Lectures by Terrorists, and the Universities That Allow Them

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

Why Hizballah Is Threatening Cyprus

In a speech last Wednesday, Hizballah’s secretary general Hassan Nasrallah not only declared that “nowhere will be safe” in Israel in the event of an all-out war, but also that his forces would attack the island nation of Cyprus. Hanin Ghaddar, Farzin Nadimi, and David Schenker observe that this is no idle threat, but one the Iran-backed terrorist group has “a range of options” for carrying out. They explain: 

Nasrallah’s threat to Cyprus was not random—the republic has long maintained close ties with Israel, much to Hizballah’s irritation. In recent years, the island has hosted multiple joint air-defense drills and annual special-forces exercises with Israel focused on potential threats from Hizballah and Iran.

Nasrallah’s threat should also be viewed in the context of wartime statements by Iran and its proxies about disrupting vital shipping lanes to Israel through the East Mediterranean.

This scenario should be particularly troubling to Washington given the large allied military presence in Cyprus, which includes a few thousand British troops, more than a hundred U.S. Air Force personnel, and a detachment of U-2 surveillance aircraft from the 1st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron.

Yoni Ben Menachem suggests there is an additional aspect to Nasrallah’s designs on Cyprus, involving a plan

to neutralize the Israeli air force through two primary actions: a surprise attack with precision missiles and UAVs on Israeli air-force bases and against radar and air-defense facilities, including paralyzing Ben-Gurion Airport.

Nasrallah’s goal is to ground Israeli aircraft to prevent them from conducting missions in Lebanon against mid- and long-range missile launchers. Nasrallah fears that Israel might preempt his planned attack by deploying its air force to Cypriot bases, a scenario the Israeli air force practiced with Cyprus during military exercises over the past year.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Cyprus, Hizballah, U.S. Security