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

Europe Dithers While Iran Enriches

Jan. 20 2020

In May, when Tehran announced that it would no longer abide by the limits set by the 2015 nuclear agreement on its enrichment of uranium, Europe found legal excuses not to react. When, earlier this month, the Islamic Republic went a step further, renouncing any limits on enrichment, the EU—led by France and Germany, both parties to the deal—at last initiated a formal process that might lead to the re-imposition of sanctions. Bobby Ghosh comments on the dangers of European apathy:

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Read more at Bloomberg

More about: European Union, France, Germany, Hassan Rouhani, Iran, Iran nuclear program