opportunities to target U.S. interests in Latin America and potentially the southern United States. Iran, along with the Chinese Communist Party, is in the process of strengthening Venezuela’s military against the U.S., for instance by deliveries of military drones, which are also considered a threat by Colombia.

While air and seaborne arms deliveries are high-profile evidence of Iran’s ties with Venezuela, Tehran’s cooperation with Venezuelan intelligence agencies, although less visible, is also intense. The Islamic Republic’s support for Hizballah terrorist operations is pervasive throughout Latin America. Hizballah recruits from Venezuela’s ten-million-strong Lebanese diaspora. Iran and Hizballah cooperate in training of intelligence agents and in developing sources who reside in Venezuela and Colombia, as well as in the tri-border region of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Iran, Latin America, Venezuela