Israel’s (Unconfirmed) Strike on Iran Strengthens America’s Negotiation Position

Yesterday, a major power failure occurred at the Islamic Republic’s main uranium-enrichment facility in the city of Natanz, causing considerable damage. While Jerusalem has not commented, credible reports have suggested that a Mossad cyberattack was behind the blackout. Moreover, both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the IDF chief of staff Aviv Kokhavi seem to have hinted in public statements that Israel was responsible. Lahav Harkov examines the reasons for, and possible consequence of, the incident:

On Friday, the U.S. and Iran continued indirect negotiations for their return to the [2015 nuclear] deal. Though some of the other parties to the Iran deal expressed optimism that an agreement can be reached, Iran maintained its stance that all post-2015 sanctions be removed before it takes any steps to return to compliance with the deal’s nuclear limitations. Soon after, a senior State Department official said that if Iran doesn’t budge, then the sides will reach an impasse.

The next day, Iran further breached the [2015 agreement] by launching advanced uranium-enrichment machines at the underground nuclear facility in Natanz. This seems like it was a gambit by Iran to have a longer list of items that it can scale back from in negotiations, while still ending up closer to a nuclear bomb than the [deal] originally allowed.

Then, less than a day later, there was a mysterious power outage in Natanz that derailed the whole thing. There are indications that the disruptions in Natanz were the result of a cyberattack, and—as always—all eyes are on Israel when these things happen. And Iran has yet to recover from recent “incidents,” such as a July 2020 explosion that set back its nuclear program.

Thus the attack took Natanz off the table, weakening the Islamic Republic’s negotiating position.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Mossad, U.S. Foreign policy

How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus