Lectures by Terrorists, and the Universities That Allow Them

Sept. 3 2020

Leila Khaled’s claim to fame is having participated in a hijacking on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1969, and—after using plastic surgery to disguise her identity—attempting a second one two years later. Still an active member of the PFLP leadership, Khaled is also a hero to the supposedly nonviolent movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS), as well as a popular speaker. Later this month, she is scheduled to lead an online seminar on “gender, justice, and resistance” at San Francisco State University. Jonathan Marks comments:

Khaled has indicated any number of times [that] she is in favor of violence against Israel. . . . It’s almost as if BDS isn’t dedicated to nonviolence, except as an adjunct to violence.

The real story here, [however], is less the event itself . . . than the mainstreaming of this kind of thing in the academy. . . . Last year, the Women’s Resource Center at San Diego State University was compelled to apologize for using images of Khaled in one of its newsletters. That the center apologized tells us that Khaled isn’t, after all, quite mainstream. But that she made her way into that most bureaucratic of productions, a newsletter put out by an academic administrative unit, also tells us that the cocktail of violence, anti-Americanism, and anti-Semitism Khaled represents causes no one to bat an eyelash until someone points a finger.

Perhaps because no one much cares about them, small programs like [San Francisco State’s center for Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies] can afford to hug a terrorist on Zoom. But what can be said of more mainstream elements within our colleges and universities that wink at or reward this kind of behavior? Nothing flattering.

Read more at Commentary

More about: BDS, Israel on campus, Palestinian terror, PFLP

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy