Normalization between Israel and Pakistan Remains Far Off

Since the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain broke the longstanding taboo on relations between Muslim countries and the Jewish state, there has been ample speculation as to which country will be next to follow suit. Although Islamabad and Jerusalem have engaged in covert cooperation and intelligence sharing since the 1970s, don’t expect Pakistan to take things out into the open any time soon, argue Varsha Koduvayur and Akhil Bery:

What stands in the way of normalization is Islamabad’s long record of equating the Palestinian struggle for self-determination to [local Muslims’] struggle in Indian-controlled parts of Kashmir. To normalize ties with Israel before resolving the Palestinian issue would rob Pakistan of the justifications it has used to bolster its claims over Kashmir. Earlier this month, the Pakistani president Imran Khan said that serious consideration of bilateral ties with Israel would have to wait for “a just settlement, which satisfies Palestinians.”

The pervasive feeling in Islamabad is that the Gulf countries have abandoned their traditional support for pan-Islamic causes, like Kashmir and the Palestinians, leaving Pakistan to take up the mantle of championing Muslim voices—a role Islamabad is happy to play.

[Moreover], the political costs of normalization are quite high for Islamabad. Khan would face the opprobrium of a considerable portion of the public, including his own supporters—thereby delivering a major blow to his reputation. There could also be violent protests and other reactions from Islamist hardliners that would have the potential to metastasize into major security threats. After all, street protests against Israel are not uncommon: thousands protested the UAE’s deal with Israel. . . . The Pakistani military, which would have to sign off on a formal recognition of Israel, would have much to lose from the heightened security risks that a public backlash would engender.

A third obstacle in the way of Islamabad-Jerusalem ties is Pakistan’s relationship with Iran, which appears to be intensifying despite earnest efforts by the Gulf Arab states to peel Pakistan away.

Read more at Diplomat

More about: Abraham Accords, Israel diplomacy, Pakistan, Radical Islam

Using the Power of the Law to Fight Anti-Semitism

Examining carefully the problem of anti-Semitism, and sympathy with jihadists, at American universities, Danielle Pletka addresses the very difficult problem of what can be done about it. Pletka avoids such simplistic answers as calling for more education and turns instead to a more promising tool: law. The complex networks of organizations funding and helping to organize campus protests are often connected to malicious states like Qatar, and to U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Thus, without broaching complex questions of freedom of speech, state and federal governments already have ample justifications to crack down. Pletka also suggests various ways existing legal frameworks can be strengthened.

And that’s not all:

What is Congress’s ultimate leverage? Federal funding. Institutions of higher education in the United States will receive north of $200 billion from the federal government in 2024.

[In addition], it is critical to understand that foreign funders have been allowed, more or less, to turn U.S. institutions of higher education into political fiefdoms, with their leaders and faculty serving as spokesmen for foreign interests. Under U.S. law currently, those who enter into contracts or receive funding to advocate for the interest of a foreign government are required to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This requirement is embedded in a criminal statute, and a violation risks jail time. There is no reason compliance by American educational institutions with disclosure laws should not be subject to similar criminal penalties.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American law, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus