How the Boycott-Israel Movement Corrupts Science

Oct. 12 2020

Molecules, a prestigious chemistry journal based in Switzerland, recently decided to cancel the publication of a special January issue over a single article by an organic chemist named Mindy Levine. But no objections were raised over Levine’s conclusion or the quality of her research; rather the issue at hand was her byline, which listed the university where she currently works as “Ariel University, 65 Ramat HaGolan Street, Ariel, Israel.” This address enraged group of chemists, led by the Nobel prize-winner George Smith, as Ruthie Blum explains:

[These scientists] demanded that Levine’s article be nixed unless the location of her academic affiliation were “correctly and factually” edited. . . . They insisted, thus, that the address be changed to read: “Ariel University, illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel, Occupied Palestinian Territory.” . . . Molecules asked Levine to correct the error of her affiliation.

Levine courageously refuse to give in. Blum continues:

This is not the first time that Ariel University—whose 16,000 students and 450 senior faculty members include all sectors of Israeli society, including many Arabs and Druze—has been targeted by left-wing academics who toe the Palestinian line.

As the Palestinian news agency WAFA proudly reported on Monday: “In 2018, more than half of the invited speakers withdrew from a scientific workshop at Ariel University following appeals from Palestinian and international scholars. Prominent scientists published a letter in the Guardian stating that science should not be used ‘to normalize [Israel’s] occupation of the Palestinian territories.’”

Indeed, it is Smith . . . and the editors of Molecules—not Levine—who are putting propaganda over academic freedom in the “larger interest of the global science community in unfettered publication of scientific ideas and results.”

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Read more at JNS

More about: Academia, Academic Boycotts, BDS, Science

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia