How Israel Can Readjust Its Diplomacy for a Changing Europe

In recent years, Jerusalem has developed good relations with a group of Central European countries that have proved far more sympathetic than those of the West, and whose governments have sometimes stopped the European Union from issuing anti-Israel statements. But Europe, both East and West, is now in a state of political flux, and this approach may soon be obsolete. Emmanuel Navon proposes a new direction for Jewish state that capitalizes on its economic ties with Western Europe. Take, for instance, post-Angela Merkel Germany:

Disagreements between Germany and Israel on the Palestinian issue will likely not be emphasized in the coming years, not least because Israel’s heterogeneous coalition is avoiding controversial moves in this intractable conflict.

At the same time, Israel can and should leverage its added value on two issues dear to the upcoming German coalition: renewable energy and Internet connectivity. With the Greens in the coalition, Germany will speed up its Energiewende (energy transition) with renewable energies. Technological innovation is a crucial factor for improving reliability and reducing the cost of renewable energies, and Israeli technology has much to offer Germany. Moreover, Israeli technology can also play a key role in upgrading Germany’s relatively backward Internet connectivity.

Israel should maintain special ties with East European governments, [but focus on these regimes] may have reached its limit. Too many bridges have been burned with Poland, and the Orban era might end in Hungary. There has been a change of guard in Austria, and there may be one soon in the Czech Republic.

By contrast, political changes are taking place, or are about to take place, in “Old Europe” (mainly France and Germany) that can be turned to Israel’s advantage. If Emmanuel Macron is re-elected in France, he might significantly modify his country’s Middle East policies and participate in a military operation against Iran.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Emmanuel Macron, Europe and Israel, European Union, Germany, Israel diplomacy


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