To Bring Peace, Free Palestinians from Hamas—and Iran

When fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas last month, some cynics rushed to declare that the peace agreements between Jerusalem and several Arab countries brokered by the Trump administration were failures. Some of these same cynics had previously put forward the bizarre claim that these diplomatic breakthroughs constitute an abandonment, or worse, of the Palestinians—as if the Palestinians had somehow benefitted from the Arab world’s perpetual state of war with, and refusal to recognize, Israel. But such commentary bespeaks only a misunderstanding of the Middle East, writes Ali al-Nuaimi, an Emirati diplomat who was involved in the recent negotiations with Israel:

The truth is, the [central] Middle East conflict isn’t between Israelis and Palestinians but between Israel and Iran. Ask yourself who benefits from this conflict? The Palestinian people’s rights and hopes have been hijacked by Hamas to serve an Iranian agenda. And it is against Iran’s extremism that we must continue to fight.

The people of the [Middle East] crave change, not least among them the Palestinian people, who are desperate for fresh leaders, leaders who can move beyond a rigid regime with an agenda that abuses the very people it rules.

For this to happen, we also have to fight the war of propaganda—one that the Israelis lost in this last round of fighting between Israel and Hamas. . . . One of the biggest errors, . . . which I saw repeated over and over in the media, was [speaking] about Gaza as if it’s occupied by the Israelis. It’s not: it’s occupied by Hamas. And the Palestinian people in Gaza are suffering because of Hamas, not the Israelis.

Twenty years ago, the Palestinian cause was priority number one in the region. Now, people in the Gulf see things differently. We still care. We still support the Palestinians. We believe in the two-state solution. But people in the Gulf no longer believe that this [result] should come at the expense of our national interests. Many activists responded to Hamas- and Islamic Jihad-influenced media and social-media posts to say, “we do care about the Palestinians—but we don’t care about these terrorist organizations.”

Read more at Newsweek

More about: Abraham Accords, Hamas, Iran, United Arab Emirates

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University