Why Jews Should Be Wary of Ethnic Studies

Oct. 29 2020

“The ethnic-studies movement,” writes Jonathan Marks, “brings together left-wing ‘scholar-activists’ seeking to advance left-wing causes.” Recently, the California State University (CSU) system mandated that each of it 500,000 of its students take at least one ethnic-studies course. Marks comments:

Governor Newsom vetoed a bill to require ethnic studies at California high schools amid disagreements about the model curriculum. Among other things, Jewish groups have criticized multiple drafts for minimizing or even fostering anti-Semitism.

[A]ssociations under the ethnic-studies umbrella, including the Association for Asian American Studies, the Critical Ethnic Studies Association, the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies, and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association have endorsed the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel. There was even a BDS unit in the first draft of the model curriculum. That unit has since been removed, but it was useful to help everyone understand the enterprise’s spirit.

But what if everyone had to take a course in the field? Then the professorate could rail against predatory capitalism and get paid to do it.

Read more at Commentary

More about: BDS, California, Israel on campus, University

How Israel and Its Allies Could Have a Positive Influence on the Biden Administration’s Iran Policy

Nov. 25 2020

While the president-elect has expressed his desire to return the U.S. to the 2015 nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic, this should not in itself cause worry in Jerusalem; it has never been the Israeli government’s position that a deal with Tehran is undesirable, only that the flaws of the deal negotiated by the Obama administration outweighed its benefits. Thus Yaakov Amidror, Efraim Inbar, and Eran Lerman urge Israel to approach Joe Biden’s national-security team—whose senior members were announced this week—to urge them to act prudently:

To the greatest extent possible, such approaches should be made jointly, or in very close coordination with, Israel’s new partners in the Gulf. These countries share Israel’s perspectives on the Iranian regional threat and on the need to block Tehran’s path to nuclear weapons.

For Israel, for Iran-deal skeptics in Washington, and for her partners in the region, the first operational priority is to persuade the incoming U.S. national-security team to maintain full leverage on Iran. Sanctions against Iran should not be lifted as a “gesture” without a verified Iranian return to the status quo ante (at the very least) in terms of low-enriched-uranium stockpiles and ongoing enrichment activities.

In parallel, there may emerge a unique opportunity to close ranks with the French (and with Boris Johnson’s government in London) on the Iranian question. On several issues (above all, the struggle for hegemony in the eastern Mediterranean, against Turkey), Jerusalem, Abu Dhabi, and Paris now see eye-to-eye. On Iran, during the negotiations leading to the [deal] in 2015, the position of France was often the most robust. In 2018, President Macron was willing to reach an operational understanding with Secretary of State Pompeo on [key issues regarding the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities].

Last but certainly not least, it should be clear to the incoming U.S. national-security team that any attempt to negotiate must be, can be, and (as far as Israel is concerned) firmly will be backed by a credible military threat.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: France, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, US-Israel relations